Friday, November 21, 2008

Silly Martha

I'm not really a Martha Stewart kind of person. I think her creations are lovely, and I've even attempted a few of them on my own. But really, I'm not one of her followers.

However, I am so glad I went searching for one of Martha's Christmas creations today.

Dear me, what is this? Martha and Snoop Dogg making mashed potatoes. I don't think I have ever laughed at a Martha show more.

Awesome beyond measure!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Talking Points

I own a small (very small!) homeschooling list.

aside: I hate thinking of it in ownership terms. Is there something else I could use?

Anyway. I have a list of daily talking points for the list. Nothing brilliant, just items to make you think about your day -- what you've done, where you're going with it, how it could be better.

I only realized it recently, but it truly stems from the same sort of talking points that I use with my children during the bednight rituals. When I am tucking them in for the night, I ask them some sort of question to get a conversation moving. Sometimes it's as simple as "what's your favorite color and why?" and sometimes it's a little more thought provoking, like "how did you feel when you saw that child crying in Target when his mom yelled at him?" It's probably my favorite part of tucking them in. I always end with "what was the best thing about today?" because I want them to go to sleep thinking about the good things that happened, not whatever rotten stuff they had to wade through.

On the list it's called the "Yay of the Day," and it is sent through around 9 pm EST because, just like with the urchins, I want my friends to recognize and acknowledge the good part of the day. Sometimes people put things like "my son doesn't have to have braces! YAY!" Sometimes it's actually school related like "my daughter has worked past her math block! YES!!" Of course, no one is required to play along, but most do. It's a nice feeling to see other people trying to see the bright side of things, and other people trying to encourage them in it.

I always tell people that I am a cynic -- and oh, yes, I am quite cynical -- but I wonder if I am secretly an optimist.

Don't tell anyone.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oh, no. Not for us, although my children have become quite the fans of these puppies.

My parents got two puppies recently. Their dog Molly was hit by a car and died, and my sister and I both encouraged them to get a new canine friend. They surprised us both by getting two puppies! The children visited for a couple of days last week, and Sass (of course) is in love with them.

They have been after me to get a puppy. Or two. I said no way.


I showed them. I bought a fish for them instead.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


So I'm giving this couponing thing a try, inspired by D.O. Wife. I've tried it before with minimal success, but I think I've finally wrapped my brain around why.

I need to start thinking of meal planning according to what I have or can get rather than my usual method of whatever I'm in the mood for making. Sort of like an extended pantry challenge. This was a real breakthrough for me because I never understood how couponing could actually save me any money.

In my usual shopping this weekend, I tried it three times, with varying success. The pantry is full, but it's full of things that I haven't quite decided how to use. It's not necessarily a problem because of my pantry challenge experience, but it will be different for certain. One thing is sure. This weekend's shopping definitely made me realize that couponing is going to take quite a lot of time.

One successful trip didn't take too long, but just a bit longer than usual. In that one I saved 50% off my total purchase, and those were actually all things that we buy anyway.

The other successful trip took a lot of time. Like three hours. Three hours is a ridiculously long time to spend grocery shopping for me. Normally I'm in and out in about an hour. I saved 34% on that trip. That is skewed though, since I bought the Kung Fu Panda DVD, which isn't a grocery or health/beauty item. If I take out that, my savings was about 50% again.

At the third store I saved 34%, factoring out the Christmas gifts and bath towels I bought.

I should note that I would have made these shopping trips anyway. None of them were special trips to use the coupons. If they had been, I probably would have to factor in gas and such.

At the moment, my one concern is time -- time to find the coupons, time to match them to sale prices -- because extra time is in short supply.

So ... anyone else use coupons? Got any advice or thoughts? I'm game to try.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Just an FYI: I have nothing profound to say.

We've had a good week. It's been a strange one, but good. The last few weeks have been good, actually. Busy, but not hectic, and just overall pleasant. Even the weather has felt cheerful, nice and warm but not hot. We've spent most of our days outside this fall.

We had intended to go to the zoo today. I called a friend to join us, and she said, "Can't do the zoo, but I was just about to call to see if you wanted to meet at the park." I let the urchins decide, and they chose the park. We stayed and played for about two hours, until the sun was just beginning to set and the breeze was beginning to turn cool.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow, but we have plans that will keep us inside most of the day. We are meeting The Michael for lunch at an old cafe, then touring a local museum. I am rather excited about it. We've been intending to get to that museum and just kept putting it off. When one of the other homeschool moms organized a trip, it was the perfect opportunity for me to stop procrastinating. And plus, I don't get to see The Michael as often as I would like. I hope I remember my camera.

I am only worried because I have so much to do in the morning before we leave. The cafe and museum are about 40 minutes away, and I am not a morning person. I can be if I must, but I am never happy about it. I have a long list of things to do before 10 am.

Perhaps tomorrow I will have interesting photos of our little trip.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

For the voters

Several companies are giving away freebies to those who get out and vote today! Wear your "I Voted" sticker and get your treats!

Free Starbucks coffee, tall.

Free Krispy Kreme star shaped doughnut with sprinkles.

Free Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone (5-8 pm)

And yes, you could probably score the freebies if you don't actually vote. But let's keep it honest, 'kay?


Monday, November 03, 2008

Good day

SASS: Mama, today was a good day.

ME: I'm glad you had a good day. What specifically was good about it?

SASS: (ticking off each item on her fingers)

(tick) I got to wear my hair in braids.

(tick) We had a tea party.

(tick) I got to play with Dad.

(tick) Dad let me draw on his computer. (He is teaching her to use Paint.)

(tick) You let me get Mulan. (A 99 cent toy from the thrift store.)

:: gasp ::

That is a whole handful of goods! I wonder if that makes "great"?


In preparation

After you go vote tomorrow (you will go vote, right?), here are some excellent sheets (PDF) that you and your students can use to track the votes as they are reported, including one on how many Electoral College delegates each state has.

What a great learning opportunity!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

My, how things have changed

We don't really watch television. Other than the news shows, of course, which apparently feature boring guys.

We've had issues with television in the past, but no more. We watch movies, and the urchins watch some shows that Skeeter records on PBS, but we don't turn on the set to watch "live" television.

I don't really think about it much any more because it's just one of those things we do.

This weekend, we had a rare exception. Sass and I went to a Halloween carnival at the library for a couple of hours. Spyder choose to stay home because he was playing a Nancy Drew game. When Sass and I returned, Skeeter and Spyder were watching some sort of non-scary Halloween movie on television. Sass sat down and watched it with them. Apparently it hadn't been on too long because she didn't have any trouble following the plot or knowing the characters.

This morning, Sass asked if she could watch the beginning of the movie because she had missed it. I explained to her that she couldn't watch it again because it was just on television when she saw it. We hadn't rented it or recorded it. She just happened to have the television on and saw it when it was broadcast.

She was incredulous. It took a few minutes to convince her that truly we didn't have any way for her to watch the beginning of the movie. I knew that I had finally gotten through to her when she replied, "You mean that other people were watching that movie too? In their houses? At the same time that we were?"

And to think, I used to write on the calendar when the Charlie Brown specials would be shown so that I would be certain not to miss them.