Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
What are arepas? you ask. Arepas are small cakes made from corn flour and water that are then fried or baked. They can be eaten with just butter, but are usually filled with something. In Venezuela, we filled arepas with scrambled eggs. Here at home, I like to fill my arepas with taco seasoned ground beef.
I'm so excited to see that Bobby Flay is making arepas on his TV show, "Throwdown with Bobby Flay". He is going up against some Venezuelan women who run an arepa restaurant in New York. How cool!!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Ga'hoole Girl and I have some plans to cook and try to finish painting her room this week. She also wants Mr. Math Tutor to take her fishing. It may be quiet around here, but we'll still be busy.
I realized as I was packing Wild Man's clothes that he has very few pairs of socks and underwear. How had I not noticed it before? I do wash his clothes. He does wear undergarments. Apparently, though, he doesn't always wear clean undergarments. So, Grams took care of the problem and bought him some socks and underwear. She also bought him some dress pants and shirts since I sent him with just jeans because we go to a casual church and he never wears dress clothes. But, now he has them if he ever gets the urge to be a GQ kind of guy.
Have I mentioned how quiet it is around here?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
With summertime vacations approaching, I decided to share a few tips on travelling with kids int the car. My kids have always been good travelers. I'm sure a lot of that is that they are naturally just easy-going kids, but it also helps that they are used to lots of car trips (we went halfway across the country when Wild Man was two weeks old) and because I've developed a few strategies that I use even now that they're older.
1. Plan for stops. We don't try to be heroic and drive six hours without stopping. We usually start early in the morning, so we try to go a good 2 or 3 hours while the kids are still asleep, but then we stop every 1 to 2 hours. For one thing, I'm a big believer in heeding the call of nature - KWIM? Mr. Math Tutor drinks coffee to stay awake, so he needs regular stops. And, I don't limit my kids' drinking water. It's also really good for everyone, but especially little kids, to get out and run around. Now that I'm older, I like to walk to prevent my legs from getting swollen - yuck!
2. Audiobooks. We don't have a DVD in the car for the kids and I don't plan to get one. Part of the joy of travelling is watching the scenery - we've enjoyed watching cropdusters and balloon festivals over the years. But, audiobooks are great. On our last really long trip, we listened to Eragon on the way there (2 days) and Eldest on the way home (2 days). We have also listened to most of the Focus on the Family Chronicles of Narnia radio dramas as well as all of the Jungle Jam CDs. (Jungle Jam is hysterical for kids and adults - you can get the CDs at CBD.) Remember, though, that the library has tons of audiobooks, so don't feel compelled to go out and buy them since they're pretty pricey.
3. Snacks. What kind of snacks can you eat in the car without making too much of a mess and spending too much money? I generally stick with crumbly, but not very greasy, snacks. That way, clean-up just involves vacuuming the car and not shampooing the upholstery. I buy a bag of crackers, a bag of cookies, and a container of nuts. Then, I put everything into little ziptop sandwich bags that are easy for me to hand out when the kids ask. It is also automatically made into little portion sizes.
4. Clean-up. Who wants to end their vacation with the kids and car a total wreck? I don't have all the answers, but here are a few suggestions. We put one trash bag in the front of the car and another in the back so that no one should have an excuse to put trash on the floor. I give each kid a paper towel whenever I hand them a snack. Kids can only have water in the back seat - it's not sticky like juice and isn't very messy if they spill. (Grownups, of course, can drink what we want, because we're the ones who end up doing the cleaning if we spill!) I also make sure we have at least two containers of wet wipes in the vehicle.
5. Prevent carsickness. Wild Man tends to get carsick, so I've learned what to do to help prevent his getting queasy. When we are on twisty roads or in stop and go traffic for any length of time, I have him use SeaBands. He doesn't really like them, but they seem to help. If he does get queasy, then I go right to Dramamine. He'll sleep, but at least he won't throw up. I don't let him do much reading-type activities in the car unless we're on a straight interstate. I encourage him to listen to the audiobook or put his headphones on with his mp3 player.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Mr. Math Tutor bought our queen sized bed more than 16 years ago when he moved back down South so we could get married. That bed has gone from the Deep South to the Great White North and is starting to feel like it. It takes up most of our bedroom in this house (remember the downsizing!). So, we are downsizing to a double bed. Last night was our first night and was much better than I expected. Most of the time, when we sleep on a double bed, it's in a hotel room or someone's guest room, so the bed itself is not always high quality. We were pleasantly surprised last night that this bed is quite comfortable even for two grown-ups who have become quite accustomed to their queen sized bed.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Today, I am thankful for flowers. Not just the flowers I planted, but all flowers. On cloudy, dreary days, I love to go outside and look at my lovely petunias. When I woke up on my anniversary, Mr. Math Tutor had left a fresh petunia blossom on the pillow by my head. It was so sweet.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
So, now Mr. Math Tutor doesn't go into work everyday. Instead, he is researching how to start a business and all the details thereof. It's quite exciting for all of us!
