Friday, November 21, 2008

Projects and Play

It has been pretty cold the past few days. And some of us have real colds, so we are trying to do cozy, heart-warming, in-door project.

This first one was mine. Kateri needed a new plank for her bookcase. Shane bought one but it needed to be trimmed. I kept forgetting to remind him when he was home and only remembered when I would help Kateri cleanher room. So finally one day I got tired of forgetting and got our Shane's jig saw and did it myself. I wisely cut it too large the first time and brought it down for another little shave, which turned out to more than "just a little off the top". But the supports sill held it and I was pleased with how it looked with her new white baskets. The kids are studying flags of the world. We get out the big world map and make a geography lesson out of each flag, then we read about hte country and color the flag. It was a pretty good time, until hte pencil sharpener broke.

I decided to teach Audrey how to knit. I haven't kint myself in a long time. but before that I made my fair share of bathroom rugs- aka sweaters-hats, and scarves. I convinced Shane to throw away the vest I knit him. He was sweet to wear it. But fortunately it didn't fit anymore- and I was glad to see it go. He does, however, still have the scarf I made for him 8 years ago. I decided I needed a project while he was in Ireland, so I seed stitched a pretty slate blue scarf, while wathcing Pride and Prejudice. I didn't finish in the week he was gone but it made a good very late birthday present.

So this morning I got out some yarn and needles and showed Audrey how to knit. She caught on quickly and is embarking on her own project now.

Shane likes long scarves, not quite Dr. Who length, but long enough to take a month with size 6 needles.

For indoor fun the kids decided to go sledding on cardboard boxes down stair case. They had a great time, no one got hurt, and we didn't even need snow. It was a much safer slide than we had as kids, 13 wooden stairs all splintered and waiting to stab you as you skimmed your way down. That was why we used pillow cases. With apillow in them. It was always a good idea to check for large slivers before you lay down at night. I don't think my mom appreciated it, but we had a great time.

I made swords for the boys, and Kateri too. And then eye-patches so they could play pirate. Cyprians was a little long. But he was happy.

We are going through a cold, not too terrible, but I'd rather be drinking tea and cozying in bed than what I'm going to do today. Shane has escaped it so far but he did get some surgery on his "alien thumb" today so we can all do some recovery together. It was some sort of lump that had been bugging him for years. We called it his alien thumb. I wanted to give it a name, but Shane thought that was too much. He partially dug it out himself several times, but it would always come back. So today they numbed it up, scooped it out, stitched it up, and in a couple weeks it will be all normal. I am so glad it is the week-end.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kateri Patton 2032

Kateri is already starting her campaign for president. She tells anyone who will listen about her plans for her presidency, which so far consists of living in the White House and "telling the armies what to do". Audrey siad she wanted to be president too and she should go first because she is older. So maybe Kateri could be VP first. Shane recommended Audrey get a food tester if they went that route and it might be better-and safer-to let Kateri go first. I think Audrey just wants to ride horses on the White House lawn. That was the first thing she said as we peered through the iron gate. If its clean, she wants to use Shane's White House mug for her milk. As she drinks she talks about how it is going to be her house.

I think Kateri would be a very strong president. She's fearless when it comes to defending her own, relentless once she starts a course of action. She never gives up, or in. She easily gets others to see the logic of her "suggestions", sometimes without them even being aware of it. When visiting foreign heads of state, she would always return with her objective accomplished, and probably a couple new dresses too. With a name like Patton and eyes like Kateri, who could resist. She is pretty seasoned when it comes to torture, taking it and delivering it. She has broad international tastes, when it come to fashion and wine. She thought Palin was on the right track as far as that went. Best of all she has a very catchy slogan which she is practicing all day long: "YES, YOU WILL."

So, if we ever find a podium small enough for her, watch for her in the coming elections.

Vote to make America respected and feared.

Vote to make our leaders more interntional(ly) dressed.

Vote Kateri.

I'm Kateri Patton and I approve this message.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Pictures Today

For whatever reason, my computer does not want to recognize that I just inserted a memory card. So, although I did have some pictures they will have to wait until my tech support gets home from work.

We've been having a cozy fall and getting lots of indoor things done. Like laundry, and dishes, and all that fun stuff. And some school work here and there. I finally knuckled down and decided to have Cyril do more writing. He really didn't like it in the beginning and couldn't, for the life of him, see why it made any difference if he started an "O" at two o'clock or five o'clock. The list went on and coupled with his attention span of a squirrel, we decided to just focus on reading and mental math.

But after finishing the second set of Mac and Tab books, I decided we would give it another go. I had saved several of Audrey's previous math worksheets and started him on some of those. I have to read the directions and story problems to him, but other than that he can do all the work- and is cheerful about it too. He even brought me his papers today and ripped out some extra to take to Grandma's tomorrow. He often times corrects himself if he starts a number in the wrong spot and doesn't get offended if I gently correct him.

I think this was definitely the right time to start working with him and wonder if its a complete waste to try to do anything before they are ready. Here he is almost 8. Audrey could read when she was 4. But she seemed ready at the time and it was not the teeth pulling experience I had when I tried to sit Cyril down and make a row of nicely shaped ds- or any other letter. Hopefully, some of that was useful but I think in the future I will be more relaxed and less worried if they are not reading 'War and Peace' when they are 6. It is so nice to be in a place where I can see we are making progress and not just spinning our wheels and pencils. Maybe its like potty-training. When they are ready, they get it. When they are not and you try to force it , you have a lot of messes to clean up. I decided it wasn't worth it and Cyril wasn't fully potty trained until he was 4 1/2. Which, knowing the alternative, I was fine with. I always knew some day they not be nursing, illiterate, and sleeping in my bed, so I was ok taking thing a lot more slowly than the Ezzo time line. - Which I think is terrible anyway.

