No Harm Done

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Spoonful of Sugar

In an effort to create more routine in our home lately, I stole borrowed this idea from Melissa over at Our Side, and it has worked wonders here.

Our morning and nighttime routines are pretty standard, but I felt like I was spending this time barking orders at the boys. To smooth this out and give us a calmer, more orderly routine I set it to music.

First, I made a list of the boys' morning chores and evening chores: make beds, get dressed, brush teeth, etc. On a CD, I burned a recording of myself giving the direction, followed by a couple of songs that would play while the boys completed their tasks. I tried to pick songs that were upbeat and positive.

So here's an outline:

First, I tell the boys to got make their beds and get dressed. While they are doing that, the songs "Accentuate the Positive" (Perry Como), Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Andrews Sisters), and Hot Diggety Dog Ziggety (Como), play while they do this. When they finish, the boys run back to the kitchen and sit at the table.

When everyone's back, they hear the next task: brush teeth and wash face. During this task I play "It's a Beautiful Day"(U2), "Round and Round" (Como), and " Rum and Coca-Cola" (Andrews Sisters).

Next, they do one of that day's cleaning chores: loading/unloading dishes, cleaning windows, etc. During this time they hear "The 59th St. Bridge Song" (Simon and Garfunkel), and "Papa Loves Mambo" (Como).

And then we're done, and it's fun and cheerful and everyone's smiling! Perry Como has that effect on everyone, I think.

At night I use a couple of bedtime songs: "Rock to Sleep 54" by Hootie and the Blowfish, "I Need a Nap" by Weird Al Yankovic and Kate Winslet, and "Snoozers" by the Bacon Brothers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Think M. Will Be Most Pleased.

You scored as Darcy, Your husband is most like Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice. A beloved hero, he may be quieter and sometimes mistaken as proud, but in reality he has the most thoughtful generous nature. He appreciates good character and is extremely devoted to those he cares for. As a couple, you enjoy the company of those closest to you and may engage in thought-provoking conversations.

Edmund Bertram




Edward Ferrars




Col. Brandon




Captain Wentworth


Who is Your Jane Austen Boyfriend/Husband?
created with

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stick to the Issues

I love it when musicians get philosophical.

Here's a pair who try to address some important issues. Stick it out through their banter - the song is great!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I love you, Dad!

A Father's Day Film - The Dad Family

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Catch Up.

All of a sudden it's June 16th? How did that happen? Wasn't it just early May? I know we've been busy lately, but how did a whole month go by and I didn't notice?

This week was niiiiiiiice. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. We are taking the month of June off of school and plan to start again after the Fourth of July holiday, so we didn't have any schoolwork to do. It was nice to hang around the house and get things done (read: cleaning) that needed to be taken care of.

Since Colson's birthday we've:
*visited grandparents,
*organized a used curriculum sale for homeschoolers,
*prepared and executed the Amazing Race,
*attended two vacation Bible School programs during the same week (and helped teach at one of them),
*attended baseball and T-Ball games,
*awakened at 6:00am for daily early morning swim practices.....

Okay. I'm starting to understand where the past month went.

Now I have a blog photo backlog, so here's some of what we've been up to. More photos will come soon.

A couple of weeks ago we took the boys to an exhibition of emergency service vehicles. Volunteers showed off their cars, trucks, and helicopters and explained what various equipment was used for. They gave demonstrations and speeches, and we got to watch the dog who searches for explosives do his thing.

Here are the boys sitting inside an ambulance listening to the paramedic give a tour of the equipment. Brogan's second from the right, in the grey shirt. Colson's to the left of the paramedic in a stripey shirt. To his left you can see Braden's hands and legs.

I felt a little sorry because the paramedic was trying to explain all the cool medical things in the back of the ambulance, but took the time to respond to children's questions at the same time. Colson especially loved asking questions.

Colson: What's this? (Holding up a box of kleenex.)

Paramedic: That's a box of tissues. I would use them if you needed to blow your nose.

(After a few moments.)

Colson: What's this? (Holding up a band-aid.)

Paramedic: That's a band-aid. I'd put that on your owies.

(After a few more moments.)

Colson: What's this? (Holding up a sharpie pen)

Paramedic: That's a pen. Why don't you come sit over here.

That paramedic was wonderfully patient. Thankfully Colson quieted down and he was able to explain some of the more interesting parts of the ambulance.

Braden got to sit in the back of a police car and learned that crime doesn't pay.

Crime also doesn't seem very photogenic. Look at that face! I think he's trying to look like a hardened criminal here.

