29 September 2006


333 Three Books I Have Loved (in the month of September) 333
1) The Book Thief -Markus Zusak
Holy schmoly, what a book! The fact that it is narrated by Death- yeah, you heard me, DEATH- has got to be intriguing enough. Beyond that, it is simply an awesome read. If you liked Peace Like a River and The Kite Runner... holy schmoly!

2) Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
"A comma, a comma, my kingdom for a comma!"
Reading this book has been like a long road trip with a good friend- the two of you just talk (at l e n g t h) about whatever comes up. Semi-colons, apostrophes, exclamation points and ellipses. And have a barrel of laughs along the way.

Now now, in my defense, sometimes a girl just has to slap the "send" button- sans proofreading to make sure she closes her parentheses- so she can put out another, more pressing fire. (Doesn't that just kill you?
So don't expect my writing to automatically be editor-proof just because I read a book about punctuation. Keep your red pen in your pocket. When my naked child runs out the front door, it's just plain time to go.

3) The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict -Ken Sande
Complete this sentence:
"They will know we are Christians by our..."

- Jesus t-shirts and bumper stickers.
- picketing of abortion clinics and political rallies.
- rocking praise and worship bands.
- Bible verse memorization skills.
- gold cross around our necks.
- well-behaved and intelligent homeschool brood.
- love.

They will know we are Christians by our l-o-v-e. Who is it that I'm not loving? With whom am I not actively making peace? Mr. Sande's words echo the apostle Paul's, "If I speak with the voice of men and angels (and hip postmodern evangelese), but have not love, I am a clanging gong."

This month our homeschool lesson plans have nearly bottomed out because we have had so many *ahem* occassions for peacemaking within our own house. I've really wrestled with the question, "Will they know we are Christians because we can rattle off the anatomy of a dog and the breeding standards for Siamese cats? Or will it be because we can love our sisters and handle our conflicts in a Biblical and honoring manner?" My homeschool planner says to teach the kids the anatomy of a dog this week. The circumstances in this household scream that dogs and their canine parts can wait.
Curse you, fallen flesh! You're screwing with my nice little homeschool plan! (Ok, I'm normal.)

333 Three Things You Just Gotta Try 333

1) iPod
It is this music lover's duh-reeeeeem! Steve gave me one for my b-day last year and I just rolled my eyes. He's always getting me some techno-gadget that he is totally convinced is going to simplify my life. (Honey, if I have to sit and read the manual for 2 weeks to know how to make the special chicken-scratch marks so the Palm Pilot can READ my grocery list... it ain't happenin'.)
My iPod is a completely different story. I love that little thing. Almost to death. It used to be that the Bible, a journal and a pen were the "must haves" for some time alone with God. My iPod (with the Bible, my favorite worship tunes, and sermons downloaded onto it) is the first thing I grab these days.

2) Bloglines
Bloglines allows me to surf all my favorite blogs in one, yes ONE, window.

"What?!" "How's that?!" you ask.

Well, let me tell you.

All you've got to do is register and copy and paste the URLs of your favorite blogs and voila! Bloglines will tell you when your blogging friends have posted new entires. No more clicking back and forth from your favorites menus. No more following threads from one comment to the next to see if there's anything new under the sun. Now, all the new stuff just shows up in bold letters. Ain't that convenient?! (I realize I am behind the times. But I'm hoping that just maybe one person out there is more behind the times than me and didn't know about this before reading it here.)

3) Netflix
Lan sakes! Git mah moovies raht in mah maylebocks!? We leeves kindah out in tha kuntry, so's it saves mey frum draggin' the kids all over cree-ayshun lookin' fer tha videah stur.

(Currently watching, Lost: Season 2. See? I told you I'm behind the times.)

333 Three Funny Pictures I Saved. 'Cause They're Funny. 333
Today I sharpened 48 colored pencils.

I liked Violet Blue the best.

25 September 2006

Verbal Processing

Suffice it to say that I have endured an onslaught of words this week and it's left me feeling like a pile of jelly.

22 September 2006

Blog Redesign Drawing

Hey guys, I JUST found out about this, but if you'll go over to Bluebird Blogs and enter your name into the drawing, you've got a chance to win a free blog redesign.

I'm thinking something in a glowing papery lantern look... goodness knows I've got plenty of them lying around! ;)

13 September 2006

Cyber Apples to Apples

Enough school work! I'm ready for a break. The kids are cooling their brains with a movie and I'm taking some alone time.

I enjoy playing group games that get the crowd bantering and laughing. One game I've come to really enjoy in the last year is, Apples to Apples. It's such a fun way to think outside the box AND mess around with words at the same time. So, here's my cyber version of Apples to Apples.

The rules are simple:

1) You choose one green apple from this list. (Don't sit read them all, just pick already!)

2) I will select 8 random red apples from this list. (Using my handy-dandy word verification code as a guide- ykhbjcju.)

