MODEST MAMA

Follow our family as we journey through life.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

As if I need a reason...

To show off this baby!



School Time

We have gotten off to a great homeschooling year. We are using R.E.A.L. for science and the kids LOVE it!
They made anemometers (as well as a weather vane and a rain gauge).
They have enjoyed painting.
And glueing a lions face.
James loves his English program. We are still using Shirley English. He thinks diagraming sentences is really neat. I have enjoyed it as well. I now know what a prepositon and the object of a preposition is!

Friendly Fun

I have no idea why Henry was following me around with his tongue out. But he still looks really cute!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Low Blood Sugar Moment

So the Mom's club had an event at a local dive where the kids got to make their own ice cream sundaes. We had a great time and we even walked their with our neighbors. It was a crazy event with about 30 kids (public school hasn't started yet and so there were more kids than normal). We basically took over the place.
As we were leaving I was struggling to get Henry and Margaret in the double stroller and make sure that Isaac and James didn't ride their scooters into the parking lot. I call over to Allison (the neighbor) about something funny that Henry has just said. All of a sudden I hear:

"Would you shut the hell up? We're on the phone here!"

I look very puzzled at the couple standing nearby, who are indeed on a pay phone (those still exist?). With six kids in my line of vision and at least a dozen in the parking lot behind me I was confused.

"I'm sorry?"

"We are trying to have a G** D***** conversation here. Shut the hell up!"

"Would you please watch your language? I've got kids here."

"Quit being so ignorant. I don't care about your kids..."

At which time the gal on the phone interupts by screaming.
"Oh Hell! G** D****!"

I am so confused. Is she saying this to her man friend who is obviously out of line, or to me?

Allison decides to step in with her soft gentle reasoning: "We are in a public place and we are just getting the kids to go home..."
The man again: "Quit being so ignorant! Shut the hell up!"

There it is again. Ignorant? This puzzles me very much as my sense of confidence is just about gone, and the man's misuse of this word is not helping.

Another gal from the mom's club is now telling me that I should call the police. The police?

"911, what is your emergency?"

"Hi. We are at Valley Dairy and these people are on the pay phone swearing at us and misusing the word 'ignorant'."

"Okay, stay calm. We'll have someone there right away."

That was her solution, but I was thinking about something a little more subtle like giving him the finger.

Everyone has their low blood sugar moments.

Only organized superheroes around here

Today I overheard the following conversation during some serious superhero play:

Superhero 1: "You come to my house and knock on the door."
Superhero 2: "Okay" Door shuts then knocking sound.
Superhero 1 opens door. "Hi!"
Superhero 2: "Hi! I'm coming in your house."
Superhero 1: "NO! You can't come in! My house isn't clean!" Tries closing the door.
Superhero 2, fighting to keep door open: "BUT I WANT TO COME IN AND SHOOT MY WEB AROUND!"
Superhero 1: "No one can come in when my house is not clean!"
Superhero 2: "WAHHHHH! I WANT TO SHOOT MY WEB AROUND!"
Superhero 3 appears. "Hey, want to play library?"
Superhero 1: "Yes!" Runs away.
Superway 2: "Ha ha! I got into your house to shoot my web around." Runs in a circle in bedroom. Realizes that I am the only one witnessing this acheivement. "I want to play library!" Runs away.

It's a world I will never fully understand. Kind of like the Middle East.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Backpacking




Michael takes James backpacking for a night every season. They have been doing it for a full year now. The "rule" is that you must be five years old to go backpacking. They hike in the Laurel Highlands to these three-sided shelters. The hike is short, but as they get older they can hike to shelters that are further away. James adores backpacking!

The Pressure is on...

To get Henry potty-trained.
Our church is starting a Catechesis of the Good Shephard program here in town. They agreed to accept Henry into the program, but no diapers are allowed. We have until October 2.