Speaking of bed, I've been working on getting Pippin to sleep with Audrey the past week. He usually wakes up and comes into our bed around 1:30. After 5 days I was debating giving it up and letting everyone get more sleep all around. But then thought, even though he didn't stay all night, it might be good to at least keep up the routine. Then this morning I woke up and he was not there. Of course I immediately thought maybe he had fallen off the bed and gotten trapped in her room or some other bad thing. But then I heard his voice in the hall as he opened our door, climbed up on the bed, and started tackling Papa, while gritting his teeth and growling. It was fun to have a morning cuddle and then we headed down to make breakfast. So I will be continuing the sleeping routine. Just goes to show, even as the parent, you never know when.

We have been doing some crafty, piratey, things as well. But its better with pictures, so I'll save those for later. I love Shane's three-day week-ends. Now Thursdays are so much more fun.

oh, and since there are not pictures and it would not be appropriate if there were, here is another story. Last night was the vigil for the feast of St John Chrysostom so we packed up the kids and headed out to evening Liturgy. I was feeling a little tired and silly and the kids decided to be especially entertaining. Cyril and Audrey were given permission to sit up front. It was not very crowded and I- and everyone in the congregation- could keep an eye on them. Cyril thought we might get worried so he kept us up-dated throughout the Liturgy by turning and giving us a knowing look and a thumbs up every so often. In his new camoflauge, fleece gloves. And if things were going really well, he stick both hands behind his head and give two thumbs up. I was just happy he was quiet. I thought things were going well. Until my sister, who was sitting back a few rows, came up and whispered to me that she could see Kateri's bum. I looked over and there was Kateri, standing on the kneeler with her hands in the back of her stretchy pants and princess panties waistband, which she was twisting and turning and stretching so as to inadvertantly expose half her backside to half the congregants. I got her covered and had to explain to Shane later why I was laughing in church.

Oh well, I suppose some day they won't be doing that either. Somedays, some day seems mythical.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After Yesterday

I would like to second the sentiments in John McCain's consession speech. I thought it was very moving and honest and he is an admirable man for having said it. But I am bummed about not seeing more of Palin's new duds. Oh well, You win some you lose some. Here in Washington we pretty much lost everything that mattered. But you move on. Gregiore can't live forever and thankfully, neither will any of us.

To get back to normal life, I decided to make curtains for Audrey's room. She has some drapes outside her big window, but it has a window seat and I think not having the curtains closer to the glass is keeping her room chilly. It it always cold in there and with the cold weather I thought it would be good to add another layer up close.

In these uncertain economic times and the more uncertain future, I decided to work with what I had- a trip to the store did not sound exciting either-and used an old queen sheet we had bought for the airmattress which was obviously not tested against 3yr olds. But I put the top sheet to good use and it being the right width already, all I had to do was make the pocket for the rod.

The kids were out playing on the swing set and I was upstairs ironing and pinning. And of course the typical arguing broke out so I had to sit Cyril at the top of the stairs where I could see him. He plopped himself down and proceeded to hum "Eye of The Tiger". Or at least the refrain plus another 10 notes. I was hot from ironing and tired from stabbing myself with pins and the singing was not relaxing. He has a fine voice and he can carry a tune well, its just not my preference for sewing music. And he was not trying to irritate. He just likes to sing. So I let him.

After getting through about 3 rounds of the song he asked,

"Can I get up now?"

"No, not yet."

"But I've been singing, for like 10 minutes", he begged me.

"Yes. I know"

After a few minutes I let him go and finished sewing the curtain pocket. Despite the bobbin thread breaking twice and stabbing myself, again. And I got it set up and hopefully her room will stay a little cozier. It is a thick sheet, but I think Imight have some wool in my sewing drawer if I need something warmer. But not today. Or tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Death and Taxes

Below is a chart published in the Wall Street Journal. I thought it might be good for people to prepare from what's to come if Obama should win the election. Not that its all about money. In Washington State we are voting on I-1000, an assisted suicide law. Which, if passed, will be a foot in the door for the culture of death. How soon will it be until it is noble and patriotic to choose death, thus saving taxpayers money and your family stress. Another disturbing news bit I came across in the Journal was that if you opt out of Medicare in favor of your own private health insurance, you are not elegible for Social Security benefits. Sounds like freedom of choice to me. And if you are in the system, who will have a more vested intrest in your early demise? I guess it does all come down to money.

Another thing I can't stand are the ads. A woman bemoans the fact her husband had a stroke-or whatever- and suffered a loss of dignity, which he would have to endure if he did not have the option of killing himself. A" loss of dignity" in whose eyes? What a narrow definition of life. Does "in sickness and in health" mean anything?

I'm sad I will not be joining the millions of people going to the polls today. Our county is all mail-in ballots now. Which I feel is very un-patriotic. They don't even send you an "I voted" sticker to wear on election day. How can I prove to Starbuck's I voted and get my free cup of coffee? Which, by the way, I thought was a brilliant idea. Starbucks supports America! and would you be wanting a treat to go with that free cup of coffee?

Well I guess I won't have to prove I voted to get that coffee. Thanks to the election officials we are saved from Starbuck's illegal action of rewarding people for voting. Starbucks came back with a great answer: they will give a free cup of coffee to anyone who asks for one. I don't much care for their coffe- I prefer Cafe D'Arte myself-but horray for Starbucks!