Wednesday, October 31, 2007


NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! I'm so unprepared. Ha. Like I could prepare for the madness of both adults and all three children participating.

I have been helping my children, utilizing the stuff available on the young writers site. (Oh yeah, I'm expecting brilliance from myself, especially after having used "utilizing" and "stuff" in the same sentence.) Here are our word count goals:
  • Ayeka: 15,000
  • Aku: 5,000
  • Sasame: 1,000
  • Steve: 50,000
  • Me: 50,000
I've committed to writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I feel there are a few other commitments I need to make, now, while sanity has its hold.
  • I will feed my children at least one hot, home cooked meal per day.
  • I will continue to home educate 5 days/week, with the emphasis on Latin, Math, and Writing (Science and History may just get the month off.)
  • I will continue my Latin studies though I am going to adjust my schedule and allow two days for each assignment instead of one.
  • Oh, there should be more, but panic set in when Anneliese told me this morning, "Tomorrow is NaNoWriMo!"
What can I let go for this month? Or rather, what am I willing to openly confess I will let go?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hang Tags for Hats

These are for my dreadlock hats. What do you think?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Love Latin

We don't hit, but that doesn't mean the kids don't get frustrated with each other at times and have some wishful thinking. Last night my 6 yo was reaching overload when her 11 yo brother had to open his mouth just one more time. Her reply?

Hedera Severum pulsat!

It was a great tension breaker as even she laughed about it.

On my list of things to do: Find more ways to expose my youngest to spoken Latin, so she can continue to keep up on the vocabulary. The older two have the oral exposure plus oodles of reading and writing.

The kids' current location in Lingua Latina? Capitulum IV, Lectio I.

Friday, October 19, 2007


What's to say? On to the pictures...



Friday, October 5, 2007

Another excerpt from our Latin journey...

Lingua Latina, Day 17

Here's the pattern I've adopted. On day one of a new lectio we TPR the vocabulary first, then I read it out loud while the kids follow along. Next we take turns reading it, or take parts and read it together. Somewhere in there we listen to our CD and follow along as Oerberg reads it.

That's it. I STOP. We have wonderful days where they grasp the vocabulary and understand the lectio, and I want to gain even more ground, but I've learned the best thing I can do is STOP. Just stop. Let them have a day (or sometimes a weekend) and then after we TPR, read, and listen, all to the same lectio, they do the exercitia. And it goes so much better.

Today we had TPR'd all the new verbs and that left just two words I was pretty confident they would get from the text, but it never hurts to be introduced to vocab before you read it. So enter the halo and the horns. It was fun seeing how the kids acted out being good and being wicked.

We read scaena secunda and they had no questions and begged for more. I caved and we read scaena tertia too. Only 40 minutes had passed and a part of me wanted to push on, to put in a full hour of Latin. I gathered up our books instead.

Of Latin and House Points (LL Day 3)

My kids wanted house points this year and so have them. Each their own house, they enjoy gaining points by answering review questions correctly, and occasionally they lose points for not having chores done on time, or for distracting a fellow student. The ones most often to lose points are the 6 year old and the 10 year old. They know each other's buttons and love to push them. The newly turned 6 year old does not like to be referred to as little or young.

We were reading together from Capitulum I, Lectio II:

Me: "Nilus fluvius magnus est." At magnus I opened my arms wide to indicate large. "Tiberis non est fluvius magnus, Tiberis fluvius parvus est." At parvus I indicated small with my fingers.

10 year old to 6 year old: "Hey, you're parvus!"

6 year old to 10 year old: "I am not! You're parvus."

I was about to deduct points from both houses when I realized, "They're insulting each other in Latin!"

Each house was awarded 3 points.

Our Lingua Latina Journey, Day 2

In the middle of reading Capitulum I, Lectio I, my 12 year old looked up and said, "I'm reading this, and I understand it." Wonderful. And the ease with which the 10 year old answered the exercitia let me know that he understood it too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A beautiful sight...

