Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday: Ginger Beef with Peanuts and Green Beans served over Rice. (One of my favorites!)
Tuesday: Tuna Melts (On English Muffins) with Sweet Potato Fries (Mmmm), Veggies and Fruit.
Wednesday: Soup and Cornbread
Thursday: Ham Stromboli and Green Salad
Friday: Sloppy Joes, Carrot Sticks, and Fruit
Saturday: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! Fajitas, Salsa Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Tortilla Chips, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Mexican Celebration Cookies and Mexican Flag Cookies (from our Spanish lessons).
The Ginger Beef recipe and a couple of the Spanish recipes are from The International Cookbook for Kids, a wonderful collection of recipes from Italy, China, Mexico, and France.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart--an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship. The humans live in time, and experience reality successively. To experience much of it, therefore, they must experience many different things; in other words, they must experience change. And since they need change, the Enemy (being a hedonist at heart) has made change pleasurable to them, just as He has made eating pleasurable. But since He does not wish them to make change, any more than eating, an end in itself, He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence. He has contrived to gratify both tastes together in the very world He has made, by that union of change and permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme. He gives them in His Church a spiritual year; they change from a fast to a feast, but it is the same feast as before.
Now just as we pick out and exaggerate the pleasure of eating to produce gluttony, so we pick out this natural pleasantness of change and twist it into a demand for absolute novelty. This demand is entirely our workmanship. If we neglect our duty, men will not only be contented but transported by the mixed novelty and familiarity of snowdrops this January, sunrise this morning, plum pudding this Christmas.
It took me quite some time to get up the nerve to watch Shadowlands, based on the romance between Lewis and Joy Gresham. I'm not one for sad movies. It feels as if I've been run over by a truck, and I walk around in a daze for quite some time. Why subject myself to that? But a movie about C. S. Lewis, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins? I had to do it. And I wasn't sorry. (Red-faced from sobbing, maybe, but not sorry.) This was a beautiful film, excellently acted by Hopkins, and highly recommended. I watched it soon after reading A Grief Observed, a heart-wrenching journal of his grief, written after Joy died. (And also sob-inducing.)
Somehow, my affection for 'Jack' is now and forever intertwined with an affection for Anthony Hopkins. When I think of the one, I picture the other. So, while we are on the subject of Anthony Hopkins (we are, aren't we?), I have to mention one other movie.
Now, it seems almost sacrilegious to talk about a Brad Pitt movie in the same post as C. S. Lewis, not to mention that no one else seemed to like this movie (other than my sister, Shannon, who shares half my brain), but for some inexplicable reason....I loved Meet Joe Black. I thought it was beautiful and shining. Exquisite, even. Anthony Hopkins was wonderful as a man who had lived a strong, upright, blameless life. Claire Forlani was stunningly gorgeous as his daughter, and their relationship was touching. Brad Pitt was convincing as Death (grin) and as his dual personality, the sweetheart from the coffee shop. I love movies with a great ending, when the bad guy gets what is coming to him in a terrific climax. Meet Joe Black fits the bill. Ah, I think I'll have to pull this one out soon and enjoy it again. Disclaimer: there was no mention of God, or of a personal relationship with Him, and the film deserves its PG-13 rating due to adult content. It is also quite lengthy, so be sure to have some time on your hands if you choose to watch it.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Tuesday: Thai Chicken Satays with Pita Bread.
Wednesday: Company coming for lunch... salad and sandwich spread, veggies, fruit, chocolate chip cookies. Leftovers for dinner. Birthday party for dessert.
Thursday: Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Yams, Garlic Cheese Biscuits.
Friday: Lasagna, Corn, Salad. Greek Walnut Pie for dessert. (I just found this recipe and it looks very tasty! I'll let you know how it turns out.)
Saturday: Dinner out.
Sunday: Orecchiette Pasta with Italian Sausage and Broccoli in a zesty tomato sauce. (Now, I'd really like to fool you all, but in the spirit of honesty I have to admit that this came from the frozen food section at Costco. Grin.)
