28 February 2010



And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.

And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,

So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Genesis 50:15-21


26 February 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Baby Edition



We had some excitement this week: my sister visited and she brought her newborn with her! We spent some time visiting Nana & Grandpa's house to see them, then later in the week they came to us.

Heidlebeere and her little baby


Nana, Monkey and baby


Ritsumei, Monkey and baby



Monkey got to try out some new skills. I got to try doing a few of our regular things, like story reading and building train-tracks with Monkey, while I was taking care of the baby for my sister. Not only was it a lot of fun to play with her, but I'm feeling a little reassured about our transition to a 2-kid family in a few months!
Monkey and baby


We did manage to squeeze in some school too. We read 2 more chapters in Winnie the Pooh, as well as played several phonics games, and practiced counting and showing how many fingers go with which number. We all got sick again right after Monkey started reading, didn't practice much, and Monkey's not really blending his own letters anymore, but he does do a great job of deciphering when I "read" my sounds on my turn, and telling me the word. I don't think it'll be long before he's back to reading again, and I think that when he does it'll be a wider variety of words, with more confidence.

One thing I need to get going on again is we've entirely let our calendar activity slide. I haven't done a thing with it since just before Christmas. I need to find a few new ideas so that I'm not so bored with it.

24 February 2010

I Could Do That

High Heels And A Sippy Cup


Over at High Heels and a Sippy-cup, Trachelle's made an awesome play kitchen for her boys out of mostly thrifted parts, and some felt food to go with it. I've been thinking Monkey would like a kitchen for a while, and after looking at hers my thought is, "I could do that." I'll have to keep an eye out for likely looking dressers. This could be fun! She's got some great photos for what she did. It's wonderful inspiration.

Head on over and check her out, she's got a bunch of other ideas over there (like the personalized treasure chest-scroll down), and some fun pictures of her boys.

Trachelle, feel free to grab this button from my sidebar: you're my Featured Blogger!


Featured Blogger

19 February 2010

Fix-It Friday



Cocoa sometimes does the I Heart Faces thing, and it looked like so much fun that I decided to go check them out this afternoon. Turns out, they've got this "Fix-it Friday" event, which goes like this: they have some artists work on a photo that needs "fixing" (the last several weeks' photos looked pretty nice to me!), and they play with it, then post a tutorial about what they did and how they accomplished it. Then, participants are invited to play with that same picture and link to their posts. This sounds like fun! So, here's my attempts at "fixing" this week's beautiful picture.



I learned some new tricks from Julie Riviera's explanation of what she did with this picture. A couple of the artists used Photoshop actions from Totally Rad Actions, and I checked them out too. They're way out of my price range, but I love their "Cinnamon Toast (color)" action. I tried to do something similar, and I feel like it's pretty successful. I used a couple of Pioneer Woman's actions, as well as some simple tweaks of my own.



You can see the original photo, and check out what else people have done with it, at Fix-it Friday #44.

18 February 2010

Playing in Snow

We're finally getting to feeling better around here, and the temperatures are slightly warmer than they have been, so we actually made it outside today! It was lovely. The first thing Monkey did was ask for his snowshovel, and get to work. I did too, with my camera: those lilac shadows are the coolest thing in the yard today.



I think he was a bit disappointed to discover that there isn't really any snow on the sidewalks today; just some melty puddles and ice.



But he got over that pretty quickly. I was finally successful in luring him off the sidewalk and into the snow. He's never really liked that much before, but today he was into it, and we ended up with a properly stirred up patch of snow in the front.







After shoveling the grass for a bit, he asked me to make a snowman. At first, I thought it wasn't going to work. We haven't had fresh snow for several days, and most of the times I've checked this winter the snow hasn't been packing snow. But, with the sun melting things a bit, we were able to make a small one, as long as we avoided the non-melty snow in the shadows.







But I think the funniest part of the whole afternoon was when we started to go inside (at Monkey's request, because he was getting "cold," though it wasn't long after this that he told me he was sweaty & would I please hold his hat), and he decided that he wanted to do some "mowing." As in, "lawn mowing."