That is one gallon of yogurt being strained to make cream cheese. Yumm.

We've been gluten free for over 5 years, but recently we had to go SCD for my oldest. So we all did. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) Part of it is eating home made yogurt full of all those good gut bugs. It also means not eating commercial cream cheese, yogurt, or milk. Therefore it means making oodles of yogurt. With honey added and diluted 50% with water, it makes a nice milk substitute. Strained and I have a very nice sour cream. Remove even more whey, add a little honey, and it's a delicious cream cheese, or icing for carrot cake.

Yogurt, for yogurt and "milk", I can make with store bought whole milk. But not the cream cheese. Why? Ultra Pasteurization. And the ONLY milk available on this peninsula is UP. It makes a very nice looking "cheese" right up until you touch it, or stir it, or add anything to it. Then it becomes a runny product. (See the Cheese Lady's explanation at Click on FAQ and then on All About Milk.)

Dry milk to the rescue. Turns out with Carnation Dry Milk and some added cream one can make a very nice cream cheese. Substantial enough to even be used as icing.

I love Home Education

Yesterday we reviewed Life Science, Chemistry, and Roman History via a game board and questions I'd been writing down as we progressed through each subject. My six year old was paired up with her dad for help. Help she didn't want. Help she most often didn't need. We've been doing a lot of reviewing of Roman History as we progress, but we hadn't been doing much of any in either Science subject. (Only the older two are taking Chemistry, but the six year old is a full participant in Life Science.) We'd already been surprised by how little help the youngest needed by the time she got the question, "Name 5 of the 8 characteristics of living things."

"Eats food," she said.
"Takes in energy, right," I replied.
"Moves. Gets rid of waste. Grows."

As she struggled to remember another one, her father whispered to her, "Makes babies." She looked at him and said, "I can't say that!" Then she turned to me and said,


Saturday, April 7, 2007

I should clarify that the following is concerning a novel I'm writing, not my blog. I'm pretty carefree about my blog and will be happy if people considering reading a post even once! ; )

The other day when I told my friend that I had some books on writing in my cart at Amazon, but that I was hesitant to spend the money whereas I wouldn't be if it were fabric for quilts, or wool for rugs, she emphatically told me not to buy them. She was worried that if I read about writing it would mess up my writing.

In response to what crossed my face she said, "That's not what you wanted was it? You wanted me to encourage you to get the books." I only replied, "No. It's not that."

What I was thinking and didn't voice was, it's not the stories, it's the sentences.

I want my sentences to sing.

What has caused me to give place to those thoughts here, now, are the words I read this morning by Francine Prose in her book, Reading Like A Writer:

" talk about sentences is to have a conversation about something far more meaningful and personal to most authors than the questions they're more often asked..."

I want to write beautiful sentences. I want my stories to captivate, but I want my sentences to evoke a pause or a sigh, a second or third reading, and a longing for more.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Barn To Be Wild ~ Or At Least Pretty

This year's theme at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair (or biggest little fair in Alaska) is Barn To Be Wild. Mermaids have nothing to do with barns, but they are born to be wild, not domesticated and definitely NOT kept as pets. Or
are they? (That quilt isn't finished yet.)

This quilt was auctioned off as part of the annual fun raiser, and is going home with Angela, or perhaps to Angela's business as her logo is a mermaid.

I actually took her to the fairgrounds before getting pictures. That's how excited I was about the event. It was our second year having a celebrity waiter dinner. It went great thanks to the wonderful waiters, the generous people who donated desserts for the silent dessert auction, and the guests who freely spent their money to support the fair.

But back to the mermaid... She was caught decorating her hair with fish eggs. Don't judge - different culture, different standards of beauty. Besides, I like to think she's doing her part for environmental diversity by keeping some of the eggs protected. :) Here's a close-up, though sadly, since I had to make do with the lighting at the event, the fish eggs don't show up very well.

(Click on any picture to see a larger view.)