Friday, April 30, 2010

Look What I Just Found

It's a naked Gator napping.


Apparently, at some point she took that diaper right off and went back to sleep. Little goober.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stealth Masseuse

For Christmas this year, I gave Dave the gift of a one hour back massage every Sunday night for the rest of the year. It could have gone horribly wrong, of course. I could have forgotten to do it. I could have started the year off right and then just let busyness get in the way. But instead, we've protected this time and every Sunday night at 9:30 pm we close up the house, hop on the bed, turn the tv on, and I start the back massage.

I'm pretty proud of this gift for a few reasons: Dave carries almost all of his stress in his back and this is a good way for him to start the week a little better than he left it; like most men his love language is physical touch and all the massaging helps show him I like him, and the last reason - well, the last reason is completely, totally selfish and possibly the working of a criminal master mind.

(For the rest of the story, you know you want to know what my reason is, go to The 728b Foundation Blog)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Kick In The Pants - Courtesy of Isaiah 32

The Women of Jerusalem
9 You women who are so complacent,
rise up and listen to me;
you daughters who feel secure,
hear what I have to say!

10 In little more than a year
you who feel secure will tremble;
the grape harvest will fail,
and the harvest of fruit will not come.

11 Tremble, you complacent women;
shudder, you daughters who feel secure!
Strip off your clothes,
put sackcloth around your waists.

12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines

13 and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.

14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,

15 till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.

16 Justice will dwell in the desert
and righteousness live in the fertile field.

17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,

20 how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Keep Calm And Carry On

Oh friends, it's been a day. It's been a day already and it's barely past noon.

So far, my day has included waking up to find the children holding a mostly empty tray where 20+ No Bake Cookies had been before. Oh the gastrointestinal woes that awaited them (and me, by proxy). Little David spends the morning emptying the dress up box and every other box. Then while I talked with an AT&T repair man in our back yard (that I wasn't expecting) wearing my pajama pants and muddy cowboy boots, they woke up the (teething, fever running, no sleeping) Gator and hid her in Tot's room. As I escorted said AT&T repair man out of our (broken) gate past our (barking, muddy) dog, I see the children running around our front yard clad only in underwear and my shoes. And I still haven't found the Gator. I get them all inside, walk to Tot's room and find the entire room dismantled and the Gator hiding behind a pile of blankets. They are instructed to clean the room or there will be no mercy.

Tot runs in later while I'm unpacking a large box of curriculum that just arrived saying the duck was burned.

Wait, what?

(For the rest of the story, yes there's more, visit The 728b Foundation Blog)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oh, The Cuteness.

We just took the kids to get their pictures taken, and we're going to try to make it an annual thing.
So, without further ado, here are my little creatures :)

Taylor Dawn
"The Tot"
Age 5 1/2

David Wayne
"Little David" "Bubba"
Age 3 1/2

Allison Margaret
"The Gator"
Age 8 months

The Creatures.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It Is Finished.


That is the sound of my brain taking a long summer's nap because the curriculum dance is finally over. I just finished making my big curriculum purchases for the 2010-2011 school year and I can't decide if I'm a little nauseated from spending so much money at once, elated because I got so many things I'll use for all three kids, or just plain tired.

I LOVE homeschooling, and I LOVE curriculum shopping, but great googly moogly there is a LOT of curriculum to sift through. And the worst part? It's all awesome. There are so many things to try and so many books to read. So, after literally months of looking through catalogs and websites in my spare time, I finally settled down.

And for the record, I totally got sucked in by Sonlight. Box Day should be anytime in the next two weeks :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Back Home Again

Corn fields

Porch swings

Gene's Rootbeer

Frazier's ice cream

Mounds Park

Church home

Old friends

Best family


Yep, it's time to get back home again.

We all know how I feel about Indiana, and I have been feeling so homesick for it lately I could barely breathe. I always get homesick in the fall, but this year it struck early. I woke up one day and just needed to be home. I love Texas and never want to leave, but I will never stop thinking of Indiana as my special place. So, I informed Dave that I needed to get back and asked when we could make that happen. Sweet man that he is, made it happen and he made it happen fast. We'll be leaving in 5 weeks! I know!

So, Indiana friends, mark your calendars. The Unsinkable is on her way!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Homeschool Plans or Why, Sonlight, Why?

Just when I had everything figured out. Well, at least mostly everything, I get this in the mail:

The Sonlight Catalog.
A.K.A. - That which makes me doubt everything I have ever decided about curriculum.

And why does such a small catalog make me doubt my well researched choices? One word: Books. Books, books, books. Sonlight has the absolute best collection of readers and read aloud books in their curriculum ever. See, whenever I start planning I can easily dismiss Sonlight because of the cost - it is much more expensive than other programs. And I can flick my hand at the literature based approach - "My kids need workbooks".