17 February 2010

More Photoshop Goodness

I'm still playing with Pioneer Woman's actions. And the more I play, the more fun I'm having! I wanted to try out the "Bring On The Eyes" action, and she's kindly provided a tutorial for how it works. I can follow directions, so I did.


This is a before picture, one I like, of a friend of mine lounging on the floor at her parents' house.


Here's the same picture, with the "Eyes" action. And some other fun. Like, I softened the background to get rid of the strange blue box. And I ran "Heartland." I can see why Pioneer Woman says she likes Heartland so well! I like it better on this picture than I did on the picture of the baby I was playing with yesterday. And the dreamy softness of the picture suits her perfectly. Makes me want to get out some of the wedding pictures I took and revisit them.

Now, I should go take my boy outside to play. Since we are getting healthy enough for that sort of thing, I should do it. Plus, I'll take my camera with me and see if I can't get some more pictures to fiddle with in Photoshop. Who says he's the only one that gets to play?

16 February 2010

Photoshop Fun

I've been meaning to figure out how to use Photoshop actions for a while now, and I remembered that Pioneer Woman has some that you can download, so that's what I did. And I have quite happily spent all of today's free time fooling around with them. These are clearly going to be fun toys. Here's a few of my favorites, all done to a picture of my girlfriend's baby.


Just for reference's sake, this is the original, unaltered version of the picture. Then, I started playing with my new toys:









She's got a couple of sets of actions, I downloaded Sets 1 and 2, but I think that if I look closely, there are more. However. I still haven't made it all the way through the 2nd set, and my bed is now calling me. It would be so easy to just ignore it, and stay up playing with the shiny new toy... but I'd pay for it tomorrow, and that's never a good thing. Must. Be. Responsible.



Just one more, right?

15 February 2010

Classical Homeschool Carnival #7





Welcome to the February 15, 2010 edition of classical homeschooling carnival! We've been under the weather, but are beginning to feel better and there's a lovely bunch of posts in the carnival for some much-needed inspiration.


Lisa presents WR: Hit the Books posted at Golden Grasses, saying, "Ritsumei invited me to submit to the carnival and I am delighted to do so = )." She shares a week in review, including a historical reenactment, cast party, and excitement over new books.


Tonia shares her answer to the question, "How do you know what to teach?" in The Well-Trained Mind as our Homeschooling Travel Guide posted at The Sunny Patch. She tells how she learned to look beyond boxed curriculum and textbooks in order to meet her children's needs.


Ritsumei presents Why Does Snow Melt? posted at Baby Steps, saying, "We had a great time discovering a little about why snow melts and what happens to water when it gets cold."


Dave remains delightfully non-partisan as he presents Homeschooling Political Philosophy:Natural Rights – “We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident…” posted at The Homeschooling Physicist, saying, "I discussed why homeschoolers should teach their kids the importance of the idea of natural rights."




That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Classical Homeschooling Carnival using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.





14 February 2010

Yum



Chicken Panini

Chicken breasts - 1 for every 2 sandwiches you want to make.
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Flour (optional)
Lettuce
Tomato
Onion
Bread
Mayonaise

First, the fun part: take your chicken breast, place it on a piece of wax paper, and place another piece of wax paper on top. Grab your meat tenderizer - the "kitchen hammer" at my house - and whack that thing until it gets flat. Andy tells me I was getting them to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. He's good at estimating that sort of thing. Now, cut it about in half, and you can make 2 sandwiches from one breast. Since I had regular sandwich bread today, I made my cut across the fat part, but had I not forgotten, we were going to build these on some day-old Jimmy John's sub bread, and I would probably have cut them more the long way to fit that bread.

