Monday, December 31, 2007

post in which I tell you what I've been knitting.

Well,, a lot of things but mostly this CUTE dog sweater! My next door neighbor's (no, not the ones I hate) got this little wiener dog a few months ago and it's as CUTE as it can be. She's so fully of puppy energy and her fur is so slick and soft. I *heart* her big time. I'm more of a cat person myself but I'd like to have a dog one day when we have room. They mentioned the other day that since her fur isn't dense like most breeds she gets cold really easy. What's a person to do that knits? Or rather,, how could I not resist knitting something for someone who's cold? So I whipped up this little sweater.

I can't wait until they get home!!! They're out of town for the holiday. I could just eat this up! I had to try it on one of the kids' stuffed animals that seemed about the same size as Jasmine. If they love it and Jas looks cute in it you know I'll have to make a few more!

The pattern is loosely based on Knitty's Penny . I just used some Red Heart Worsted out of my stash.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Methane Gas Detectors

Wow, I really could have used one of those yesterday.

I went out briefly to pick up a few things from Target and A.C.Moore. I was by myself so I wandered. It was nice. I looked at clothes, Christmas ornaments and kitchen accoutrements. No one was standing over (or under) my shoulder in the "see, I can be patient!" kind of way.

But then it happened.

If I didn't walk into one gaseous human explosion, I walked into three! Oh. My. Goodness. The thing is,, I don't think it was the same person!

Wow, it was eye watering. I suppose folks have really been over indulging! Deviled eggs and potato salad will do that to a person I guess!

One of those methane gas detectors would have been really handy!

Well, Christmas went off without a hitch. The kids are sufficiently spoiled. The kids got Daddy a new knife and I got him some jerky from The Beef Jerky Smokehouse , some ammo, and some new work gloves. My MIL got me a killer crock pot (I needed one so badly) and my mom got me a dirt devil hand vac (also something I really wanted).

I'm so grateful to my little bit of blog money I'm making! For the first time in forever,, I had a little bit of cash of my own to buy a gift with. In years past it always seemed stupid for me to go out and spend his paycheck on something he hasn't purchased for himself already. Not this year though! I had saved about $70 back just to buy him a gift with. It wasn't much but I didn't have to dip into the checking account and that was nice.

So, ya'll keep this in mind when you have to read about insurance or methane gas detectors, or fancy watches you'll never buy. Thanks for being an audience to my mindless drivel!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last Minute Ear Warmer

I made this with some extra yarn I had left over from my Matrix Mittens. Matching accessories are a good thing! Despite the looks of the pattern below (Merry Christmas! My gift to all my knitter friends! ) it's very quick and simple. It's so so comfy! This is a great stash buster, It didn't even take a whole skein. As always, excuse The Severed Head of Eric Carr.

You will need:

1 ball of #5 worsted weight (bulky) soft yarn, divided so you can use 2 strands at once.

Sz 10.5 (7mm) needles

A tape measure

yarn needle

the ability to do third grade math (I kid, no really, there is some math involved.)


Pattern Notes:

M1- Made by picking up the bar between stitches and then knitting it.


The Math:

Measure around your head in the place where you like to wear your headbands.

This is measurement "A"

After 24 rows measure your work.

This is measurement "B"

Multiply "B" times 2

This is measurement "C"

Subtract "C" from "A"

This is measurement "D"

Subtract 3 from "D"

This is measurement "E"

"E" is the length you want to knit the center section

All of this sound unnecessarily difficult but I assure you, it's no biggy.


The Pattern:

1. Holding 2 strands tog. CO 6

2. K 10 rows in garter

3. K3, M1, K3

4. K3, P1, K3

5. K3, M1, K1, M1, K3

6. K3, P3, K3

7. K9

8-13. Repeat rows 6 and 7 three more times

14. K3, P3, K3

15. K3, M1, K3, M1, K3

16. K3, P5, K3

17. K11

18-23. Repeat rows 16 and 17 three times more.

24. K3, P5, K3

This is where you want to stop a measure for "E"

25. K3, M1, K5, M1, K3

26. K3, P7, K3 (wrong side)

27. K13

28. Repeat rows 26 and 27 until section measures to "E" or work measures "B" + "E". End on a wrong side row.

Last section:

1. K3, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K3

2. K3, P5, K3

3. K11

4-9. Repeat rows 2 and 3 three more times

10. K3, P5, K3

11. K3, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K3

12. K3, P3, K3

13. K9

14-19. Repeat rows 12 and 13 three more times.

