Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I need this holiday to be over. I've bought halloween candy twice now. And still I have nothing to give out to the trick or treaters tonight. I've must have eaten at least 300 pieces of candy in the past week. And each and every piece has to be sneaked (snuck?) past 4 kids and Cathy. It is hard work I tell you.

We had the annual pumpkin carving hell last night. Doesn't Finley look like she knows what she is doing? What? One year olds shouldn't be given knives? Pumpkin carving is hard and to expect kids to come out with these amazing creations is unfair. We got through it. In our lovely dining room with hanging quilts and no lighting. Yup- no lights! We have our outside skating/sledding floodlights in the kitchen now. Great ambience.

I also need this election to be over. How much more time can I spend singing along with these guys? Just another thing I've gotta sneak 'cause Logan knows bad language when he hears it!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Flat Logan and Flat Stacy

Logan had a Flat Stanley Project for school this year. Unlike his Felix (the bunny) who only went to Hawaii (Thanks for the adventures GUL and GAM!) this guy has to travel on his own for 7 months before making his way back home. Sadly, the first person we sent Flat Logan to dropped the ball and he has never been heard from since.

Never fear. We'll try again at home. This time both the older kids joined in and we have sent Flat Logan off to Australia and Flat Stacy (that would be Avery's) to California. We hope they have wonderful adventures, that we get at least a few postcards while they travel, and that they arrive back home safely sometime in the spring.

Bon Voyage!

ps- Logan's Flat Logan is wearing a t-shirt that says "Animy King", which translated means "Enemy King." I'm sure that matters!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Randomness

Halloween is approaching. We had two parties to attend yesterday and it went surprisingly well with 4 costumed kids and one adult. There tends to be more drama with costumes when belts don't fit and tiaras slid, etc. But my kids were pleasantly resilient with their costume difficulties. I like this photo of Meryl because I see Avery's face here. All four at the town's party, which is really geared for the 1-5 age group.

With a house that has no heat and no insulation we go outside to warm up. Here we are drawing in the sand, since markers, paper, etc are scarce at our pared down house.

Who says its cold in here? The babies are least affected by the cold. They sleep with me and are toasty warm at night. The older kids are cold in the mornings at breakfast but handle it well. Cathy and I (well, mostly me) are such wimps. I hate being all bundled up inside.

The house is coming along, slowly. All windows and doors are in their correct location. Rough plumbing is done and the inspection is on Monday. We have our vanities and sinks, lights for inside and out; we've even decided on fixtures for the bathroom. BUT the electrician will be here last Monday. No, he'll be here last Tuesday with a double crew. Wait, he will be here on Wednesday morning at 8. We really hope he'll show up this week! Notice the contractors sign in the photo, but don't take it as a form of endorsement!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Hard to believe it has only been 3 weeks we've been doing this project. Feels like a lifetime. There are reasons that most families of 6 don't live in a 200sf studio apt without no kitchen or bath. Living in the basement is hard, but I know it will be worthwhile in the end, as long I don't kill someone first. I want things to keep moving fast because it is cold living in an unheated, uninsulated plywood house. Here are the most recent changes in the house.

I love how this has opened up dining room so much. And the morning light is amazing!
We are still keeping busy with regular things too. Or at least trying.

Fishing at the pond in our woods. (No hooks, no bait, just a chunk of wood on the end. Much safer this way!)

Stopping for hugs in the meadow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


New stairwell. Beauty, huh?

View from the stairs.

View from behind the dumpster.

House Update

This is a photo from the end of September.

Originally I had thought I might post a few photos each day so you could see the progress. Um..not gonna happen! I have to call the day a success if I've kept everyone alive and brushed my teeth at least once. Right now we have a shingled roof (with a big gap where the ridge vent goes, actual windows in the wholes where the windows will be in all but a few places. The floor plan is laid out in 2x4s and I have to admit I had the briefest thought about leaving it open and putting up a hoop at each end! The stairway work starts today, which means lots of dust and debris in the dining room and kitchen. All my kitchen supplies and food have been whittled down to 4 milk crates of stuff.

Maybe I shouldn't let Finley watch the workers so much. She's picking up their dressing habits!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I spent a bit of time in Logan's classroom yesterday. In short, it was a tornado. Complete chaos, disorganization and lots of waiting around. And he has THE sought after teacher for 2nd grade. Ms. Frizzle if you will. Lots of fun, a room packed (and I mean packed) full of things. Yes, they are interesting things but I couldn't pay attention to what I was supposed to and I'm almost 40, not 8 years old. They get a list of spelling words every Monday with a test on Friday. But they don't work on the words once during the week. Metacognition. Labyrinth. Museum. Those are words for 2nd grade? He can barely read and they say he is doing fine but his spelling words don't match his reading level.

Avery has been telling us that they never have time to go to recess, have circle time, do share, etc. She says that they have to do things over and over because "the boys don't get it." So they practice lining up. They practice coming in from recess but don't actually do recess. Most days when she tells us what she did it is "Wait for the boys." And she came home in tears yesterday because she got in trouble. For grabbing her granola bar back from a kid who took it at snack.

I've decided that they are just managing large groups of children and any learning that takes place is incidental. But what do I do? Homeschool with the freaks and religious zealots? I could never unschool but I can imagine homeschooling. In theory. But I read my local homeschool yahoo groups and they are nuts! Opposed to the use of capitalization and punctuation? Yikes! I can't write well but I think I can get basic ideas across.

My kids aren't joiners so I can't just cram in some academic stuff in in the morning and then let them loose on activities in the afternoon which is what I would love to do. Logan says he likes school. But he also says he doesn't have enough time at school or at home. He wishes for more time to play star wars legos, spy on neighbors and play with friends. We both wish we had more time to just sit and read together- read Harry Potter, read the Star wars stuff, do projects and generally just be. Avery has found some books that she likes to read (BOB books) and that she likes to be read (Junie B. Jones sadly). She like to work on spelling words and gets the first ten of Logan's words each week and is doing pretty well.

This sums up my feelings about school right now. Big Sigh.