No Harm Done

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to Mornings at My House.

I am a morning person. Especially when I've gotten a good night's sleep.

Well, pretty much
only when I've gotten a good night's sleep.

I find that I am the most productive in the mornings, and
love the quiet in the house before the boys are up.

The boys sleep 11-12 hours every night. (In bed at 8:00-9:00, and up at 7:30.) To me, that seems like an adequate amount of sleep for growing boys. Yet no matter how much they sleep, they never "pop" out of bed, excited to start the day. They're not grumpy, exactly, but they are definitely
not cheerful until they've been up awhile.

This video makes me laugh, and (I think) accurately depicts the emotions/attitudes of our weekday mornings.

The boys aren't old enough to drink Folger's, and I am still in search of a healthy alternative.

Have a Happy Morning!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

17 years ago today M. and I were married.

He was 23 and I was one day short of turning 21.

Those are perfectly acceptable ages for considering marriage, but 21 and 23 seem so young now!

Since 1992 we've had 3 boys, lived in 7 cities and in 12 different residences, bought 5 houses, sold 4 houses, and spent countless hours in the car between all these places.

We have shared both joy and heartbreak, but through everything we have seen God's faithfulness and His lovingkindness. I am so thankful He brought us together in California all those years ago.

Happy 17th Anniversary, M!!


(NB- At the end, the video says "15 years," because I made it 2 years ago. I have no way to change it, and I think my next project will be to update this video.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This performance by "King's Firecrackers" at a Navy basketball game is fantastic. I've never seen anything like this!

The boys and I watched open-mouthed through the whole thing.

I loved the shots of the crowd; all these big tough Navy guys on their feet cheering!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hot Tub!!

See this?

We spent four and a half days on this houseboat in Spetember. We sailed up and down the Mississippi River near M.'s parents' house. This past winter M.'s parents celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Last fall they decided to celebrate by renting a giant houseboat for nearly a week and invite all their kids and grandkids to sail with them. It was an anniversary/Christmas present rolled into one.

We piled 14 people on that boat

We sailed upriver, parked on a sandbar that looked friendly, and spent the night. The next day we'd do the same. It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation!

Of all the things to do on the houseboat and the sandbar, this was by far one of the favorite hangout spots:

The hot tub was a hit! Especially since we sailed at the end of the summer, so the weather wasn't scorching hot. In fact, the river water was pretty cold. But the hot tub was the place to be.

This top picture was taken before breakfast, I think. It was foggy until about 10 am each morning. The kids would get into the hot tub the first thing every morning.

After lunch they'd re-visit the hot tub.

And in the afternoon, hey! Why not get into the hot tub?

I had a hard time not thinking about Eddie Murphy and his "James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub" sketch from Saturday Night Live in the 1980's.

Does anyone remember that besides me? I kept trying to explain it to people, but no one seemed to remember it.

James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub


Too hot inna' hot tub!

It's much more fun to watch it, than to listen to me try to explain it.

Hey, Brogan!!

How's the hot tub?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Open House- Grade Eight

Eighth grade.

Hoo boy!

This one's a doozy! Each year seems to get more and more challenging. So far, though, we're enjoying 8th grade a lot!

Math - Last year, we began Algebra 1 using Saxon Math. After a rough first semester, we indulged in a brief flirtation with Singapore's New Elementary Mathematics, but decided to return to Saxon after a couple of months. While we're happy with the return to Saxon Math, the departure cost us a few months and Braden ended up not finishing the book last year. So this year the plan is to review and then finish the text, and follow up with Algebra 2.

Science - Braden's using Apologia's "Exploring Creation With Biology." He completes the reading and daily lessons on his own, and then twice a month meets with a group of high schoolers to complete the labs and take the exams. A biology professor at the local college conducts labs on campus. I'm so thankful she's willing to do the labs with them, and the kids can benefit from her knowledge and use the lab's equipment. This past week they examined pond scum under the microscopes.

Latin - This is, what, our 4th year of Latin? And Braden's second year with Henle Latin 1. The Henle book is designed to be sompleted in 2 years, so this will be our last year in book 1.

Grammar - We're continuing on with Rod and Staff grammar. I can't say enough good things about this curriculum: thorough, methodical, a solid grammar foundation.