20. K3, P3, K3

21. K3, sl 1 as to purl, K2tog, PSSO, K3

22. K3, P1, K3

23. K3, K2tog, K2

24. K 9 rows of garter

The 9 rows of garter are open to adjustment. They will be under your hair. A myriad of length issues can be resolved here. Just knit until you reach your "C+E" length.

Bind off.

Sew ends tog.

Weave in ends.

Enjoy warm ears while wearing a pony tail!

This Post brought to you by advertising pens.

Knitted Christmas gifts!

I made these great mittens for a friend from a
pattern on Knitty. I love them SO GOOD! They are so soft and comfy. It's my favorite pair of mittens so far.

I may just have to make myself a pair too. Maybe in red and white to match my coat.

I can post 'em here 'cuz her computer is on the fritz. Sucks for her!

There are actually 2 mittens now. One is slightly larger than the other and I'm not sure how that happened. It kinda sucks but hey,, whatcha gonna do? My knitting tention must have gotten tighter and tighter as my tension filled week progressed! I also had a problem with the first thumb gusset and now that I've done the second one I'm not real sure why. I love the checker board look to the fronts and the tweedy look on the palm. Altogether there are 4 different patterns on these mittens! The tips of the fingers is grafted but if I had to do it again, I'd either keep reducing or do the gather and pull thing. I do NOT like grafting!

If you're looking for an introduction to Fair Isle and would like to knit mittens this is a GREAT pattern! I made an ear warmer with the extra yarn. It's my own pattern. Stay tuned!

This post brought to you by ebel watches.

Giant Holiday Balls: The Sequal

Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with Home school, Knitting, or Video Games but it's my blog and writing seems to keep me from slipping over the edge.
It's interesting what happens here when people think you're not home all day. As you'll recall there were no cars in the drive yesterday. Some folks that I know well, know of the ugly feud I have going on with my neighbor. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 blog posts about it if you feel the need to catch up. If not the LSS is that he threatened to put my cats on pikes with their entrails spilling onto their little skulls if he found them in his yard again. His yard has turned into Sanford and Son Central and I can't sell my house because of how horrible it looks.
But I'm not bitter.

Yesterday I sit here knitting by the window and what do I see?

Directly outside my bedroom window, he's walking his new dog so it can crap in my yard. Is that some ginormous kahunas or what? Should I have gone out and threatened to do unearthly things to his pet if I found dog crap in my yard again? Perhaps I should have both he and his dog suffer the same fate since he BROUGHT him to my yard?

The stinger about this dog is this:

They had another dog and couldn't take care of it. Said dog ended up being chained up on a very long wire in their back yard. Said dog also chewed the back end of our Subaru. We didn't mention it because at the time we were not feuding and thought "wow, he'd be really embarrassed if we told him, let's just let it go"

HA! hindsight has 20/20 vision huh?

It gets worse. T1 has LONGED for a beagle. He wants one so so so bad. I told him that we didn't live somewhere that a beagle could be happy. Beagles have a tendency to want to roam even when they're fixed. You simply can't keep them home. Then there's the howl. Beagles are born with a hunting tool and it is that tell tale bellow. This is not something that I was willing to put the neighborhood through. Apparently some other dumb a$$ is willing.

If I had been able to pinpoint the actual location of the dump, it would be on his door step. This isn't the first time we've caught him up in our yard nosing around. It irritates me. He does it every time he thinks we're not home. I supposed I could have gone out and said something to him but the photographic evidence was more fun this time.

Since I'm spilling my guts about this on this blog now, I'll tell you about his shed catching fire later! It's a good one.

This post brought to you by fiber cable.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Good Service Part 4- The final chapter.

Subtitle: Giant Holiday Balls.

Last night when I spoke to Dean, he asked me if I could be there at 8am. I told him "Sure, no problem! will I need a ride back home or do you guys have a courtesy shuttle?" He said that he would arrange for me to get a ride back home, no problem.

It's literally like 4 minutes away from the house, so this morning I poked my head in at T1 and said "I'm going to go drop the car off and they're going to run me back, call the cell if you need me" This is a 15-20m trip right? So off I went. I'd drug my grumpy children out of the house at the crack of dawn every stinkin' day, I wasn't gonna do it today too. I'm there at 7:55am. I spot JTJ (Jim the Jerk) and hand him my keys. He says "Ok! I'll call you when it's done!"