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Thirteen years ago (1994), my sister and her husband bought a house as it was being built. They picked out carpeting, colors, and made some changes to the floor plan. That summer it was finished, and they moved in. And they invited me to move in with them and pay rent. Grin. I accepted, and soon I was living away from home (a long distance of four miles) for the first time in my life. I was 20. Less than a year later I met Russ, and we were married soon after that. I moved out just in time. My sister and her husband needed more space for their first child, born two months later. After Russ and I had been married for a year and a half, my sister and her little family moved out....and we moved in.
The past ten years at our little 'cottage' have been amazing, full, and wonderful. We created an oasis in the back yard. We brought all three of our baby boys home from the hospital to this house. I get all choked up when I think about someone else owning it.
Now it is time to move on. We have our 'forever house' in the country where we will create new memories and live a wonderful life. I hope the nice young couple who has purchased this house today will enjoy it as much as we did.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Levi didn't think it was fair that I got to take all the pictures.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
New vocabulary words from our read-alouds: reconsider, manure, bewildered, alacrity, 'on the fritz,' indignation
What he said: What a fool I am. Aren't you amazed? You can do as you please. Today is the worst day of my life (said while sitting on his floor, hands over his face, crying).
What he did: (When he saw the movie, Charlotte's Web, that I had picked out for movie night) He fainted away onto the floor (with high-pitched sigh, and a smile on his face).
Levi's dad was helping him with his phonics lesson. I could hear them in the other room. Levi reads the word 'cane' and dad asks him if he knows what that is. 'Like a walking stick?' Levi reads the word 'cape' and dad asks him if he knows what that is. 'Like a cloak?'
Nope. No problem with comprehension here.
Levi runs into the kitchen and says, 'You won't believe what Dad just did!' He tells me some 'amazing' thing and then says, 'Make him a medal.' I wasn't sure what he meant, so I asked him. He says in an exasperated voice, 'The round thing you wear around your neck that says con-GRA-tu-LA-tions!' (Do I have to spell it out for you?)
Monday, April 16, 2007
'When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,' said Piglet at last, 'what's the first thing you say to yourself?'
'What's for breakfast?' said Pooh. 'What do you say, Piglet?'
'I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?' said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. 'It's the same thing,' he said.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
We've been trying to get to the pool more often so that Levi and Luke can practice their swimming skills (and get out some energy). Leif and I decided to sit out this evening.
Russ was in the mood to get out of the house. We headed over to the Oregon coast and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in spite of the drizzle.
Levi has been begging to go camping ever since he and Dad had a 'boys only' camping trip in the mountains last summer. Now that we have a great 'wilderness' of our own, Russ bought a tent, set it up with Levi, went to the store to buy s'mores stuff, and built a bonfire. Levi and I were out (at the Shakespeare play) for the evening, but Russ invited Poppy over and roasted marshmallows with Luke and Leif while star gazing. When we returned, Levi and I joined the party and made ourselves some s'mores. A lightning and thunder show rounded off the evening as the boys made their nest in the tent. Leif and I again decided to sit this one out, but the big boys had a blast. They straggled out of the tent at 7:30 the next morning, greeted by a nice drizzling rain, and I whipped up a big batch of pancakes. Now that's the way to camp with three little boys. Grin.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Where is your cell phone? On the couch.
Boyfriend? My dear husband.
Hair? Short and spiky.
Your favorite item(s)? Books, camera, chocolate.
Your dream last night? Didn’t sleep much.
Your favorite drink? Icy Dr. Pepper.
Your dream guy? My husband, Russ.
The room you are in? The school room.
Your fear? Severe child illness.
What do you want to be in 10 years? Wife, mother, and teacher.
Who did you hang out with last night? My crazy boys.
What are you not? Extrovert, self-disciplined.
Are you in love? Yes, of course.
One of your wish list items? More house storage.
What time is it? Quarter after four.