This program just further illustrates my problem saying "No" when my children are invited to join programs and events around town. Our school week is already looking very full with activities that have nothing to do with completing actual school lessons. James is already books Wednesday mornings, Thursday mornings, and Friday mornings and afternoons. This leads me feeling very busy and wondering how his social calendar got so full so fast. He is only six. "What about socialization?" is a common homeschooling question. Well, what about it? It appears we are going to have too much of it and not enough schooling!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Henry has his own language


Henry is always getting compliments for how well he speaks. With two older brothers to keep up with, he learned early on what it takes to survive in this house. Well, the advanced verbal skills are not without flaws. He has a problem with the "s" and the "th" sound. He replaces both of those sounds with the "f" sound.

Did I mention that Henry is a thumb sucker? We are trying to phase it out. So he asks for permission to suck his thumb, only it doesn't sound like that at all.

Did I mention that Margaret is also a thumb sucker? And both the neighbor girls? Henry loves to point out other children sucking their thumbs. Only it never really sounds like that.

A Day at Home

Michael was in Philadephia for the day and I agreed to watch the neighbor girls for a few hours in the evening. Now, these are possibly the sweetest, most well-behaved girls in all of Western PA, and so the pleasure was really all mine. That and their presence kept my boys busy for mulitple hours. Anyways, the lack of children clinging to my legs saying they needed something motivated me to do something fun. So we had "Make your own pizza" for dinner. I made dough, and prepared the toppins. The kids did the rest. Everyone had a good time and dinner was made. After dinner the other neighbors came out and all the children went to their yard to play. I could not believe my good fortune of having no stress in the entire experience of being the only adult in charge of six children during a meal time.

This photo is taken from our back deck. I thought it was very representative of this area. Take special note of the three vehicles parked in the backyard and the picnic table full of house building trash. What you can not see is the broken glass from one of the trucks that the white car parked over to keep the kids safe. We wouldn't want to clean up the broken glass because that would be too "top of the hill" and we live at the bottom of the hill. The hedge also hids other piles of "stuff" that has been piled around the perimeter of the yard. One of the red trucks has a rotted off tire and several panels in the truck are replaced. It is also the truck missing the side windows (the reason for the glass). Now, we have no problem with these neighbors, they are nice kind people and their kids are polite and well-behaved. I just wanted to post a photo because I know that many are curious about what our area is like and this view really captures the area as a whole.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Feast Day Margaret!

August 15, the Feast of the Assumption is also the day that we celebrate Margaret Mary Phyllis' feast day.
The boys decided that what Margaret would probably like the best would be to nurse all day long. Her day has been busy indeed with naps, and rice cereal, and laughing, smiling, playing, and of-course nursing. Tonight we are going to a local traditional Mass with a potluck to follow. Please remember Margaret in your prayers on her first feast day!

Fun at Keystone State Park

We had a fun picnic day at Keystone State Park this week with our neighbors. Keystone is less than ten minutes from our house.










Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day of Homeschool

Although we school all year long, today was our "official" first day of school for the year.
James is in second grade, Isaac is in preschool, Henry is mostly in trouble, and Margaret's favorite subject is smiling.

Summer Fun

Some photos of our summer fun here at home.
Baseball games.


Homemade icecream.



Turning a picnic table into a spaceship.


Looking pretty.

Fun hats.


Picnics with friends.


Making new friends.


More fun with sports.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just another Sunday...

and just another "little" project. We decided to take a little peek behind our drop ceiling in the kitchen.

Yes, that is dust.

And let's take out part of a wall while we're at it.



The kids believe we are trying to make the kitchen look more like a basement because basements are fun.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Isaac the Philosopher

Isaac seems to be thinking a lot about things that are beyond the level of a four year.

Isaac: "Mama, how do you love?"
Me: "How do you love?"
Isaac: "Yeah."
Me: "How do you think you love?"
Isaac: "I don't know. How do you love you?"
Me: "I am not sure. I know how to write 'love you.' Do you want to know that?"
Isaac: "Um... (clearly not totally satisfied). Okay. How do you write 'love you.'"

Obviously I am the wrong parent for these questions. Isaac clearly needs some sessions with The Philosopher Mom!