I reply "hey, I'm gonna need a ride"

JTJ "oh, the driver doesn't get here until 8:30"

"that's not an option, I left the kids at home, I need to get home"

He shrugs his shoulders and walks away saying something that sounded like "oh well"


So I wait, cell in hand, nervous as a cat.

8:30 rolls around and I go back out into the bay.

"Hey, it's 8:35, any chance of getting that ride now?"

JTJ "yeah, soon as he gets here, I haven't seen him yet"

LSS- Roy, the shuttle driver (who couldn't have been nicer btw) rolls in around 8:45. There are 6, count 'em SIX people who need rides. Fortunately, I was number 2 on the route because the other folk were going downtown. I roll in about 9:15am. An hour and twenty minutes to do a 10 minute job.

THIS is not helping my mood.

The kids were still sound asleep when I unlocked the door. Lazy bums.

Today they called me 7 times. It's amazing isn't it? When they call my house, I answer the phone. It's novel really. Each time giving me an update on how things are going and when I could expect it to be done, etc., etc.. The final call included a run down on all the other things they'd like to fix for me.

I think not.

The shuttle came and picked us up around 3:30 this evening and took us down to pick it up. Upon signing my release papers JTJ asked me to fill out the survey that will come in the mail within the week.

He said,, get this,,, you're gonna love this, "Please give us 100% satisfaction rate on service, it really means a lot to us"
I stand there, agog. It is truly a Christmas miracle that I didn't come over the counter and squeeze his neck until his eyes popped out.
I slowly folded my receipt in half, spun on one heel and walked away. As we were walking out T1 says "Did you catch that mom? 100% service?"
"yes honey, I did indeed"
This post brought to you by travel insurance.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good Service Part 3 7/8

We're almost to part 4 people!
My part mysteriously arrived at 4:44pm! I am to be there with bells on at 8am tomorrow morning!
Apparently JTJ (Jim the Jerk) doesn't want to speak to me any more because a dude named Dean called. Everything should go as planned now. Or at least that's the plan.
We shall see.

Good Service Part 3.75

They've called me 3 times today.
One to tell me that they would call as soon as they had the part in their hands.
Two to call and tell me that only half of the parts came.
Three to tell me that the other half did not arrive.
I hate these people with a white hot intensity.
So no, I did not travel down to the dealership today.
Call 2 went like this:
The jerk (Jim for the record) said "Fed Ex is having some delays today and the other half hasn't arrived"
I replied "hmmm, that's funny, my husband IS the FedEx man and he said that they were running on time"
JTJ says in a SNOTTY tone (I don't blame him really, it's been an uncomfortable exchange between us you know) "It's FedEx GROUND,, that's a different company"
"I'm full aware of that, perhaps you should refrain from calling it FEDEX then" I snipe back.
"I'll call you when I get the part"
"I'm sure you will"

Good Service Part 3.5

A short chapter in the Good Service saga.
It's 8am. I've been up all night. My youngest child is puking. Guess who's still going to the Nissan dealership?
Yup. I hope he barfs all over them. If they'd done this yesterday this wouldn't be an issue, now would it?!
Really, he doesn's seem too worse for the wear. If he was totally miserable I wouldn't take him. He talked my ear off all night while we watched reruns of "How Clean is Your House".
They're computers are out in the center of the garage. I may have him walk around and breathe hard on all their keyboards.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good Service.

A disclaimer. This post will make me appear, immature, manipulative, and like the customer from HELL. I'm just so sick and tired of paying BIG bucks for CRAP. I've had it up to HERE ladies and gentlemen,,,,, Up. To. Here.

I love my car. It's the best car I've ever had. It's comfy, it's cute (in an suburban housewife kinda way), it's roomy and it's got get up and go that will knock yer socks off! It's a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Don't judge me on it's fuel economy, I rarely drive it more than 5 miles away from the house. It's a "grocery gitter" for sure.

On Monday night, I needed to drive over to my mom's to take us to Circuit City. I went out to get in the car like a normal person but what happened to my newish, beautiful SUV was not normal at all!

I tried to open the door and nothing.

I did the "weep weep" with the auto remote and tried again.

It still wouldn't budge!

I tried again and it went POP!

Whaa? Hmmm,, musta been frozen. We've had lots of really cold weather lately. That musta been it.

So I got in and tried to SHUT the door. No dice, it won't shut.


I went back inside and told the husband of the predicament. We thought, it must be frozen, we'll get the flash light and the hair drier. Well guess what? It wasn't frozen, it's BROKEN!

When he said this I literally stomped my right foot down like a 4 year old and crossed my arms. "NO!"

