Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The flier that changed history...

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

-introduction to Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Martin Luther (1517), a.k.a. The 95 Theses

Other Luther quotes:

Be a sinner and sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ.

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

Pray and let God worry.

Happy Reformation Day!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Nearest Book

As seen on Mental Multivitamin:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog (or here in the comments section if you don't have a blog) along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig around for that "cool" or "intellectual" book on your shelves. (I know you were thinking about it.) Just pick up whatever is closest.

Here is my contribution:

"He would have none of what those big fellows tried to sell him. So it's up to us, boys. You know, something different, unusual, but in good taste, and you know different. Now do your best!"

Can you guess the book?

(To be completely honest, this was the second closest book to me, geographically speaking. I just picked it up at the library book sale this morning and haven't started reading it yet. The closest book was Shepherding A Child's Heart, but there was no writing on p. 123.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Art Can Be Dangerous

Whenever our kids go bike riding or rollerblading or go tearing around on their scooters, we make them wear their helmets. At every checkup, the doctor asks our kids if they wear their helmets when on wheels or ride in a booster seat in the car. No one told me that helmets would be necessary in art class.

This past Tuesday, I had this elaborate art project all set up (I always have high hopes for art… I should know better). I had spent days cutting out pictures, words, letters, numbers, etc from magazines and had spent that morning getting out scissors, paper, fabric, glue, and every other craft item I could think of so that the kids could work on collages in the style of Romare Bearden. Quarto was going to join us, so I set up a little spot for him with some paper and crayons since he finds glue “yucky” (although tasty). Being a typical “I want it therefore I must have it NOW” two-year-old, he immediately climbed onto his chair and stood to reach for the crayon box before I could move it within his reach. As he thrust himself forward by pushing against the chair, the chair, obeying Newton’s Third Law of Motion, shot away from the table. That’s when the Law of Gravity took its cue, and Quarto plummeted to the floor. Unfortunately for Quarto’s forehead, Secondo had moved closer to him in an attempt to catch him and his head met the edge of her chair on the way down. Then there was silence. If you are a parent, you know exactly what I am talking about. That nanosecond where the world stops spinning and sound waves are held at bay while your heart sinks into your gut. Then came the scream. An ear-piercing scream that expresses a toddler’s shock clearer than any Shakespearean oration. A scream that says, “That chair just attacked me! Can you believe it?! Me! Of all people!”

Primo and I took turns holding a compress on Quarto’s head and gathering changes of clothes and making phone calls. I take pride that I live in a neighborhood where many moms stay home during the day, but wouldn’t you know it… none were home Tuesday afternoon! Instead, I had to set people’s imaginations reeling when I called Frodo’s school and told the secretary that there was an emergency at home and I needed Frodo to come home immediately. By the time Frodo got home, the bleeding was under control, the kitchen was cleaned up, Terzo was comforting Quarto, Primo was crying and saying how much she loved Quarto and didn’t want him to die, and Secondo was asking, “Mom, how come when I look at Quarto’s cut I get dizzy? Can you see his skull?”

The emergency room visit was amazingly fast. We were on our way home about an hour and a half after we arrived. Quarto was amazing. He only cried twice: 1) when the triage nurse removed the duct tape band aid Frodo had put over the cut which caused the bleeding to restart and 2) when the doctor gave him the shot of anesthetic. He winced at one point when the doctor moved the needle into his line of vision, and when she apologized, Quarto said, sniffling, “That’s okay.” Before the doctor could come stitch up Quarto, she had to give another little one stitches. I was panicking because she was screaming bloody murder, and I was afraid it was going to scare Quarto, but Quarto amazed me. Do you know what he did? He looked at me and said, “That baby crying. We pray her?” So while waiting for his own stitches, he and I were praying for the little girl to have peace and healing. I love my kids.