In May, Colson turned 4. My baby is four! *sob!*

Grandma E. and Grandpa F. sent him a Star Wars backpack and a stuffed german shepherd puppy. Colson uses the backpack as a puppy carrier and wears it all over the house.

Here he is with his new puppy: Pooky Doggy. (And no - I don't know how he came up with that. Colson just says that it looks like a Pooky Doggy.)

Colson is learning to go down the fireman poles at the park. Up until this photo, he would grab hold of the pole, and simply jump down to the ground, scaring observers with every jump. It took several tries to get him to understand he was supposed to slide down the pole.

Brogan loves the monkey bars.

Colson tries to do whatever Brogan does, but he got stuck two bars in on the monkey bars. Of course, being the good mother I am, I stopped to take a couple of photos before helping him down.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oh, Mallory....

I promised I wouldn't tease you any more after April 1st.

And this isn't teasing.... honest....really, it's not.

I couldn't resist posting this video, because when I saw it I immediately thought of you. My intelligent, sweet, liberal sister. (Still not teasing here.)

I thought that if anyone would appreciate this video and want to put it on their MySpace page (or add it as a ringtone, or maybe save it to your video iPod), it would be you. :)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Memory Lane

Last fall I stumbled on the blog of a friend from elementary school. (I love, love, love that "Next Blog" button!) Darin and I had a falling out in early high school, and I hadn't heard from him in over 20 years. It has been a joy to re-connect and get to know a childhood friend as an adult.

I'm finally putting older photos into albums, and found this one of Darin and I during our 5th grade band festival. We'd been playing the clarinet for maybe 6 months, at this point. Our festival song was "Old MacDonald Had A Band." Some years back I heard an audiotape of this performance, which convinced me that our band teacher must have had ears of steel. Or a really great poker face. Or maybe she was slightly deaf. We thought we sounded great, and she never let on that we didn't.

And, for the record, this is probably the closest you'll get to seeing a picture of me on this blog. (Mwahahahahaha!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Amazing Race 2007

Weeks of thought and preparation culminated in our Amazing Race last weekend. Our family joined with the G. family for two days of competition and fun.

And when it was over - we napped. Well, I napped, anyway.

During the race I put 260 miles on our van! I think I need to treat her to an oil change after that!

For those who'd like to see a complete list of the tasks, here they are:

Chuck E. Cheese
Teams arrive here with a clue and 10 tokens. They must play games to either (a) earn 20 tickets, or (b) until all their tokens are gone. Teams must use 1 token at the sketch machine to get a sketch of both teammates.

Mini Golf
Teams are given a choice of three different mini-golf courses to choose from. Once at the course, teams must play 18 holes of mini-golf according to the rules, keeping score as they go. Their combined score determines how soon they may leave the course

The next 3 activities will be done simultaneously, in varying order. (We needed to separate the teams at this point.)
A. Treasure Hunt
Maps will be taped to a marked lamppost at church. Clues will be written in treasure map style. Treasure is the clue to the next activity in this event.

B. Capitol Building
Teams search the capitol building for a specific mural. They must have their picture taken in front of the mural.

C. Detour: Paper Squares or Bottles
Teams may choose between one of two activities. In one activity, teams must sort through a bowl full of small paper squares to find the one with a dot in their color on it. Should they start one event, and want to switch to another, there is a two-minute penalty. In the second activity, teams drive to the ___ house to find a garden of bottles in the backyard. Teams must pull up bottles to find the one with their color dot on the bottom.

Roadblock: Go Karts
Teams drive to the go-kart course. 1 team member must drive a go-kart around the track.

Construction Kits
Teams will drive to Toys R Us to find a build-it-yourself birdhouse kit. Drive to the ____ house to complete it. Sets must be constructed according to the directions

Romper Stompers
Teams drive to _______ to complete a specific course on their romper stompers.

Teams drive to Target for a price matching activity. Within their clue #7, teams found pictures of items around the store. Teams will need to find the items, write down their prices, and find a total amount. Teams will show their amount to the taxi drivers at the front of the store. They must find the EXACT amount.

Water Balloon Toss
I think it was team members toss 15 balloons each into a small basket held by the teammate. After completion, taxi driver hands them a clue telling them to find the pit stop.



Teams drive to ______ house and locate a large bowl full of pudding and coins. Children must pull out $3.46 in coins and show them to the taxi driver.

Teams drive to the library and ask the librarians in the children’s section for their next clue with the book title written inside. Children may use the computers or search the shelves for the specific book with their clues inside. They must remove their clue, and place the book back in its correct spot!

Historical Park
Teams will drive to Park and explore looking for their next clue, which is hidden near a specific object. Teams will have a picture of the object to find.