Real mature right? But wait, that's only the first part of the saga!

Part 2 begins with me telling the husband, explain to me what's actually wrong with the door and why don't you get online and see if there is any recalls. He scowled at this. "None of that matters, it's under warranty, take it down and tell them, 'IT'S BROKE, FIX IT'" I tried to stress to him that women can't do that. I have to be able to go in there with confidence and information or they're going to try and rip me off and basically screw me. Still, he insisted that in this case there was nothing to know and that worry was unnecessary. The next morning I pack the kids up and tell them to pack a backpack full of stuff to do because we were spending the morning down to Moses Automotive on Rt. 60 in Huntington WV (in case you want to deny them any of your hard earned money).

Keep in mind that I'm now climbing my fat body over the passengers side of my car when I enter and exit the vehicle. Luke Duke, I am NOT.

We arrived at a little after 10am and I walked to the desk and told the lady my make and model and that "the door is broke".

The lady who had no interest in customer service, and could have been Tammy Faye's twin says "what?"

I reply "I went to open it and it popped and now it won't open or close"

"hmmmm, well, I don't think we can do anything about that today." TFBT said.

"what? I'm climbing over my passenger side to get in and out!"

"we could probably see you in 10 days"


"You're not hearing me lady, I have a bad back and shoulder that needs surgery, I'm not going to climb through my car for 10 days. You can't even find any one to look at it and see if it needs parts?"

TFBT said "well,, I'll see"

... yeah,, you'll see,, imagine that....

So, a scruffy mechanic that must have been 90 years old comes out and walks to the drivers side door, TFBT is following him all the while saying "she says it's broken and it won't open and close". He gives it a go. "She wasn't lying, it's broken"

Me- "so what do we do?"

Mechanic from the Crypt says "hmmmmm, welllll, I don't know"

....... you don't know?.......

MFTC "it's gonna need parts, and then it's going to need to go in the body shop to be repainted..."


MFTC continues "yeah,, that color is going to be really hard to match"

...... SILVER?.........

A brief aside from the stooopid woman who knows nothing...

You see, the entire mechanism inside the door is broken and the door handle is connected irrevocably to the interior mechanism. Therefore the door handle is part of the part that needs ordered.

Next MFTC asks me "Did you try to take this door apart?"
"WHAT?!!! , NO, I didn't take the door apart?!"
" 'cuz it looks like it's been tampered with"
"What are you saying?"
"That'd void the warranty"
"Don't you even go there"

About this time the parts department manager strolls over and asks what the deal is. It might have been the look of horror, shock, disgust and general dismay that I had on my face. I don't know. So they say to me..

"what do you want to do?"

"ME?" "What are YOU going to do?"

"Well, we need to order the part"

"Well, then you should do it."

"It'll be 2 weeks"

"Oh no, it will not."

"excuse me?"

"Will you give me a loaner vehicle?"

"no ma'am, we don't do that"

"Then it needs to get here faster"

Now they have the look of shock and horror. I'm sorry, my car is less than 18 months old, this is total crap, if you want me to buy another Nissan then you'd best fall all over yourself to provide me with reasonable service. I don't even need exemplary service,, just reasonable.

"There's no way for it to get here faster, it's THE HOLIDAYS"

This is where I loose it. The Holidays? So what now,, people just don't work in December? My husband it working his butt off. Everyone else I know is working THEIR butts off. What the heck has it got to do with the Holidays? If it were this coming Friday, yes, I understand that. It's not though,, it's MONDAY.

I got off on this ugly UGLY tirade about climbing over the seats in a dress and heels for Christmas and blah blah blah and he is still unbudging. I have to break out the big guns.

Yes,,, ladies and gentlemen..... I cried.

You heard me... I teared up and he PANICKED!

"oh God, don't cry,, hold on, let me see what I can do,, hold on,, let me make some calls"

It was all I could do at this point to not giggle. He stepped over to his desk and was saying things like "yeah, I don't know what else to do,, this lady is having a melt down, she's CRYING" He walked back over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and assured me that they are over-nighting it and we'd get it fixed first thing tomorrow morning.

That's more like it.

Don't get me wrong, I have deep shame for having to pull out the tears, it's not a tactic I use often. I actually don't recall the last time I had to use it! But oh man,, does it work!

Part 3.

I show up early this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed. I'm excited to be getting the door fixed. The boys are all packed up with books to read and games to play in the waiting room. Oh course, I have my knitting I spot the parts dept manager and say to him,

"are we ready to do this thing?"

