June 30, 2006

Who says I'm not a Fun Mom? Oh, that's right. I did.

I Need a Powder

I'm freaking out about school. Not so much for FM#2, but the big one. The decision as to what to teach and how is getting more and more serious every year. We're jr. high now and only a couple of years away from "credits". Don't even mention dual-credit because, oops, see, I threw up a little bit in my mouth.

I've always struggled with Tapesty of Grace - using it to its full potential - which I haven't. I'm not a Fun Mom who does those oh-so-memorable projects which invariably involve sewing some sort of blasted costume - I don't sew. Or cooking some sort of gosh awful food. Have you read a medieval cookbook?

Ultimately, I want to give him writing assignments that correlate with IEW, but use his history reading because, let's face it, Tapestry's reading assignments don't leave much time to read anything else. But I can't. Maybe I'm genetically predisposed to not being able to think that way. I'm an engineer by training and we work with formulas, within parameters. I don't know. Maybe I should be able to do this. Add to that the fact that next year we really need to do Latin. And I hear people talking about Logic. And he needs to learn to type correctly and ouch, my head hurts.

Why is it that some moms seem to know exactly what to teach their children, the absolute best materials to use, and how to teach so their children will absolutely love it? It's like they've taken some super-secret course or something. On top of that, their children seem to love reading Beowulf and the Iliad in their spare time.

And I'm particularly talking about boys because I have a few over here. My big one acts like he deplores reading. I am tired of the TV this summer (already) and if they can't watch TV they want to be on the computer (I'm tired of that, too) so I made "A Rule!" that they had to read two hours everyday and we'd have very little TV and computer. That went over like a lead balloon.
"Aw, Mom!"

The middle one would read to me and I picked out two books for the big one to choose from, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Twenty-One Balloons.

"Mom! Those are boring. I tried to read that one and it was terrible! How about a Hank the Cowdog?"

Okay, says I. I figured I'd ease him into this slowly. First Hank, then the hard stuff, but "it has to be finished by Friday."


So he mapped out how many chapters he needed to read each day (4) and determined it was doable. Like I said, he acts like he deplores reading. The whining. In actuality, he likes it. Once he's into a book he can't put it down. He read six chapters his first day and that was because I finally said, "Lights out."

So maybe I'd be more effective and sure of myself if it weren't for the whining. Do they ever stop that? It makes me think I'm doing something terribly wrong and surely I must be because all these other moms have children who love to learn and seem to do it with great zeal.

Seriously, my head hurts.

June 29, 2006

Pat the Fat Rat

That's what we read today, FM#2 and me.

Just to summarize, Pat is a rat. He is fat. Pat has a hat. Now mind you, Nat is a cat. He is fat. Nat sat on his mat. Pat is on the mat. Nat sat on Pat. Pat has a flat hat. Is Pat flat? Pat is flat.

I need a nap.....or a drink. Yeah, a drink.

June 23, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Every couple of years, Dad comes back to Texas and as is tradition, we all converge on this bustling East Texas town. This year Sistah #2 took the week off. It was especially nice to have her around all week; she hasn't been able to hang out with us like that for years. Unfortunately, Sistah #1 had to work. The cousins had a great time together. After this week, my sisters and I have decided to plan a yearly sister-only weekend. Woo hoo!

We celebrated two significant birthdays during the week. My niece and my grandmother, who turned 90, and you'd never guess she was a day over 80. She's like the Energizer Bunny.

The festivities took place at Sistah #1's hacienda. The day started off cloudy and rainy, but by noon it had cleared up and the backyard was Water Sport Central complete with a blow-up water slide. Due to the rainy start, I didn't put sunscreen on the FM's - didn't think they needed it. For Swim Team Boy it wasn't a problem, but for my red-headed one it was too little, too late. He was downright crispy by the evening. He walked around like a little old man for four days and tried to maintain a "safety circle" around himself so nobody would touch him. I don't think he got a good night's sleep until Wednesday. Now he's Snake Boy, shedding all over the house, and his mantra is, "scratch my back, please."

Since Mamaw's pool is out of service, we broke our Sabbath Day rules and went to Chuck E. Cheese's so all the grandkids could play. They stuffed tokens into the machines and danced with the Chuckster for at least three hours.

My lowest score in skeeball was 230,000 as you can see from the picture. I didn't think to take a picture of my highest which was 250,000. Jess, jess it was!

The second birthday celebration was for my niece who turned 13. That's thirTEEN! She is growing into a beautiful young lady. We all went to Putt-Putt and then back to Mom's for dinner and cake.....yum! Playing Putt-Putt reminded me of a couple of dates I had there a bijillion years ago. Mom made two cakes: a yummy ice cream cake (on the right) and her signature coconut cake.

This gathering was particularly nice because Mom and Dad were both there. They're divorced and it is seldom they are together and enjoying their grandchildren. So this birthday party was a rarity for that.

Another high point of the week included the Aviation Museum. On display was a pamphlet that the US military distributed to several Japanese cities during World War II to warn them of the impending bombs that would be dropped. What I found particularly interesting was it stated that the US was humane; that we did not want to kill people; our targets were Japanese weapons facilities. It also said that the Japanese people were not our enemy, our enemy was the Japanese military. It told them to warn their friends and neighbors and leave town.

We also visited the East Texas Oil Museum. Although this was my first trip to the oil museum, a particular member of my family (and by that I mean Mom) thinks that not only have I been to the museum before, but that my husband has, too (he hasn't)! On top of that, she claims we've been there a couple of times!

It was really interesting to hear how the area was affected by the influx of people and money. One story told of how someone came into the general store asking for roach killer. The storekeeper didn't know what roaches were. They didn't have roaches in Kilgore before the oil boom. Imagine that! It was also neat to see things I haven't seen since I worked for an independent oil producer during college or for Texaco when I graduated. A lot of things like pumps, pipe, and valves never change.

We also visited a children's park in town. The kids enjoyed running around, climbing on rocks. CB was in the car enjoying the air-conditioning with a sleeping FM#3.

On our last day there, Mom took all the grandkids to see Cars, complete with soda, popcorn, and candy. The movie was cute. Since my boys were so well-behaved during the week, I bought the soundtrack for the trip home.

June 12, 2006

Colossians and Star Destroyers

This is a story only a grandparent can enjoy.

Yesterday in church, Union Jack was preaching. Pastor Bob "I ran over a chicken on my way to Poughkeepsie" was on vacation. FM#1 leans over FM#3 and whispers, "Every time he says 'fah-thah' it makes me think of Star Wars. Jesus, I am your fah-thah." At which time FM#3 starts to hum the theme to Star Wars out loud.

June 7, 2006

Gross Kid Tricks

Today was a good day. Swim practice, school, working on the disorganization, and I'm even pretty sure what I'll be making for dinner which is saying a lot!

FM#1 has been working on getting his tooth out for about a week. Thought I'd post a gross-out picture for you.

It was hanging on by the tissue. He could literally blow it in and out. Finally, it came out! Only one more left before he has a mouthful of adult teeth.