Put a layer of the Creole seasoning in a pie plate, or other flat dish, and set the chicken in on both sides to get some seasoning on it. It's pretty intense, just straight, so I think that the next time I do this I'll probably try cutting the Creole seasoning with a little flour. However, we still ate it and enjoyed it, just plain, so if you like it intense, don't bother. Toss the chicken on the griddle - I use my griddle for all sorts of non-pancake things, and it's great for this - and do the next piece of chicken. You'll want to turn them quite a few times, to give the chicken a chance to cook all the way through without getting burnt.

Tear up some lettuce, cut the tomatoes into slices. Cut the ends off the onion, cut it in half, and peel it. Cut half into strips. As your first pieces of chicken get finished, put the onion on the griddle with a drop of olive oil, and let the onion pieces caramelize just a little. When all of your chicken is finished, put a little butter on the griddle, and toast your bread.

Assemble your sandwiches. YUM!

09 February 2010

Buncha Sickies

I keep thinking I want to post something, but we keep being sick. Right now it's my turn: I have some sort of Stomach Bug, and it's not fun. But we've all had a Sinus Thing for a while now, and Monkey's version turned into an ear infection. At least that we can do something about, and he's on antibiotics right now. But I've also had the Sinus Thing for a while - like a month. Aggravated by periodic lack of sleep as we lay down the law: Monkey must sleep in his own bed all night long. There has been, shall we say, resistance. Poor little guy. He's such a snuggly thing, but we've got to make room in the big bed for a new baby, and he's so big for his age, there's Just.Not.Room anymore. So he's gotta sleep by himself. Yeah, there's been some lost sleep. But it's much much better now, and I thought that would be enough to get over that Sinus Thing. Not so much. Andy's got it too, but he's been so good about taking care of me anyway.

So I've had the Sinus Thing for about a month, and I decided to go in and talk to a doctor about it. Turns out my "doctor" is a nurse practitioner. Hadn't realized that. Nobody bothered to correct my misunderstanding when I called to adjust the time on my visit with "Dr. ___." I had to wait nearly a week to see her anyway. And you'll never guess what she decided is wrong with me: I'm pregnant. I guess that makes people stuffy sometimes. And while it is renowned for making people vomit, I've done that more today than I have, total, in 12 years of marriage. Andy figures by double. This is NOT just a pregnancy thing. I tried to tell her that. But we will be paying a whole LOT of money for her to remind me that I'm pregnant. As if I'd forgotten! Guess I'll be in the market for another doctor. A real doctor this time.

06 February 2010

Coconuts!

Are you in the mood to laugh? Herding Grasshoppers is always good for that. Recently, she has posted a hilarious version of "A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts," courtesy of her son.

Why Does Snow Melt?

Monkey's been asking me, "Why does snow melt?" So we played around with snow and ice a little to see what happens to water when you add coldness, and what happens to ice when you add warmness.



We got some ice and put it in a bowl to see what happened. Monkey played with it as it sat out, and we talked about how the room is much warmer than the freezer, so we were adding warmness to the cold ice. He was a bit surprised when we added another ice cube later, and it was much larger than the old ice cubes.



We also grabbed a bowl of snow from our deck, brought it in, and watched to see what happened. We talked again about adding warmness, because it's much warmer inside the house than it is outside. We also talked about how ice and snow are similar, only the snow is much much smaller pieces.



The last thing we did was to put some water in the ice tray where the ice cubes had been. This we put back in the freezer, and I set the timer for 15 minutes. When we checked them there was a skin of ice on the top, which Monkey put his fingers through, and discovered the water underneath. Then we put them back for another 15 minutes. This time, it was much harder to break the "skin" - I had to help him. Interestingly, not all the ice was freezing at the same rate, though I don't think that Monkey noticed that much. (The cubes further to the back of the freezer were freezing faster.) After the 3rd time we checked, we couldn't break the skin anymore.

We didn't really have any great conversation about the whole thing once we were done, but it seems to have answered Monkey's questions about why snow melts. And we had a good time doing it!

04 February 2010

I'm Impressed!





These are ELEMENTARY school bands. Somehow, I've never managed to attend a concert like this at the elementary school. These kids are amazing!

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