He replies "oh,,, yeah, didn't they call you?"

An anger washed over me from the pit of my being that is just indescribable.

"NO" came from deep in my throat, filled with ire.

We walked over to the ordering guy who looked EXACTLY like the maitre D' at Chez Quis in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

PDM asked him "hey, didn't you call her?" (with no explanation about WHAT)

and Mr. Maitre D' said "oh yeah, I called you, remember?"

"NO, you did NOT call me"

"yeah, I talked to you"

"NO, you did NOT"

"yeah, I left a message"
"I don't have an answering machine"

"I left a message with someone"
"I've been home since I left here yesterday, I ASSURE you,, you did NOT"

"Yes, I did, it says so right on this paper"


"well, I'm real sorry"

"apology not accepted, you're sorry alright, a sorry lying sack of crap" (I'm being nice for some of my more sensitive readers)

"well, I'm not a liar, I did call you."


"you're part should be here tomorrow."


I stomp off to the waiting room and retrieve the children from the packed room.

"IS IT DONE?" they say.

"No, they incompetent pieces of crap can't seem to order a part or use a phone" I say at a level that no one in the room would have had to guess at what I said.

Stay tuned. Part 4 comes tomorrow. I don't even know how this story will end but I have a feeling that it will include a trip to Charleston to a different Nissan service center.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A cute homeshool video

It's not on a video sharing site so I can't embed it but check this little video out! It's really funny!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Contest time!

First of all, isn't that cash register cool? It's made out of legos! Well, you can enter to win some cold, hard, gift certificate style cash at Justsomestuff. It's $50.00 to spend at . It's easy to enter and the rules are simple! Just answer a few questions!

How many children do you have / homeschool? 2 boys, ages 11 and 8
How long have you been homeschooling? about 18 months
Have they always been homeschooled, or did they ever go to public/private school? My oldest started out in public school for K and 1st grade. He began going to private school in second grade. My youngest started school at the same private school for K and 1st grade. We started home schooling in 2nd and 5th grade.
Do you plan on homeschooling until graduation? I have every intention of home schooling until graduation. Time slips by so fast. I can hardly believe that I have a jr. high aged child!
Do you belong to a co-op? Yes. It's been a great addition to our at home curriculum! The boys didn't care for it much at first but now they count the days until the next time we meet! It really helps to break up the "same 'ol, same 'ol" ya know?
Do you school all year long, or use some other schedule? We've kinda worked ourselves into an adjusted public school schedual. We start in July. We're generally bored with life and hot weather by then so we start school. We take most of December off because mommy is busy like crazy. Then we work like crazy to get everything finished up by the end of April. So we take ALL of May and June off. I feel like we can do this since we don't take days like Martin Luther King day off and Columbus Day off and... and.... You get the idea.
Do you use textbooks only, or do you like to supplement with other materials? We use a few online programs like Brainish and Spelling time that are online. We also use text books like Saxon math and Apologia Science. We really like unit studies though, it's what seems most interesting to us!
Are field trips included in your school plans, or are they just family time? We rarely "plan" anything! LOL,, sad isn't it? We just roll with it and learn what we can!
Do you and your kids do crafty stuff together for school time? Not every day but since mommy likes it the boys are "FORCED" into it too!
Would you consider everyday household life stuff ‘home ec’? Yes! My boys already know more than I ever learned in Home Ec! My 8 year old can sew on a mean button and my 11 year old can make an omelet that is at the very least..... edible! They can scrub a toilet and I'm teaching my boys to do their own laundry.
Do you have any advice for new homeschoolers? It's not school at home,, unless you want it to be! Do what works best for you and don't be afraid to experiment!
Do you have advice for homeschoolers with little ones under foot? Nope. Never done it but I feel like I could. Having little ones is all about being flexible so home school wouldn't be any different!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I should probably write about how busy I've been with all of the Christmas preparations and what not...

I should....

But that would be dishonest.

I've just been flat out lazy. There, I said it. LAZY. I've got to get it together and snap out of it, that's for sure!
We did learn something this week. We studied the science behind snowflakes. The boys put all the info together and presented it at Project Day today. Not a completely lost week I guess.
Learning Links? You bet.
We also had our band concert on Monday. Here's a smidgen of the beginner class. They've only had 12 lessons!

That's not too shabby! Their director has done a great job with them no?
I'll get a video up of the older kids as soon as photobucket stops being finiky!
They'll be ready to play in hotels Las Vegas style before you know it!
Wow, that last link was weird. I apologize for that! Ya gotta do what you gotta do though!