3) You decide which of my red apples best fits with your green apple.

As the judge, you don't have to explain why you think Meryl Streep - 1959-, accomplished American actor, two-time Oscar winner, with over a dozen Academy Award nominations is the embodiment of Rough - (scratchy, uneven, jagged). But I sure would like to hear what makes you think so, you crazy person.

Ok, wanna play? Get yourself one green apple.

Here are my red apples.
Choose your favorite match:
  • Yellowstone Park - Home to 3000 geysers and hot springs. More gas and hot air than Washington, D.C.
  • Killer Whales - Black and white predatory whales. Boy, can they sing!
  • HMOs - Heath Maintenance Organizations. Here's to your health ...
  • Bagpipes - A shrill-toned musical instrument consisting of a leather bag and pipes. Also available in plaid.
  • Jamaica - Third largest island of the Greater Antilles, south of Cuba. Tropical climate, reggae music, and jerk cooking.
  • Chickens - From incubator to rotisserie in 56 days! Run, chicken, run!
  • John Travolta - 1954 - , American actor of "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Grease," "Saturday Night Fever" and "Pulp Fiction." That man can dance!
  • United Nations - The U.N. was founded in 1945, after World War II ended. Its mission is to maintain world peace. If we ever achieve it, that is ...

I can already hear your cyberbanter and laughter around the cybercircle.

*If you have never played this game with a group of living, breathing humans, I highly recommend it. Get thee to a game store!

07 September 2006

Green Grass, Quiet River School

Let me tell you about our school name. In 2003, during our first year of homeschooling, I thought it'd be fun to give ourselves an official name, so I asked the girls (then 6 and 4) for their ideas. I already had some rather brilliant ideas of my own *ahem*, but thought it might be prudent to let them develop a little ownership and pride in our homeschool.
Like siblings so often do, they disagreed. Ellie offered, "Green Grass School, because we like to sit in the green grass out back and read books." Rebekah said, "Let's call it Quiet River School, because it reminds me of a peaceful river flowing through a valley." And then they proceeded to bicker about who's idea was better, completely forgetting that I was even in the room.
So I called a compromise, we used BOTH ideas, and Green Grass, Quiet River School came to be. At first I fretted that what seemed like a great name for a kindergarten and preschool would not be quite so cool once my children got into high school. They'd be embarassed to say they attended Green Grass, Quiet River School. (Who says we can't change the name anytime we want?)
But as I contemplate on the imagery of the name, it fits so well with my vision for our homeschool. Think Psalm 23. I want our home and school life to be a picture of the Gentle Shepherd leading us to verdant green grass beside quiet rivers. I desire for our family to feast together at the table of grace in the very presence of our enemies. Through every subject and theme we study, we ought to be more and more in awe of God. Fascinated by His creative genius, awestruck by His organization, dumbfounded by His mighty hand of mercy, and honored to follow behind Him. And I am praying that our little family can be an offering to the world of a table in the wilderness. Which is the song you're (hopefully) hearing right now, by Russ Taff.
Sigh. How often it is that I do NOT view my life circumstances as being of the green-grass-and-quiet-river variety. I choose to see the parched and barren desert of needy children, unsaved neighbors, overwhelming time demands, marital maintenance, and a general running-on-empty sensation. When all of life raises a clamor for my attention and I'm dreaming of a Calgon moment, that's precisely when I need to remember what our school is called, what we are called, who has called us, and the name of the One who leads us... He is called Good. Wherever my Good Shepherd has me is a green pasture. Lame, blind, dirty, poor, blistered, weary, the Valley of the Shadow of Death... wherever.
I will ruminate on that for a long, long, long time.
So, our school year has begun. I am so glad to finally be out of the starting gate. I spend enough time with my nose in a planner during the 2-3 weeks leading up to school, that I just want to GET ON WITH THE SHOW!! And so, we did. :)
Bright and early on August 29th,Ellie decided we needed monikers for our first day of school so we were dubbed:

Watermelon Wild

(who wants to you to think she is thinking very hard)


(Watermelon's little sister, get it?)

Cherry Sundae

(With 3 scoops, one for each grade level)

Ellie gave me the name, Ms. Blueberry, but I didn't get a picture of myself in my Strawberry Shortcake-themed attire. Rats!

It was our Daddy's birthday that day, and since I didn't have enough candles for his whopping 36 years, we opted to use the place value system. My kids and their crazy ideas make schooling a little bit more fun.

01 September 2006

Song Dedication

This entry is dedicated to my tamale eatin' friend, Erica. (<<< Notice the hyperlink, she loves those.) She called me all the way from Texas A&M- Commerce to help me get an mp3 player on my blog.

She loves kids; she loves MY kids.

This song is for you, Erica. Don't ever forget the imaginary rhinos. And thank you for your tech support.