The Land of All Things Lewis

When I see birches bend to left and right…I like to think some boy's been swinging from them. -Robert Frost

New Year Food, Periods, School, and legos…

For my New Year gift (if there is such a thing) I got my period. Isn’t that lovely.

I got a new notebook for this upcoming quarter. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with taking three classes. I was really hoping I could get down to one class per quarter. Perhaps we can afford that next quarter. So, here is to hoping for less classes for me this year, yet please let that be one per quarter…not none per quarter =P

All my boys are playing with their Lego’s from Christmas. That includes Daddy.

And, yes the food. We had planned to go to a friends house tonight. But, alas my gift is not something I really want to share. I know I shouldn’t be such a weeny. But, I am. All these years of being at home have made me a total period weenie. I hate going out.

Oh…oooops I was talking about food.

We are having a lovely meal to let in the new year. The kind of mish mash Lewis dinner we all love. It’s like Tapas only Lewis style (snark, spiff, spaff)…

The parents will be enjoying beer (in the gluten-filled and gluten-free varieties).
Pistachios in the shell
gluten-free flatbreads
tortilla chips
black bean dip
pizza (in the gluten-filled and gluten-free varieties…I’m being rather lazy tonight. I bought frozen pizzas. I’ve had no luck with making a crust like Amy’s. I like that cornmeal action going on. So, until I figure that out I’m going to consider myself so lucky to live in a country with frozen pizza I can eat.)

Dessert will be Coconut or Strawberry popsicles, Pistachios in the shell, and dark Chocolate. We bought a giant dark chocolate bar a few weeks back from Trader Joe’s. My 4 year old picked it out and he was so happy. Today we went to the local market and found a 43.00 bar of chocolate. It was rather heavy, but my 4 year old really wanted to bring it home.

I pray your New Year is full of many blessings, surprises, ups and downs (which make all the ups so much better), adventures, new strengths, and much wisdom.


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Worrying about writing…

Just when I was worrying I ventured upon Miranda’s post on writing.  I feel that way, too. I think I’m projecting my worries on whether or not to continue to major in English on my 10 year old son.  Wait I’m projecting on my son, my worries.  My worries are being projected… or maybe that’s projectiled…which is how I feel when thinking about changing my mind.

I’m taking a beginning linguistics class focusing on grammar this upcoming quarter, just in case.  Just in case I want to stop feeling like such a dope when a professor mentions a high and mighty grammatical error.  I diagrammed hundreds of sentences growing up.  I should be able to play silly sentences with my child without telling him to make sure he picks one of those “green words.” (BTW, we have outgrown this game now and we are going to make up our own.  I figure we can print on colored paper or just outline the borders in a color for each part of speech.  And, perhaps I’ll improve my parts of speech knowledge along with them.)

It’s just that I don’t get a lot of comments about my lack of proper grammar.  Either they don’t notice or I’ve dazzled them with my superior abilities to keep the reader holding on for every last….

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December is almost done…

We have one more week of “school” till January.  It’s been a good experience.  I’m happy with it.  The boys are happy with it.  The Peacemaker is especially happy with it.  He enjoys socializing.  He enjoys getting his hands into wet clay and the encouragement to be even louder in Martial Arts.

Next month The Prophet and The Peacemaker will be a year older.  I’m not prepared.  I  can’t believe I’ll be the mother to 11 and 8 year old boys.

I worry about them growing older.  I’m trying to figure out how to meld a relaxed lifestyle with goals and objectives.  Yes, we use curriculum.  But, I’ve yet to find a weekly schedule that suits us.  It works so much better to discuss what we will do for the next few days.  My boys enjoy what curriculums we use.  They helped picked them out. They are intelligent.  They are growing older without me nagging them.  (Of course, I’m not above bribing.)

In a few weeks you won’t see me very often.  I’ll be busy with my school and their school.  I’ll be figuring my way around German, praying that what I heard in utero has laid a path through my brain.

My little Warrior is snuggling at my side tonight.  He sees words and letters now and realizes they are something you read.  I don’t when he did that.  Sometimes we play Starfall…he calls it the Apple game.  He has some of those fridge letters that sing songs.  But, tonight he sees these words and realizes they are something special.  We didn’t make a lesson.  I didn’t point it out.  He understands and I understand how very special these little moments are.