Monday, December 10, 2007

White Trash

I have to bring a snack for the band concert tonight. I thought about making cookies (and I will,, but that's tomorrow!) but I decided to whip up a batch of White Trash. I always forget just how much this recipe makes! Wow.... just.... wow. You could divide the recipe in half but then you'll be stuck with a crapload of weird cereal so I just do the whole thing.

What is White Trash? I'll show ya! I'm not the Pioneer Woman but I'll give it a shot!

The cast of characters- I should have taken a picture. I'll try harder next time!

1 box of Rice Chex

1 box of Corn Chex

1 box of Wheat Chex

1 box of Cheerios

1 jar of dry roasted peanuts

1lb bag of M&Ms

1 bag of pretzle sticks (I used Roll'd Gold Holiday Shapes this time. CUTE!)

3 blocks of almond bark (this is NOT diet food people!)

1 bag of colored candy melts (optional)

Please feel free to use generic ingrediants, I did and it ROCKS.

Ok, step one. Mix up all the dry ingrediants. You are going to need HUGE bowls. Really,, the bathtub might be a good option. I'm kidding of course..... maybe.

Line a large surface with wax paper, if you're not a spaz,, you could even do this on the floor. I'm a spaz.

Melt one block of the bark. Don't melt it all, it'll set up and you'll cry. Just melt what you can use right away. Put some of the dry mix in a workable bowl and add a little "chocolate". Toss to coat. I found that one giant handful (both hands) of mix in the bowl to 2 heaping spoonfuls of the melted goodness was a good working ratio.

After you have it coated well, dump it out on the wax paper and spread it out a bit,, not too much. Leave it kinda clumpy.

Like I said,, this recipe makes A LOT.

After the white chocolate sets up and you can touch it, break it up and mix it around. The next thing I do is melt some red (or green, or orange for Halloween, or pink for Easter) candy melts and drizzle it over the entire mess. Here's a close up.

Break it up and put it in gallon bags. Beware this stuff is REALLY addictive. You'll eat yourself sick. It's REALLY GOOD!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Favorite Ornamnet.

Over at Kitten's Homeschool, she wants to know what your favorite Christmas ornament looks like!

For many years now, I've had 2 favorites. One is my spider ornament. Yup, you heard me right, a SPIDER ornament!

When Joseph and Mary and Jesus were on their way to Egypt, the story runs, as the evening came they were weary, and they sought refuge in a cave. It was very cold, so cold that the ground was white with hoar frost.
A little spider saw the little baby Jesus, and he wished so much that he could do something for him to keep him warm in the cold night. He decided to do the only thing he could do, to spin his web across the entrance of the cave, to make, as it were, a curtain there.Along the path there came a detachment of Herod's soldiers, seeking for children to kill to carry out Herod's bloodthirsty order. When they came to the cave, they were about to burst in to search it, to see if anyone was hiding there, but their captain noticed the spider's web. It was covered with the white hoar frost and stretched right across the entrance to the cave.
'Look,' he said, 'at the spider's web there. It is quite unbroken and there cannot possibly be anyone in the cave, for anyone entering the cave would certainly have torn the web.' So the soldiers passed on, and left the holy family in peace because a little spider had spun his web across the entrance to the cave.
And that, so they say, is why to this day we put tinsel on our Christmas trees, for the glittering tinsel streamers stand for the spider's web, white with the hoar frost, stretched across the cave on the way to Egypt. It is a lovely story, and this much, at least, is true, that no gift which Jesus receives is ever forgotten.

My picture is kinda blurry but it's the best shot I could get for some unknown reason!

My other favorite is my Santa ornament. Now, I'm not a huge Santa fan per se. We don't really "do" Santa in our house. I'm not passionate about it,, it's just not something we've ever been fond of.

But this Santa ornament.... It makes me smile every time I unwrap it from it's tons and tons of bubble wrap, tissue paper and hard sided box. My Nanny Thoms made it for me. I've had it for as long as I can remember. What you can't see in the picture is my name across the front of jacket. She spelled my name wrong but I don't even care. It adds to the charm don't you think?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The House

It's a wreck again. How does it happen? I spent the entire day cleaning on Thursday and what do I have? A disaster zone on Friday. I suppose we're just total "nasty buggers" like Kim says on "How Clean is Your House".