Teams are given driving directions to ______’s house. They must read the clues to the driver, as they won’t know where they are going.

Road Block: Gymnastics
1 team member must complete a specific set of activities at the gym within a certain time limit. .

Sand Castles
Teams drive to the sand beach. Team must construct a castle with a moat, a surrounding wall, 3 towers, a flag. 1 tower must be at least 2 stories. Each tower should have 6 windows.

Ice Cream Sundaes

Teams drive to the _____ house and locate ice cream sundaes in the downstairs freezer. Each team member must eat one bowl. Each bowl will have 5 scoops in it. Teams must add 2 syrups, 2 teaspoons of sprinkles, and whipped cream. Eat the whole bowl and clean up

Print pictures
Teams will be given the locations of 3 different insta-print machines. Teams will (with taxi driver help) print out copies of 4 specific pictures and bring them to the pit stop

Rap Song
Teams must write a rap song about their activities during the race. Write 1 line per task. They will perform it at the pit stop.

Teams ride the train in the Park. While on the train, they must look for “a familiar face.” This person is the final pit stop. Once the train stops, teams race to the pit stop.

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's Coming!

Our 2007 Amazing Race took place this past weekend. The preparation and execution of the race consumed me, and I haven't been able to blog the race or the results.

But they're coming........

Hopefully you'll see a race summary within the next coupple of days!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

K-12 Meme

Apple Jacks or Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries?
Neither. We rarely had sugared cereal. In fact, I remember my parents instituting the "Sugared Cereal Of The Month" when I was in second grade. One month I'd pick a sugared cereal, the next month my brother would get to pick.

By the time I left for college, though, my youngest siblings were starting grade school. They cannot remember a time when there wasn't usually a sugared creal in the cupboard. Also, they only had to walk uphill one way, the softies.

Band or Choir?
Both. Band in jr. high, and choir my junior and senior years.

Class Ring?

Ducks or Battleships?
Neither. I have no memory of taking a bath. I'm sure I did. I mean, there are pictures of me when I was a baby, so at some point I did take a bath. I think I was playing with a washcloth.....

Earning Money?
I babysat. There were usually chores we could do for money.

Favorite Teacher?
Mrs. Cole, third grade

Go Back and Do Over?
Sometimes I think it would be fun, but if I did that I'd miss what I have now.

Home Economics?
Just one year in jr. high. I remember the actual cooking lessons. I remember nothing about vitamins, minerals, sewing, etc. As I recall, our table did a lot of talking and note-passing about Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album, and Duran Duran.

Indoor Recess?
Rarely. My favorite indoor recesses were in Michigan (3rd-4th grades). After eating luch we'd go to the gym, where they would show old reel-to-reel movies. I remember watching a very old "Jungle Book" in black and white, also "Abbot and Costello" movies.

Jacks or Jump Rope?

Kickball or Dodgeball?
Kickball. Hands down. I still love a good game of kickball.

Brown Bag or Lunchbox?
I had a lunchbox until the schools started serving hot lunch in 4th grade. (I think it was 4th.) Bleah.

Yup. Yup. Yup. I was a drama geek through jr. high and high school. Then, my junior and senior years I added choir. I look back on those years and really wondered what my choir teacher was thinking, allowing me in. I could carry a tune back then, but I couldn't really sing.

Number of School Districts?
School districts: 4

Orange or Apple?

Playground Equipment?
Swings. And those really tall metal slides we used to have.

Quiz Team or Debate?

Foursquare, wallball, soccer (it was new back then!), and hiding from other kids.

Spring Break?
We usually stayed home. I don't remember going anywhere special.

Team Sports?
Basketball through jr. high. Track, also through jr. high. (I threw shotput and did the triple jump, because I didn't like to run.) I played baseball for several years.

Walk or Bus?
I walked a couple of years, but mostly took the bus.

X Country or Basketball?
Basketball, but I wasn't very good.

Can I say college on this one? I really didn't like school, and could hardly wait to be done. But I loved, loved, loved college!

Twice. Once I fell asleep with my forehead resting on the sleeve of my sweater. I woke up and went through the next few minutes with the waffle-pattern of my knit sweater imprinted across my forehead.

During my junior year I fell asleep in health class ( first period). The teacher saw me and, when the bell rang and I didn't move, he encouraged the class to get up and leave quietly. I woke up during second period and found myself surrounded by a completely different group of people! It was pretty confusing! It's a good thing I liked this teacher - this ended up being a positive memory. :)

This was a fun meme! Hat tip to Staci at Writing and Living for posting it! If you decide to do this one yourself, please link to it in the comments! :)