History - Braden's studying history from Napoleon through Theodore Roosevelt using the "Tapestry of Grace" history curriculum. I'll be honest - he doesn't love it. It's an awful lot of reading, and it reminds me of the volume of reading I had to do for my Western Civ. class in college. But he's learning a lot. By the time we have our discussion on Friday over the week's material, he knows it. It's odd having conversations with a young man forming his own ideas about historical events. It was just a couple of years ago our discussions were mostly simple recall. But I'm enjoying the back-and-forth.

Speech/Debate - Braden has joined a speech/debate club in the big city. This is his first year and has a love/hate relationship with the classes. He can tell that he will love it once he knows what he's doing. But there's such a lot to learn, that simply learning how everything works takes a lot of work. He's willing to do it, though, with the knowledge that next year will be a lot more fun!

Spanish- We're finishing book 1 of "So You Really Want To Learn Spanish" from Galore Park. He's at the point where we can have short converstions in Spanish now. They're not really grammatically correct, but he's feeling more comfortable generating simple thoughts and sentences in Spanish.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Open House- Grade Three

I was feeling guilty about waiting a month to post the next installment of our homeschool's Open House. But then I remembered that last year's Open House didn't get posted until the END of the school year. So I'm already ahead of where I was last year.


My perfectionism-induced guilt is gone!

Today is Brogan's turn. He's in the third grade this year and has noticed an increase in the amount of work he's expected to do. I can tell he starts to feel burdened, until Braden shows him all the work for 8th grade and - poof! Brogan's weariness disappears!

Reading- This is by far Brogan's favorite subject. We're reading through the basal series published by Pathway Publishers. The Pathway Readers series is used in Amish schools, and is a sweet and gentle book series. The readers focus on Amish families, and include many family-centered stories as well as poems and stories about nature. In his spare time, Brogan devours Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes comic books, and books in the "Magic Tree House" series.

Math - Brogan is working through the 3A and 3B books in Singapore Math.

Grammar- This is Brogan's first year with a formal grammar program. The curriculum we used for 1st and 2nd grades is mostly oral. This year we're using the grammar textbook put out by Rod and Staff publishers. Rod and Staff's grammar program is thorough and methodical. In the third grade book they have simple, concise lessons and just enough written work for students to practice without going into handwriting overload.

Latin- Brogan's excited about beginning Latin this year. We're using Latina Christiana 1, by Memoria Press. This program is also simple and methodical, and involves quite a bit of memorization. Thankfully, Brogan's good at memorizing, and seems to enjoy practicing with flash cards.

Spelling- We didn't quite finish Spelling Workout B last year, so we're finishing it up this year, and will continue on with Spelling Workout C.

History- Last year's experiment with Tapestry of Grace was a huge success! This year we're using Year 3 of Tapestry of Grace, which covers history from Napoleon through Theodore Roosevelt.

Penmanship- One word: cursive. Brogan's been begging to learn cursive, and I promised him that third grade would be the year it happens. We're using "Handwriting Without Tears" for our cursive practice. I'm thinking we'll need to read Beverly Cleary's "Muggie Maggie" just for fun.

That's our third grade schedule!

Coming soon: 8th grade!

Friday, October 02, 2009


Colson and Braden have an interesting relationship.

They currently share a room and are nearly 8 years apart in age. They alternate between enjoying and irritating each other occasionally, but, on the whole, I think they get along pretty well. ( Especially when I hear what some siblings have to say about each other! )

Here are my matching boys in too-short pants:

That photo reminds me of this one:

"From the moment you sat down I thought I was looking into a mirror!!!!! "


Sharing a room has forced them to make some compromises. For example, Colson also likes to talk at bedtime.

A lot.

Braden does not.

Braden has learned that if Colson is still and quiet for more than 10 minutes he will fall asleep. So he has encouraged Colson to listen to books on tape at bedtime. This means that Braden also has to listen to stories like "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" or music tapes like "The Wiggles" until Colson falls asleep.

I think he thinks it's worth it, though. :)

Braden turned fourteen last week. This is a picture of Braden looking through a birthday "coupon book" that Colson made for him. In this book are coupons for Colson to make Braden's bed or put away his laundry. The usual sorts of birthday coupons.

If you click on the picture to see a larger version, you will be able to read the most valuable coupon in the book. That would be the coupon good for "One FREE night of Silence."

It's like gold, baby!