Yes, I've taken up television again. Not a lot and thank goodness for Tivo. It really does help us budget our time in front of the TV,, not to mention how much advertising we take in! So I record

Good Eats

How Clean is Your House &

Clean House

That's about the extent of my TV time. How Clean is Your House is my favorite right now. Kim and Aggie are hilarious! I cannot believe they touch and sniff all the stuff that they do! It totally grosses me out. The absolute SQUALOR these people are living in! Clean House is good too but the people are generally just way over cluttered. There's no dead animals under a moldy 6ft deep pile of laundry or anything. (I'm not kidding)

I'm about to head out Christmas Shopping for the day but I'm going to straiten up a bit before I go so a company like Phase I environmental doesn't have to come in and decontaminate our home like similar companies sometimes have to do on my favorite program!

It's official

Involvement! I has it! I am registered to be a delegate for my district! Whoo hooo!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Love/Hate relationship with the Memes

Love. I see folks getting tagged to do them all the time and think, "why don't they tag me? I wanna play!" So I just enjoy reading everyone elses and move on.
Hate. Seems like big fun until I actually have to come up with answers! ha ha. I also hate putting pressure on anyone else to play along. SO.... I will tag people but don't do it if you don't wanna!

Jennifer, a Charleston area Homeschool mom tagged me with the Seven Random Things About Me Meme.
So here are the rules:

Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  • I like to knit but I have an issue with knitter's ADD. I get bored with projects and don't finish them. I have an entire drawer full of WIPs (works in progress)
  • I'm practically deaf in one ear. It's a genetic thing. The cilia in my ears are dying. Fun stuff!
  • I haven't flown since I was a baby coming home from Germany. Dad was in the Army. I just have never had the occasion to fly. My dad actually has his pilots license and I haven't gone up with him either!
  • I've been married for 15ish years, and I don't have any intention of not being married for the rest of my years! I'm married to my high school sweetheart.
  • I'm a little (ha!) loud, a little boarish and I don't seem to have an "off position" on my mouth. I tried working on it for a long time but the older I get the more I've decided that I like it that way!
  • I love the color pink, no.... bright blue.... well.... light green is really nice... uhmm, I love colors! I love fall because it's colorful, I love spring because of the flowers. I love crayons but not paint. Paint always ends up like mud. Mud is depressing!
  • I'm like a raccoon. I love anything that's shiney and sparkly. Jewelry fake and real, although I don't wear much. Sparkly gifs on the net. Sparkly yarn. Fireworks. Sequins. Metallic fabric. You name it, I love it!

Now, seven random people.








Thursday, December 6, 2007

Best Christmas Pageant Ever (spoiler alert!)

We finished it this evening and we all loved it. This book is much better than I remember it!
Unto ALL of us, a child is born!

I don't remember the ending to be so poignant. I'm not ashamed to say that I had to hand the book off to the kids to finish in the last chapter. BIG FAT crocodile tears. Here's a snippit.

Everyone had been waiting all this time for the Herdmans to do something absolutely unexpected. And sure enough, that is what happened.
Imogene Herdman was crying. ....
.....Christmas just came over her all at once, just like a case of the chills or a fever.....
....But as far as I'm concerned, Mary will always look a lot like Imogene Herdman- sort of nervous and bewildered, but ready to clobber anyone who laid a hand on her baby.

I didn't realize it until this evening but the author is from Portsmouth OH. That's right over the river from us! How cool is that? She says growing up in Portsmouth influenced all of her writing. While I was reading I wondered to myself what part of the country she had in mind while she was writing. Little did I know it was my own backyard!

Here are some learning links to use for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, should you decide to read it too! (Please do,, you won't be sorry!)
History of the Christmas Pageant PDF
Grammar, Essay cues, and Tests
Barbara Robinsons Home Page
Report Form for TBCPE
Holiday Christmas Traditions in America

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow day.

Isn't it pretty? We woke up to snow this morning. I had already promised the boys that we would venture out to the farm so they could play with M and G.

I got to use the 4 Wheel Drive. Oh yes I did! There is a tricky spot getting up their hill and I zipped right up! Thank you very much 4 on the fly!

Snow is one of the things I love about WV. I love it that we get four distinct seasons. I don't think I'd care for a place that's warm all the time or cold all the time. It's a good thing hubby was never full time in the Marines, I don't think I'd handle military relocation very well! I kinda like the idea of picking up and venturing to a new place and a new town with new people though! That's ok, I'll just live vicariously through Becca over at Forward Motion!