But then the catalog arrives.

And because it's what I do, I sit down immediately and curl up on the couch with the catalog and a DDP and I absolutely pour over every single page. And I'm lost. Lost in the read alouds, lost in the readers, lost in the sheer quantity of quality books. Because, you see, Sonlight does not offer crappy books. Each and every one of them are awesome. The stuff we got for Tot's PreK year? We look at those books almost every single day over a year and a half later. As the kids have gotten older, in fact, we seem to use them even more. The books we maybe didn't like as much at the start of that year we are now in love with.

And as I'm pouring over the book lists, my eye keeps seeing this:

Do you see how many books there are?? Tons. Millions. Billions. Maybe not millions and billions, but just seriously lots of fantastically great books. All quality, all good, good books. Books, books, glorious books. I someday will write an ode to the Sonlight Book Selectors (speaking of which, I also promised to write an ode to my anesthesiologist from Tot's birth...I need to get on that....). And just so you know, reading the book list won't make you swoon if you haven't held those delicious books in your hands. And honestly, it might not even then. But years later (or more accurately "year and a half later"), you'll realize that while left to your own devices you consistently picked out only history books or rhyming read alouds (cough...unsinkable...cough), but when you let Sonlight do the picking you exposed your child to stories from all over the world, missionary tales to excite them about Christ, well crafted literature, and amazing science books that they read and re-read time and time again. And that those were the books you "caught" them reading past their bedtime, under the covers with their flashlight, when they had previously told you that reading was "borin' ".

I am such a sucker for a good catalog.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Internet Limits

Dude, the internet is such a time suck!

And as much as I want to say that I spend a reasonable amount of time on here (reasonable meaning that I wouldn't be embarrassed to actually type out numbers), I can't say that. I spend an unreasonable amount of time online. Whether it's sitting at my desk while the kids play outside, sitting at the desk while they watch tv, sitting at the desk while they nap/rest, sitting at the desk while they play in their rooms, sitting in my rocker with my iPod Touch nursing the Gator, sitting at my desk while they...... Yeah. You're getting the picture.

I would love to say that it's all time spent wisely. Encouraging other people, learning more about homeschooling, keeping in touch with friends, but again, I can't say that. Some of the time is just spent dawdling around news websites, looking at home decorating blogs, reading message forums, and looking at LOLcats. Nothing in that list is inherently bad, it's just not best, you know? Instead of spending my moments actively engaged with my kids, I am being a barely present parent mired in the depths of learning how to do things better/more creatively/more efficiently but never actually doing them.

I know. Deep thoughts with The Unsinkable.

Anyways, again, all this to say that I've been praying a lot about how to use the internet wisely. For me. My wise use of the internet won't look like yours, because my time wasters aren't yours. But I've been praying and praying, trying to get myself out of this cycle and trying not to throw the internet baby out with the bath water. There are lots of good things online, tons of them even. So how do I access them without getting towed under by the sheer quality of things out there?

Defined Limits.

Here's how my plan is shaking out:

I began globally. Well, not globally, but at the beginning. A very good place to start. I decided that I want to look at my day and see that I haven't spent much time online. I want to look at a pie chart of my day and see that I spend 95% of it engaged. So for me, that means I want to limit my time at the computer to an hour a day. If that seems a lot to you, then you are obviously not having this problem :).

So, with an hour a day, how do I want to break that down? I like getting online in the morning and checking the news and weather and email and such. But I also need time to blog, and that can take a good chunk of time, especially since I have a tendency to be long winded and the best time to do that is at nap time when the kids aren't interrupting my train of thought. And I really enjoy browsing blogs for good ideas and recipes, but that can just rabbit trail all over the place and it's best not to shoo away the kids because Mom is trolling Etsy for more aprons.

Which brings me to my Master (for now) Plan - I'm breaking my hour down into three chunks: AM, Nap time, & PM.

AM - 20 Minutes - Email, News, Facebook

Nap Time - 30 minutes - Blog/Uploading Pictures (which I can do at the same time)

PM - 10 Minutes - Google Reader, Browsing

I have intentionally given myself a small amount of time each night to read other blogs and to aimlessly browse. I don't want to waste my evening Dave Time on the internet and I don't want to allow myself to get too influenced by all that's out there. I'd rather look at a few things and maybe actually do them, than try to fruitlessly read the entire internet in one sitting. Oh, and obviously if I need to check the weather or get directions to some place than I'm going to hop on and do that whenever, I'm just not going to stay there and diddle around.

What do you think? How do you limit your internet time?