Quarto is doing fine. The cut was rather deep, so he needed two sub dermal stitches and four surface stitches. We’ve been calling him ‘Franken-Toddler’ and he shows his “tiches” to anyone who will look. His stitches don’t come out until the day after our family photo. I could reschedule the photo, I suppose, but why avoid a photo that will recall so many scary and wonderful memories for years to come?

All this because the poor boy wanted to hold the power of ‘Sunshine Yellow’ in the palm of his hand.

Alive and Well

A couple weeks ago, I promised an update, so here it is. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. We have been having great fun, but someone else’s experiences read are never as exciting as one’s own experiences lived.

Actually, the main reason we have been scarce (especially ‘virtual me’) is that we found a school day routine that works really well for us, and I haven’t wanted to interfere with it by coming online during school hours. If we stay on track, school takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on the subjects we are studying that day. What about after school hours? Well, I have been trying not to do much housework while teaching, so I have to do housework during quiet times and after the kids go to bed. Thus, my screen time has been limited.

I thought this year would be more of a challenge because I am teaching three grades, kindergarten, third and fourth, and in many ways it is more of a challenge. However, I have always done better under pressure than I have when I have seemingly limitless time, so I think that has worked to my advantage this year. Primo and Secondo have many subjects that they can do together… history, chemistry, Latin, grammar, art, music, some math, and Bible. They do some math and spelling separately. Terzo joins them for Bible, art and music.

He even joined in our last Chemistry experiment (who can pass-up making marshmallow molecules?). The main focus with Terzo this year is learning to read, but he insisted on doing math, so I pulled out the first grade Saxon Math book, and he loves it. He also loves word finds, so I print out a new word find every time he learns a new phonics sound. (By the way, if you haven’t discovered Enchanted Learning, I highly recommend it. This is where I get Terzo’s word finds, and I have gotten art and science pages here as well. It is well worth the $20 annual fee to become a member and have access to additional pages and remove the advertising from printouts.) Keeping Quarto occupied has been a bit rough, and apparently including him in our studies can be hazardous to his health.

As to what else we’ve been up to:

-4H for the girls

-Soccer for Primo

-Cub Scouts for Terzo

-Keepers at Home for the girls

-Weekly library trips for everyone

-Homeschool Book Club for Primo, Secondo and Terzo

-Square Dancing lessons for the girls (although Terzo joins for the line dances)

-celebration of International Talk Like A Pirate Day

-field trip to the Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival for everyone

-Field trip to the zoo for everyone

-joint field trip to Native American Day at the local museum with Aduladi’ Homeschool Academy

-Titus 2 bi-monthly meetings with another homeschool family from our church for me and the kids

-Bi-monthly cleaning exchanges with a second homeschool family from our church for me and the kids

-Bi-monthly Sunday night teaching at church of 2 and 3 year olds for me and Frodo while the kids go to their own classes

-American Girl Book Club at the library for Secondo

-Series of Unfortunate Events party at the library for the girls (they won a copy of The End… very cool)

-monthly homeschool support meetings for me

-graduate school classes and thesis writing for Frodo

-teaching weekly childbirth class for me (this includes making dinner for the couple I’m teaching… it is one of Frodo’s former students and his wife and we all have a wonderful time when they come)

-Great Books Reading Partnership reading for me (I should be posting, too, but I haven’t had time)

And last but not least:

-potty training for Quarto

Yes, we’ve been busy, but we have been learning and having fun doing it. Soccer is almost over, Frodo will graduate in December, and the couple I’m teaching will have their baby. Even as these things end, other things are waiting to take their places… skating lessons, holidays, applications to Doctoral programs. But some things will remain the same… Sunday will remain a day of rest, family meal time will be protected, and we will look at every experience as a chance to glorify God and learn, learn, learn.

Monday, October 23, 2006

This is something I would do

Casino owner, Steve Wynn, was on track to sell his Picasso Le Reve for a record $139 million when his characteristic habit of animated gesturing while speaking caused him to accidentally thrust his elbow through the canvas and punch a hole in the painting! You can read the complete account here.

I guess now he's going to move to Australia.