Let's see,, what else did you miss? Part 2

On Monday the boys and I attended a candy making class which turned into a "child finger licking spectacular" but that's fine!
It's all good because I learned how to make Chocolate Covered Cherries! WOOT! I didn't actually make any but I picked up a few tips and a little confindence so now I think I can. Totally worth the price of admission if you ask me!
The kids made some very VERY colorful candy! They had fun doing it too. I hope Glenna and her house is recovered!

The guys had so much fun that they wanted to make more when we came home. We made a trip out to ACMoore to get some more (I had a few thanks to Mary ) molds and some decorator bottles. I'd never used those before but WOW,,, do they make a difference! So much neater and clean up was a cinch! Well worth a buck a piece! So Tuesday the kids made a ton,,, I mean A TON of chocolate suckers. They fancy themselves quite the candy makers now!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some things you might have missed. Part 1

Just a few things that happened this week. First up, Co-op. It was last Tuesday. The topic was all things Kentucky. We've done WV and OH so we're rounding this semester out with the whole tri-state area. My friend T taught the kids about Daniel Boone and focused on his trapping skills.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The phrases "Out in the Boonies" and "To make a Buck" can both be attributed to Daniel Boone. He was a congressman, had 10 children, was frontiersman, and was tried for treason. He's an interesting dude.

Stephanie taught state symbols in the other part of our room. T1 had fun with that. Pulled Goldenrod out of the bucket like 45 times!
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Literature

We finished "A Christmas Carol" tonight. It was fun to read as usual. This will make the third year we've read it. Nothing holds a little boys attention like grouchy old Scrooges and scary ghosts! I'm glad that we started it early this year. The last few years we started the week before Christmas and didn't finish till New Years.

I hope to catch the 1984 version with George C. Scott on T.V. soon. Maybe I'll find the 1955 version with Fredric March in the "cheap DVDs" bin at Walmart.

Here are a few learning links to use if you too decide to read Dickens " A Christmas Carol "

Comprehension Questions

Free Unit Study

Christmas Homeschool Helps

Now we just have to decide on another book. I've put away Island of the Blue Dolphins for a while. We knew right away that we'd be bored to death. Maybe later huh?

Here are a few I'm considering. The last isn't a Christmas book but I think it's a strong contender! Any suggestions or opinions?

Battle of wills, part 924892

"But you don't TEACH me anything!"

"But you don't LEARN anything!"

That pretty sums up most of our days with T2.

I'm tryin' to teach the 3 Rs here! Nope. Not Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmatic (well,, that stuff too) but......


A) Retention. I'm going out of my way, standing on my head and barkin' like a dog to get him to be able to recall what I'm teaching him. No dice,, I mean,,, NOTHING. What good is it for me to teach him anything if he recalls NOTHING? One day he knows all his multiplication tables the next day he's like "what's that little 'x' thing?" Seriously, It's enough to make me wanna pull my hair out.

B) Responsibility. We teach responsibility to a fault around here. The fault lies with not being able to grasp why other people don't take responsibility for their actions. I could write an entire gripe-fest post on this but I will proceed with how this relates to our school work.

When I took on this task (home schooling) I took on a huge responsibility. I take it seriously. Although for now the majority of the responsibility lies with me, I've come to the conclusion that a great deal of responsibility lies with the children. I cannot be expected to work miracles with them if they are thwarting me by not being willing to learn. Now T1 will pay attention and love every minute of it, T2 on the other hand....... well,, you've heard me speak of that.

C)Respect. Well, how do I write about this one? This is a difficult subject indeed. It's one I've struggled with. I don't need the children to put me on a pedestal, I don't need them to think I'm wonderful, I don't even need them to see me as perfect in their eyes. I'm very failable. I make lots of mistakes and I don't have all the answers. I do need a certain amount of respect though. This is where T2 and I fight. When I'm trying to explain something to him, he interrupts and puts words in my mouth.

"The denominator is the part of the fraction that...."


He doesn't even try to listen to what I'm saying. His goal is to disrupt and avoid school at all costs. He disrespects my classroom (that, that it is, the kitchen as it were). We had this trouble with him in organized school too. His rules are his own and he won't do anything unless it's his idea.

Here's where the battle of wills come in. I'm not going to play games with this kid and try and make everything seem like it's his idea. We tried that and it's all full of fail. He's way smarter than that. Truth be known, he's smarter than anyone in this house. That's an easy leap for sure but wow.... is he frustrating. How 'bout this, you do your school work because it's expected of you, because you're EIGHT and I'm your mother. How 'bout that?

Thank goodness it's Saturday,, that's all I'm sayin.