Friday, June 06, 2008
1. Yes, we got married on D-Day. It was the only Saturday available that summer for a wedding. Also, I figure that if we forget our anniversary, we'll remember when we see on the news that it's the anniversary of D-Day.
2. My gown was made my my matron of honor's mother. It was heavy satin with a beautiful lace bodice.
3. My flower girl is now married and finishing college. My ring bearer is now in college. EEK!
4. I chose lovely flowers for my wedding that did not include carnations. Unfortunately, the florist ended up including a bunch of carnations, including carnations with the edges colored which I really don't like. But, my bouquet was white roses and ivy and was beautiful.
5. My cake was almond pound cake except for the top two tiers which were chocolate. I also made my own wedding cake topper using the figures that my mom and dad had on the top of their wedding cake.
6. The DJ had called to ask me about music for dancing and I told him which songs I wanted. At the reception, he told me that he didn't have the songs (he could have mentioned this sooner) so I picked Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Nevilles' "Don't know much (but I know I love you)" not because it's so special but because I was pressed for time and figured an Aaron Neville song was good since we were in New Orleans.
7. The pastor who married us was wearing a robe. This was never something I had thought would happen at my wedding. I was born and raised Southern Baptist and was sure I'd be married and die as a Southern Baptist, but Mr. Math Teacher and I were married in a Presbyterian church, hence the robe. And it was lovely.
What lovely memories. I don't think I could picture a more perfect day.
How do we schedule? Good question. Mostly, we don't schedule much these days. It has taken me two years, but I think that I have learned to be flexible because of my illness. Here are the few schedule-type things that we do.
We use Sonlight. I don't use the daily schedule that they give, but I keep up with the readings by the week. We tend to get ahead on the read-alouds because we enjoy them so much, so we add in extra books for bedtime reading. I also have a list of movies that go with each week. We watch those every few days, particularly when I have a bad headache.
The kids do math and Spanish on the computer almost every day. Wild Man reads to me every day and does either Explode the Code or spelling a couple of times a week.
On Sunday afternoon, Ga'hoole Girl and I make a list of what she wants to do during the next week. She tries to follow the list and it gives me an idea of what she's up to. It also lets me plan since she often wants to cook. Each night, the kids and I make a tentative plan for what we'll do the next day. This is always dependent on how I feel.
When I was more of a stickler about schedules, I was using Homeschool Tracker Plus. I can't say enough good stuff about this program. I will probably use it again when I have to keep track of Ga'hoole Girl's stuff for a high school transcript.
So that's our "schedule" for the time being. It may change tomorrow - you can't ever tell.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Today I am thankful for my (almost) sixteen wonderful years of marriage to Mr. Math Teacher. Tomorrow is the official wedding anniversary (yes, it's D-day). Sixteen years ago, in Metairie, Lousiana, Mr. Math Teacher and I were married in a small Presbyterian church. Since so much of our family is from the South, we had lots of family members there for the wedding. After the wedding, we had a lovely reception. Being in Lousiana, we had wonderful Cajun and Creole seafood. And, when it was all done, Mr. Math Teacher and I spent our first married night at Nottoway, a historic plantation home on the famous River Road. Three days after our wedding, I took the USMLE Step 2 (medical licensure examination). The day after the test was done, we went to Walt Disney World for a week-long honeymoon.
The last sixteen years haven't all been easy, but I am so glad that I have spent them with Mr. Math Teacher. During our marriage we have changed states twice and houses three times. We now have two lovely children. We have gone from being a family with a professional mom and a stay-at-home dad to being a family with a soon-to-be entrepreneur dad (more on that later) and a stay-at-home mom. But, the entire time, Mr. Math Teacher and I have been completely committed to each other and to God.
Thank God for sixteen wonderful years of marriage.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
One of the really cool things this year is that the kids pretty much take care of themselves. They both packed up all their costumes and necessities - and no one forgot anything! Ga'hoole Girl did her own makeup this year. She also used the older dancers dressing room and didn't request my help for anything. Both kids took care of getting themselves backstage at the right time. What a change from the first couple of years when Mr. Math Teacher and I had to keep track of the costumes and make sure the kids were in the right place at the right time. It's scary, but they're growing up.