Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kidney Stones and Other Irksome and Expensive Stuff

Wednesday was not a good day. Brian picked up this car and paid the bill for the new transmission in it - then drove himself to the nearest emergency room. It's usually two years between kidney stones - this time it was four months. And he's apparently passing them from both kidneys - but they still haven't passed. So we drive his car home after he's medicated and remember that the AC had quit working right before the transmission. Kind of got forgotten in the mix. Hope that wasn't a colossal oversight and that it can be fixed reasonably. Then the bathtub decided to amp up its encore performance of not draining. So I guess the plumber is going to have to come back too. Sometimes you just feel like a lake being drained in a drought.

And, yeah, we're still waiting on the kidney stones. He really can't seem to catch a break.

My next post will be positive and optimistic.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What are the kids up to?

Ethan's wanted to be a farmer for a few years now. I suggested that he farm the backyard by working in the flower beds preparing them for spring planting. So far he's spent two afternoons clearing a flower bed and cutting the backyard somewhat randomly with an old manual lawnmower.

Anna says they're playing the Farmer in the Dell and she's the farmer's wife. She said that they had one daughter and a baby on the way. So I suggested that Bella be the daughter that she already has - so she's been watching Bella.

Rosie's outside playing now, but it was all I could do to get her there because she can hardly bear to leave her beloved piano. She composed her first song, writing her own brand of notation. She explained it to me. It was mostly the letters of notes, but two letters beside each other are played at the same time. She has rh and lh notations, and the numbers stand for black notes. She also threw a "T" and "O" in there to distinguish some really high notes, even though she knows that there really aren't any notes named "T" or "O".

And Bella? Bella looks stinkin' cute in pigtails.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Year's St.Paddy's Links


  1. Lucky Shoe Charms - my most likely candidate this year
  2. Faux Boy's Tie - because it's hard to find things for boys
  3. Split Pea Shamrocks - I know I won't get around to these any year soon, but aren't they just too cute?!
  4. Wired Shamrocks or the easier version, Chenille Stem Shamrock pins, and the fancy Martha Stewart version
  5. Paper Roll Shamrocks - these might just get made tomorrow too, depending on what kind of mood the kids are in
  6. Kind of a cute, easy crafty snack - Leprechaun Chowder or try this Color Mixing Pudding


  1. Lucky Shamrock Treats - I'd like to make these, but I have to find that cookie cutter I just bought...
  2. Broccoli Salad - it's green and my kids love it
  3. Leprechaun Jello
  4. Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage - we're having Reuben Casserole again, but this look like a good way to use the corned beef that I'm still hoping to pick up at Aldi's while it's on special.
  5. Lucky Charms Treat Bars - if I can't find the cookie cutter, these look pretty good - watch me not have marshmallows either.
  6. Celtic Knot cookies
  7. Shamrock Shakes - Our town doesn't have them, and if you can't find one nearby either, try here or make your own :^)
  8. It doesn't get much easier than these Lucky Charms cupcakes


We've been enjoying the Celtic station on Pandora Internet Radio this year. At book club this week we had a blast playing Hot Potato to the lovely jigs.


  1. Glimpses for Kids, Patrick of Ireland
  2. St. Patrick's Confession
  3. St. Patrick's Letter to Coroticus
  4. St. Patrick's Breastplate
  5. Paper for copywork, and for little ones here.
  6. Math
  7. Time for Kids Around the World: Ireland
  8. Story Starters
  9. How about an online mad lib , clover puzzle, or rainbow puzzle? Not sure if this really qualifies as educational, but it look like fun. :^)

If you haven't found anything you like yet, check out this links to printables page!

Have a very happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone! Don't forget to wear green - and the kids will probably enjoy it if the leprechaun's at your house dye the milk or toilets or anything else green. :^) They do stuff like that here every year.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

Bella likes to sleep with the light on. Despite a string of Christmas lights, she still usually falls asleep with the overhead light on. Doesn't work too well for poor Rosie. So she came up with an alternative solution.

It must have worked.

Bella loves to slide

This was at the park last week. She climbed the slide over and over, and nearly always said a little "wheee" at the top before coming down. Had to capture the cuteness.

Friday, March 11, 2011


updated, expanded, and reposted from April 2007

We are working out way through Ann Voskamp's A Child's Geography this year. We just finished the chapter on plate tectonics and the next chapter explores earthquakes and volcanoes in more depth, so I brought out this post to dust off and update.Use discretion, of course, because these are secular science sources.

