Friday, August 29, 2008


Saturday as we drove up to Arrty's mom's place on the north fork of the Coeur d' Alene River, he told the boys that he was going to drive them through the big city of Prichard. He also told them not to sneeze. Adam asked, "Dad, why shouldn't we sneeze?" "Well," he explained, "If you sneeze you'll miss it." They understood once we got there. It would be easy to miss the bar and two old log cabins that make up the town if you sneezed on your way through. They thought it was funny and we continued on our way.

Then, Sunday on our way to church, Julianna sneezed. Instead of saying "bless you," Adam said, "It's a good thing we weren't driving through Prichard!"

Monday, August 25, 2008


Last week was one of the busiest I've had in a long time.

First our church was having Family Bible Camp (kind of like Vacation Bible School except for the whole family and in the evenings). We went to that Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. It was a great event and we all enjoyed it. The boys especially liked the treats at the end of the night--snow cones, cotton candy, and s'mores. We missed Tuesday because it was family dinner night at my parent's house. We celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday with lasagna and cheesecake. Family dinner night is a weekly event that we all look forward to.

Thursday we took the boys to motocross at the fair. They love to watch the races and always ask when they can get motorcycles. It was rainy and wet and muddy but we made it to the grandstands just in time and stayed mostly dry. I can't say the same for the riders.

Friday we went to "Fun Friday" at church. Our children's minister has planned these special days all summer and we have been to most of them. The boys have especially enjoyed bike day, tie-dyed tee shirt day, and chef day. This week it was movie/slip and slide day. I could hardly get them out of the water.

After that, we headed back to the fair. We spent the afternoon looking at the animal exhibits and eating fair food (Hawaiian shaved ice, hamburgers, fish and chips, corn dogs). Then we went to the rodeo with the whole family--a yearly tradition. After the rodeo we were all thirsty and stopped to get sodas. Josh saw a guy with nachos and wanted some but since we were getting ready to leave we didn't go for more food. Until we were on the road, that is. We ended up stopping at Taco Bell and getting a snack. Josh got nachos, of course.

Saturday we drove up the north fork of the Coeur d' Alene River where Arrty's mom lives and spent the day with her. The boys spent hours in the water finding all kinds of creatures including a snake, a frog, clams, and fish. It was a great time. And we saw two moose and half a dozen deer on the way home.

Then last night we went back into town for a church picnic. There was plenty of food and fellowship as usual, along with a jumpy house and face painting for the kids.

And in between all that, we started school. (A post all on its own.)

So for a full week we weren't home until 9:00pm or later. Poor Julianna was a real trooper through it all even though her schedule got all thrown off course. Josh and Adam were tired, but enjoyed it all. Arrty had fun, but is glad to be done with such a busy week. And me, well, I'm just glad to get back to normal. If there is such a thing.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Today the boys and I attended our first Idaho Virtual Academy event. We went to Discovery Day. The boys went to separate classes with kids their own age and did a variety of activities and lessons. I went to the parent sessions with introductions, questions and answers, and expert speakers. It was very interesting. And a little overwhelming. It made me realize just what I was getting myself into. Almost everyone who spoke told us how hard it was going to be. Which I knew. But having someone else say it made me think.

Then a lady who has been homeschooling her children for 6 years shared some of her story. The way she described her relationship with her girls brought tears to my eyes. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, there will be tough days. Yes, I will be challenged in every sense of the word. And I will never regret a second of it.

By the way, everyone there looked absolutely...normal. There wasn't a squirrel skin hat to be found!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I love the Olympics. I can watch pretty much any event and enjoy every minute. Not only that, I love the stories behind the athletes. Like the swimmer who almost drowned as a child or the beach volleyball player who almost quit playing when she struggled to perfect the game.

Last night as I watched, I began thinking about in which sport I might like to compete. Swimming is out because, well, I can't swim. Gymnastics is out because I have never even been able to do a cartwheel. Beach volleyball looks fun but after the match you have to deal with all that sand. Boxing, ouch. Tennis, too much effort. Greco Roman But then I discovered the perfect Olympic sport for me. Badminton. I was the 10th grade badminton champ in PE in high school. So it's perfect. Plus, the equipment is light and you get to say things like racket and rally and shuttlecock. And to avoid the pressure during the gold medal match, I can pretend that I'm playing in my front yard on a summer afternoon.

I have until 2012 to get ready. And I'll even make for a great story for the commentators. "40 year old Jen began her badminton career at the age of 36 after watching the 2008 Beijing games. Now she's ready to take on the world with racket in hand..."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

32 + 1

I went to the dentist today and he told me that I have perfect teeth. "Well, almost perfect," he corrected, "No one's perfect." I brush twice a day but rarely floss and have never had any work done except for a few fillings and still have almost perfect teeth. Not bad.