The last thing you did? Fed a baby.
What are you wearing? Denim skirt, shirt.
Your favorite book? Count Monte Cristo.
The last thing you ate? Pizza, Dr. Pepper.
Your summer? Outside, gardening, camping.
Your relationship status? Very happily married.
What is on your TV screen? It is blank.
When is the last time you laughed? Silly baby giggles.
Last time you cried? Some sad movie.
School? Everywhere, always learning.
Your mood? Tired and fuzzy.
Your friends? Sisters are wonderful!
What are you thinking about right now? To-do list.
Your car? Very dirty suburban.
What are you doing at this moment? Blogging, parenting, thinking.
Your life? More than imagined.
Feel free to give it a try!
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Levi's grandparents (my parents), better known as Bambi and Poppy, have a special place in his heart. Bambi loves to read to him, and Levi loves to snuggle up on the couch. We are so very blessed to have them only two miles down the road (in my childhood home out in the country)!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
...I went beyong the required curriculum in many of my lessons. For example, I taught my students how to add and subtract, but I also taught them that arithmetic is a Greek word meaning to count and that numbers were called digits after the Latin word digitus, meaning finger, because people used to count on their fingers. I taught them about Pythagoras, who believed that mathematics made a pupil perfect and ready to meet the gods. I told them what Socrates said about straight thinking leading to straight living. I read aloud to them from The Great Quotations and 101 Famous Poems. We talked about Emerson's "Self Reliance," Bacon's "On Education," and parts of Thoreau's Walden: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."...Until you reveal a larger world to children, they don't realize there is anything to reach for.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I didn't know anything about educational theory, and I have often thought that worked in my favor. Without preconceived ideas and not bound by rules, I was forced to deal with my students as individuals, to talk to them, listen to them, find out their needs. I wasn't trying to see how they fit into any learning patterns or educational models. I followed my instincts and taught according to what felt right. I brought my own experiences to the classroom, trying to figure out how I had learned as a student. I remembered what had bored me and what had interested me, which teachers I had liked and which ones I had disliked, and applied it all to my teaching.
Not having any formal theory or textbook methodology to follow made me receptive to new ideas. I was constantly learning along with my students, always looking for new ways to make a lesson more exciting.
The Marva Collins Story (1981) movie with Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman is waiting for me on my DVR. I can't wait to watch it after I finish the book. You can be sure I'll post more on the subject in the future.
Monday, April 9, 2007
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Saturday, April 7, 2007
April is National Garden Month. What a fun way to usher in the spring! This year will be a change for me as I say 'goodbye' to our little garden in the city and 'hello' to three acres in the country. Years were spent lovingly designing a charming landscape in our back yard, piece by piece. I know those roses by name; the plants and I share history together. Leaving them in the hands of someone else will be tough. The future at our new place is bright and sunny, however. Years from now we will have transformed this space into something that is truly ours. For now, it feels like a treasure hunt when I go outside and find something new blooming.
If you would like some ideas for introducing children to the joy of gardening, try kidsgardening.org.
Creating a Family Garden by Bunny Guinness is a wonderful book with imaginative and practical ideas for creating a child-friendly garden. It doesn't matter if you have a small or large space, or prefer wild or manicured atmosphere. This book has something for everyone. I appreciate that the garden spaces are attractive to adults as well. Covering subjects such as tree houses, garden games, water gardens, wildlife and pets, and outdoor living, Bunny Guinness has created a masterpiece. My favorite design is 'The Wind in the Willows Garden,' complete with Ratty's river house. Although this design is a bit impractical for the average reader, most readers would be able to find inspiration or a few small projects to tackle within the cover of this book.
For more garden fun, check out Garden project ideas from FamilyFun magazine, or the book Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy.
"What a delight it is, when, of a morning, I get up and go out to find in full bloom a flower that yesterday was not there." --Tachibana Akemi
(and a nod to National Poetry Month:)
"A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses." --Jean Cocteau