The rest of the men are watching silent movies (on DVD).  I heard the Artist (their father that is)  say it’s annoying to watch a silent film about people talking on the phone.  These little men and one big man who normally cannot sit still are enchanted and quiet watching silent movies in black and white after a candle lit dinner of roasted red pepper soup, bagged salad, hot chicken wings, corn-dogs, grilled cheese, tuna salad…no we didn’t all eat all of that.  It was one of the nights of the many dinners.

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Around the World in 80 Days

We just started reading this book. My oldest really wants to do some more fun activities, so I’m going to make a mini-unit study on it. Then we can turn it into a notebook to show at his next progress meeting.

We are using The Whole Story Series edition. I love these books.

Here are the ideas, so far. I would love some input and more suggestions please, please, please.

1. Make a compass (Take pictures, include captions, and make a perty page about it. I might include a lab sheet as well. Basically you list the supplies and such. Then you list what you think will happen. And, finally what really happened.)
2. Track the route on a map
3. Discuss Time Zones and do some kind of map when it comes up
4. Study any people that come up along the way. The Whole Story books have information in the margins about historical figures and such.
5. I reserved the older version of the movie from the library
6. Figure out the cost of the trip today and how long it will take. I was thinking perhaps we could use one of the trip planner things for tickets and such. This might be a bit much though.
7. Report on Jules Verne. Something like a picture on the top of the page and a few sentences about him on the bottom.
8. Here is a cool online travel journal at Global Trek travel journal.

9.  I got a reply from a fellow homeschool mom who will be using Around the World…, but her link isn’t quite right.  So, is what she is working on including the rules to whist.

Here are some more directions for Whist.


Snow starts our December

We started our first day of December with snow.  It’s still here today albeit the drizzle of freezing rain is doing it’s best to clear it away.

We went for a walk to the store for hot chocolate.  It started Merry enough, but with three boys and a dog there were a few tears shed and a vicious snowball fight in the middle of the  doorway  of our market.

A realization came about this previous two weeks.  I’m not sure if I shared yet, but I know firmly believe there can be too many worksheets.  Gasp…I mean didn’t you know this about me already.  But, I guess somewhere in my wee little mama mind I really hoped this would be the year my sweet children would wake up with a love of workbooks and worksheets and order.  But, alas  I need to step back.  Curriculum in this house has to have an open ended componaent.

Take Math U See for example.  This works well for us and the boys balk at all other curriculums.  We can work for Mastery with this program.  We do not need to do all six pages of student work.  It doesn’t take an hour to explain the lessons.  It works!

And, I am overwhelmed. We have to do lessons together or I’m going to explode.

So, two steps forward and two steps back.

More Charlotte Mason.

Less Worry.

More together.

More reading.  We have been really lax with reading here.  I miss our snuggly reading and discussions.  Our reading times together have always been so good for our minds and hearts.  They fuel learning in unexpected ways.  So, somehow they have to come back.

We returned almost all of the library books we had and picked up a fresh new stack.  One liberated of lessons or instructions.  Just different topics and new authors…and some old beloved ones too.

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May I have your attention…this is a weekly update

Yes, I knew I would slack on this. But, I did put some effort into it. School has been keeping us busy or maybe it’s just life.

Life Sans Gluten

I’ve been focusing my spare energy on learning to cook and shop in a different fashion. I’m enjoying the energy and the weightloss! My boys seem to be responding as well. I just need to work on stocking our freezer with frozen GF pizzas. They love pizza. I’m really hoping I can start freezing some easy things. I didn’t realize how much I don’t like cooking anymore. I just get so busy and it always seems to take so long.

I’m trying to remember why it was so hard last time we tried this. I think it was because the boys were in public school and they thought eating school lunch was such a treat. And, the donuts my dh would hide in the garage.

But, as my dh was getting a snack for The Warrior he informed me I needed to get some rice crackers or something. Luckily I had bought some crackers for Thanksgiving. I had bought crackers, babaganoush, and beer to take with me. I hate missing cracker and dip time. I hate missing beer/wine time, too. I can’t have wine. It always makes me sick. So, beer it is. I chose the hazelnut crackers. They weren’t bad. Actually, they are like the little asian crackers you can buy. So, the texture threw me off a bit. But, they worked well.