Make a volcano:

  1. Classic version
  2. Easier, messy mentos version - I'll mention here that the video indicates that the fumes from this version may be toxic
  3. Another easier version
  4. Easiest version - this is the one I'm sending to Gran's, but I'm writing a note on it to add the red food coloring to the vinegar, because I know that my kids won't buy that's it's a volcanic eruption if the "lava" is white
  5. Cheater's version
  6. Or you could make a lava light instead.

Worksheets, etc. :

  1. Crayola Volcano Mini Book
  2. Time for Kids map worksheets here and here.
  3. Label a volcano diagram
  4. Volcano writing paper and coloring page
  5. Fill in the blank
  6. Volcano shape book, Make Words, and more from abcteach.
  7. Flap book


  1. Eyewitness - Volcano

Online articles:

  1. Science News for Kids - enter "volcanoes" in the search box if nothing comes up. There are several articles
  2. "Explore Volcanoes"
  3. "Volcano! Mountain of Fire" - this online story at National Geographic Kids has video clips as well.
Online activities:

  1. VolcanoWorld's Games & Fun Stuff - has a neat dot to dot among other things
  2. For older kids (looks like preteen and up): a strategy game in which you are a disaster manager handling a volcanic eruption and evacuating a town
  3. Discovery Kids Volcano Explorer - see plate boundaries and volcano locations on a globe, learn the types of volcanoes, and build a virtual volcano

And last, but not least -

Home Ec (otherwise known as Snack Time):

Which would you make??


We have a basket full of books coming from the library about Volcanoes, Volcanoe National Park in Hawaii, Mount St. Helens, and Pompeii. I'll try to add our favorites here on a booklist.

Next up: Earthquakes

"Photo courtesy".

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Couldn't wait until Easter to share this

My newest favorite song :^)

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but Heaven's will
No scheme of Hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

Sing it, o death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

~by Matt Mayer

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Spinach and Pancakes,But Not Together

Okay, I began this post just to shamelessly use my blog to keep track of this post by Molly Piper asking how to use spinach. Her readers left a vast list of yummy recipes and ideas and I don't want to lose it. My kids love spinach. Really. In fact, Ethan really isn't in to salads anymore - unless it's spinach. (I think he's just sick of romaine and my kids have never liked iceberg lettuce.)

In other news, we celebrated Fat Tuesday with Dunkin' Donuts breakfast that we shared with our neighbors, then for supper, a pancake extravaganza - peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes, cherry vanilla pancakes, cranberry walnut pancakes, Oreo pancakes, then lemon blueberry pancakes - one of each for each person and all gluten free - it was a hit! The peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes won hands down. We talked about Pancake Day traditions and about fasting. That's on the agenda for tomorrow.

Ethan has given up video games for Lent. I had him go without them for a week a few weeks ago and he realized that a lot of his anger and frustration was linked to playing a particular game that was frustrating. He decided that he wanted to give up all video games completely on his own, hoping to develop a better attitude and self-control as a result. Incidentally, I'm giving up video games too. Doesn't that sound lame?? But I've spent a ridiculous number of hours lately trying to keep ahead of my sister and mother on Mahjohng and Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook. Indeed, Rachel, I worked very hard the last half hour before midnight to best your high score, but now it's time to lose that imbalance of time versus return of investment. So that I can invest it elsewhere - like in my sorely neglected blog, for instance. :^)

Tomorrow we are going to take a exploratory trip into the world of fasting. Carnation instant breakfast and a piece of fruit at lunch, then a regular dinner. The children want to fast. I know that this isn't 'really' fasting, but it is a good way, I think, to begin to learn this spiritual discipline. We recently read about Jesus' forty day fast in our daily Scripture readings, and Rose really has latched on to this correlation with Lent. Imagine not eating at all until Easter? Being "one meal hungry" is enough to put most of us in a bad enough mood to sin without any additional temptation. I know that most Protestants don't observe Lent very much, or at all, but I am so grateful for something on the calendar that I can build traditions upon that focus us on the sacrifice of Jesus. If we can spend weeks anticipating the celebration of His birth, why not the celebration of His resurrection? We will light the candles, take a break from Philippians to work again on Isaiah 53, relearn our passion and Easter hymns, and remember all that Jesus has done for us.