He also commented on my extra tooth. You see, I have 33 teeth. Two #10s. That's the one right next to the left top front tooth. Most people have 32 teeth if all of them come in and none have been lost or pulled. I have been going to this dentist for over 20 years and he still comments on my extra tooth. At least he doesn't pull everyone in the office in to see it like he used to. Now he just comments to the hygienist about it. Every time. And he gets very excited about it. Every time. Maybe that's because I'm the only patient he's ever had with an extra tooth. And you know he's seen a lot of mouths full of teeth. (Just not as full as mine.)

So I'm pretty sure that I'm his favorite patient--almost perfect teeth and an extra tooth. You know he can't wait until February when I come back.

Monday, August 11, 2008


It's mid-August and usually at this time of the year I would be spending most days in my classroom getting it ready for my new students. I would be planning lessons, organizing supplies, putting up posters, and making seating charts. I would be going over class lists and putting up little name tags on coat hooks and cubbies and tables. I would be tearing out workbook pages and writing names on them to get them ready for eager little hands holding brand new pencils.

But this year I am doing none of those things. This year I am spending my time in our basement setting up a very different kind of classroom. This year I will be homeschooling Josh and Adam. They are enrolled in the Idaho Virtual Academy. I am at once excited and hesitant about the prospect of homeschooling. It is wonderful (and challenging) to teach my own kids. I had them both in my kindergarten class. And I really am looking forward to doing the IDVA curriculum with them. It is a great program that provides families with all the supplies they need to homeschool. But I also know myself and my children. Josh is very smart and will be able to do much of the work on his own, but he is also stubborn and wants to do things his way or no way. Adam is above grade level, too, but can be silly beyond imagination and would often rather play than work.

We talked about this last spring when I asked them if they would like to be homeschooled. They were all for it. Josh said that he would be able to get his work done so much faster if there weren't so many other classmates talking around him. (I did not point out that he was the one doing much of the talking in class.) And Adam said that he wanted to homeschool so that he could be home with me and the baby. (This was before she was born and he still feels the same way about her.) So I talked to them about their issues and made sure that they realized that it would still be school and they would still have to do work just like always. They assured me that they would do what they were supposed to.

So that brings things to me. Now it's up to me to make sure that they have everything they need to succeed in this new endeavor. I have to combine all my mommy knowledge and all my teacher knowledge to give them the best education I can. I have to balance everything that mommies do at home while also teaching my children several hours a day. I have to be consistent to make sure that the boys learn what they are supposed to in school and what they are supposed to about life. And I have to do all this while taking care of their 2 1/2 month old sister.

I have a feeling that I just may be the one learning the most this year.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Natural Consequences

This morning when I asked Adam to get my magazine for me while I was nursing Julianna, he informed me that I make him do everything and I do nothing for him. Well, as consequences for his being disrespectful about it, I told him that for the rest of the day he will do everything for himself and whenever he asks for my help, I remind him of those consequences. As a result, he made his own lunch, did his craft project alone, and picked up all his own messes among other things. And we still have dinner, baths and bedtime to go. Maybe next time he'll just get the magazine.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Friday we went to a Spokane Indians baseball game. It was fun as usual. Except for the lady sitting behind us who was cheering for Yakima. Loudly. And who kept yelling, "Down in front!" to anyone who stood up in front of her anywhere in our section for any reason. She even yelled it if she thought someone was blocking someone else's view.

I made $73 at a friend's garage sale on baby stuff that had been given to me that I either didn't need or already had. I'll use the money to buy Julianna an entertainment seat.

Speaking of Julianna, she had her 2 month doctor's appointment on Friday. She is now 22 inches long and weighs 11 pounds 8 ounces. She also had to get shots. Poor girl. She did great though and was fine after a few doses of Tylenol.

Still speaking of Julianna, she has consistently slept between 6 and 7 hours for almost 4 weeks now. I didn't mention it earlier because I didn't want to jinx it. She has also moved from the bassinet in our room to the crib in her room. She is growing and changing too fast. Sigh.

Sunday we went to Art On The Green. It's kind of like having a garage sale. You have to do it every few years to remind yourself why you don't want to do it again. Too many people and too much money for a huge bun with a tiny piece of chicken. (Although the guy who stood in front of the speakers during the bluegrass concert and danced alone for a very long time was kind of entertaining.)

Shark Week on Discovery Channel is over. Never in my life have I watched so many shows about sharks as I did this week. The boys in my family couldn't get enough. Did you know that sharks are repelled by the smell of dead sharks? Or that bull sharks, not great whites, are considered the deadliest sharks? Or that if you are being attacked by a shark and poke it in the eye it will let go? Well, now you do. And when they have butterfly week, I'm totally making my family watch every minute!!