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Showing posts from February, 2019

Insanity and many children

Someone told a friend of mine that it was a good thing she was so mellow because otherwise she would go insane with so many kids. So many in her case being seven. We like to share our various 'so many kids' stories with each other; you have to have someone to laugh with.

I, of course, had a couple of thoughts about this comment.

First off, I think this is a chicken and egg question. I can't speak for my friend, but I will tell you when I first started my parenting career, mellow is not a word that could be used to describe me. Control freak would be a lot more accurate. I needed to do this parenting correctly, and gosh darn it, that is what was going to happen. There was a lot of parental energy and focus directed at my first few children. I was going to win this parenting game.

You know, that only works for so many children. Each child is unique and each brings their own challenges. While E. Nesbit wrote that siblings wore each others' rough edges off, I also believe …

Just to be clear

In case you aren't sure where I stand on a few things, I thought I would clarify. I am so angry at nearly every government representative right now I can barely think straight. It's really very simple.

All life matters.

If that life happens to be an immigrant child who crossed the border with a caregiver looking for a better life, that life matters. That life shouldn't be separated from loved ones, put into internment camps, abused, discarded, lost, or adopted into another home because no one can bother to reunite families.

If that life happens to have had a rough start causing untold trauma which results in extremely difficult behaviors, that life matters. Parents (adoptive and biological) should not be left hanging without help and support and understanding about what living with a child impacted by trauma looks like.

If that life happens to be a different color from someone, that life matters. The amount of melatonin in the skin should make no difference what so ever, y…

Dinner in Russia

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This past weekend we had our dinner for Russia. We made borscht, had some store bought rye bread, and made spice cookies for dessert.

Since the borscht was going to be of questionable popularity (some of us really like beets, others of us are not so sure about them), I decided to go with a more modified recipe. Our borscht recipe came from this book:


I bought this book way back when we did our unit study on the Arctic and the Antarctic. What was interesting to me as I read it was the socializing between the different nations that had stations at the south pole. The authors got their borscht recipe from the Russian station. I thought that qualified as being authentic enough. As well as beets, it had potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, thought the beets turned it all a lovely shade of red. The masses liked it better than I hoped they would.

The cookies (which I have to admit had more devoted fans than the borscht did) were pryaniki or Russian spice cookies. They were pretty easy and everyon…

So sad

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I have some bad news to share with all of you. On Saturday night, Q., our little bobwhite quail, died. We were all very sad, as she was a lovely and funny little bird. We will miss her chirping when she discovered she was alone in the kitchen (she didn't like to be alone) and her joining the dogs at barking at whatever they decided to bark at. We only had her for almost two years, but she was most definitely a part of the family.

















We'll miss you, Q.!

Let's pretend it's still Friday, shall we?

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Another week of just feeling as though I cannot get ahead. I need to work on figuring out why that is, because it is not how I usually function.

K. got his braces removed on Friday and now has a retainer. Once again, we get to listen to garbled speech as he figures out how to talk with the thing in his mouth. He is quite glad to be rid of the braces for a while. Of course, this means that I have driven into Chicago for two orthodontist appointments this month. This could be playing into me feeling as though I can't catch up.It is snowing in Arizona. Now, this is not unusual at all for the northern part of the state, though they are getting a lot. But my mom keeps sending me pictures of snow in Scottsdale and in the Superstition Mountains... places that don't really ever get snow. I'm glad I visited last weekend and not this weekend.For our craft for Russia, we tried making our own version of Faberge eggs. 



Here are the finished results:


This is TM's
and this is H.'s…

Angles and ducks

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It's an odd title, I realize. At first glance it looks as though I might be writing about ancient British tribes... you know, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. But since as far as I know there was not a tribe called the Ducks, so no ancient British history today.

No, the title is merely because that is what I have pictures of to share with you. First the angles (lower case 'a'). It's been an odd two months due to weather and what not, and the schedule for school was not followed quite exactly. Yesterday morning I spent some time figuring out exactly how I would make what was planned fit into the rest of the school year. I'm happy to report I managed it and we will still be done by mid-May. This week we have spent a lot of time learning about angles, the mathematical type.

First we read this book


This is one of those rare series where it teaches something but is still an entertaining story. So many of this type of book suffer from overt didacticism and my child…

Icy land

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We have had so much snow and ice. More snow is due tonight. I'm kind of done, but I will admit that it can be very beautiful. Photo credits go to TM. (I'm sure at no point did you think that I took these!)








I'm here!

Sorry to have disappeared on you like that. Last week was pretty busy, plus I was getting ready to head to Arizona for the weekend. I left on Thursday and came back very early this morning. In between I spent time with my mom and did some piano competition judging. I might have sat out in the sun and read a bit as well. It was a good weekend.

I'm back and starting to work on getting things back under control. Am I the only one who hates coming home to piles of mail and bills on the counter and masses of emails in the inbox? I really don't like it and find it very unsettling.

I managed to fly in in between snow storms. I hope that spring decides to make an appearance sooner rather than later. It was kind of tough to leave the warmer temperatures.

Never too late...

to learn something new.

This isn't a new theme on my blog, but it does seem to bear repeating. It is always good to learn something new, no matter what your age is. In fact, if you are older, it is probably even more important to learn something new. And if you are a teacher, well, if you are not learning something new regularly, it will become far to easy to forget what it feels like to struggle with a steep learning curve. It will keep you humble and have more empathy for your students.

My new things are riding, quilting, and learning Dutch.

Okay, the riding isn't brand new, but it sure feels like it when you are using muscles you haven't  used for quite some time. It gets a bit better each week. I was a little afraid that I would be past the age of being able to really regain my riding skills, but I'm happy to report that at 52 years of age, I was jumping nearly two foot jumps today.

The quilting is a much easier learning curve. I have pretty good sewing skills, so …

Duckling brooder

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I believe I may have mentioned more than once about just how messy baby ducks are. They are soooo cute, but they are equally as messy. This is especially true when it comes to their water. Watching our now adult ducks I understand so much better what little ducklings are trying to do. Last year, our first year to brood ducklings it felt as though we were only just one step ahead of what they needed and were constantly having to reinvent how we were managing them. This year we all feel much better prepared for how to set up the duckling brooder.

First, they grow fast. Our little balls of fuzz are only three days old now, but already we see a noticeable difference in their size. They may not take up a lot of space right now, but very soon they will have more than tripled in size. So, we started with something big enough right away. The stock tank has worked extremely well so far.

Containing the water was also something we never quite figured out. They needed to be able to get to their w…