For the Love of Mac

My sweet friend the iBook is getting ready for convalesence. My right shift key is broken and that is the one I use the most. Logically I can see why it broke, but still. The screen blacks out if it is placed in the wrong position. I don’t think it would be wise to put more money in it. But, I don’t know if I can afford another Mac at the moment. The horror. We have a PC in the house, but only because someone gave it to the boys to play with. I can’t imagine spending money on it.

New Classes

The boys are all signed up for their new quarter classes. The Prophet has added a Sports class into his schedule. We are amazed! I thought he was allergic to exercise. He is, also, doing a Lego Robotics class where they learn how to build and program little robot vehicles. He still has Chess and Martial Arts. In fact, he just got his uniform and he looks so handsome. The Peacemaker has added Pottery and Chess. They have a real artist, kiln, and wheels! It’s really exciting. He still has Science and Martial Arts. I’m happy we live close because we are there every day of the week this quarter. The families who are there every day and live farther away bring food and school work. As cool as it is that they can all be together for school, I’m too much of a homebody. I couldn’t spend my whole week there. I would go nuts. I need some PJ time ya know.

Singapore Math

My oldest is finally ready to get moving up in Math. I don’t have the money for a new level of Math U See right now. Although, it’s not expensive at all. I’ve used all the levels for both children so far. I don’t think you can beat that. We are going to give Singapore a try this quarter for him. I’m hoping it doesn’t mess up all the work we have gone through. I feel bad how many Math programs he has been through at this point. But, he isn’t using the Math U See DVD at this point anyhow. So, I thought it probably wouldn’t matter until we get him up to Grade level.  The point is I can check out Singapore for free from our school library and since he doesn’t seem to need the DVD’s right now then it should be fine.

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My Thanksgiving was safe…

well safer. I did my best not to eat gluten anything. I figured I would just give it a try for Thanksgiving. I feel fine today.

My dh’s cousin is cutting into a pie and she says, “this pie is dairy and gluten-free.” My jaw dropped right that moment. Turns out she has been dairy and gluten-free because of how sick she has been. Her doctor’s found nothing wrong with her. So, after some research she gave it a try. She was better until she went back to the doctor and he made her go back on gluten for testing. She had tests on Wednesday and stopped eating gluten and dairy right away.

So, we got to talk all about gluten free and dairy free. We talked about the link to a gfcf for those on the spectrum as well. She knew the prophet had Asperger’s (she works with children) even though no one had shared his diagnosis with her. It was a great talk. And, it was one of those points in life where you wonder if you are going down the right path…and then some one comes along and reaffirms it for you.

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I am officially Gluten-Free

Ok I’m not sure it’s official. There might be some contamination here and there.

But, I’m trying my best. My insane cravings for sugar and bread are gone. I’m back down to a normal caloric intake for my size! I feel wonderful and I really think the migraines I had recently were because I was letting go of the gluten. I’m not sure.

But, I feel so amazing. I’m sure it will be a process, but I feel amazing. We went gluten-free for our sons in the past. But, I still ate it when I was out or at school. I would down a pack of mini-pitas and hummus when I wasn’t home. Ugh.

I’m not puffy.

I’m not insane.

I’m not craving chocolate bars.

You will probably here more in the future about this. But, I had to share.

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Another migraine

I have a migraine again. I have had one almost every day this past week. Could it be the weather? I broke down and I’m having a cup of coffee. It seems to work better than Advil, aspirin, etc.etc. My blood sugar readings seem just fine. I really can’t tie it in to anything except for the birth of our last son.

I want to vomit. I want to remove my brain and put it in the fridge for a day. Too graphic? It’s how I feel.


Tea, weightloss,

I love tea. Unlike coffee I can drink it all day long. It doesn’t intervere with my sleep patterns. It doesn’t leave my tummy upset and me running to the bathroom. Plus, there are all kinds of flavors and herbs. Since, my love affair with tea has begun I have yet to find the perfect tea pot. But, now I wonder if I have. If a beautiful red one good enough to make it own my wishlist?

I must loose weight. I feel so out of control. I feel blah. I’m hungry all day long. I want to sleep till an hour before noon. I’m considering trying Gluten Free again. I don’t know if I can. According to Prevention to get back to my ideal weight, why I should be consuming 1354 calories per day. What am I going to eat on that budget? I wish I was taller or just a wee bit less lazy. I’m shooting for around 1500 at this point. But, it’s so easy to go over that.

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