Monday, October 31, 2005


Mr. Fantastic and Johnny Danger read up on their predecessors.
picture courtesy of ganap!

Our first Halloween, and I'm still not sure about the the whole trick-or-treating business, but I let the kids try it out in my friend's neighborhood. After several houses, D said his bag was too heavy and began to turn away offers of candy! Needless to say I was already completely exhausted from the previous weeks activities, and had almost forgotten about Halloween, when the boys asked me at 4pm if trick-or-treating was today or tomorrow. I think I'd rather just buy the candy, let the kids dress up and call it a night. Am I turning into a scrooge? I don't know. I just don't have the energy required for holidays (or cultural festivities, whatever you want to call them). Once upon a time, I used to love any and every occasion for dressing up, in fact many of my birthday parties have been costume parties, but I just don't have it in me right now.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Today is L's 2nd birthday. Where has the time gone? Oh, yeah, I remember...

Today we also celebrate the birth of my friends', Inge and Greg, newest addition, Joshua Thomas! It's a great day for birthdays! Welcome to the world, Joshua.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

School Marm

My least favorite thing about homeschooling is having this conversation:

person: So are you working, or do you stay home?
me: I stay home, I homeschool my children.
person: (eybrows raised) Oh you homeschool?
me: Yes
person: Wow, I could never do that. I mean I love my kids and all, but I could never teach them. They wouldn't listen to me.
me: hmmm (thinking: you've taught them plenty already just being their parent), well it isn't easy, it's a lot of work, but I'm glad that I am doing it. It is really important to me.
person: I really respect people who can do that, but I never could. I would just go crazy.
me: (wondering how to change the subject without being too obvious) Well, even though I live in the "best" public school district in my county, I don't trust the government to educate my children the way I believe they should be educated. And my kids really like it too, so that helps make it easier. (trying to soften my reasons. now please talk about something else!)

Whenever I have this conversation (or one like it) with someone new, it makes me really uncomfortable, I don't want my new friend or acquaintance to think I'm a kook or some crazy right-wing fanatic...I also don't want them to feel like I am judging them, that I am looking down my nose at them for not homeschooling. It is very difficult to feel strongly about something and talk about it without rubbing someone the wrong way. I guess I just need to get over it. I think what really gets to some of these people is how I am homeschooling as a single-mom. I think that perhaps they feel threatened by this. They have already decided they can't homeschool, so how can I without a husband helping me at home? I'll tell you. It is a decision I made, and I just do it. Yes, my house looks less than perfect most of the time, I have dustbunnies, and dirty dishes and piles of laundry, but that stuff is really not all that important. I've learned that the people who judge me based on these outward things aren't really friends anyway. Those who know me and my children, my real friends, can attest to the fact that, whatever it is I'm doing, it's working.

Monday, October 24, 2005

15 year reunion

I graduated from high school in 1990, this weekend was our fifteen year reunion at Oregon Ridge. It was very low-key, and only about 40 or so people of our class of roughly 400 showed up. This was not your typical "t.v. reunion episode" where everyone comes hoping to show up all the others, attempting to impress with their successes. This was a gathering of real folk, many of us with kids, husbands or wives, some with divorces, and ordinary jobs. Absolutely no putting on of airs, which considering the fact that Dulaney was/is the most prestigious public high school in our county is a pretty big deal. I think I was the one there with the most children, some others had two, and there were some with brand new babies just starting their families. I was glad to have gone, because six of my old elementary school girlfriends were there (Missy, Alicia, Heather, Tricia, Molly, and Ellen) and they are all still local to Baltimore. It was fun to reminisce about old teachers and boyfriends and share who we've bumped into at the supermarket or other places around town. We swapped some phone numbers and plan to keep in touch. Isn't that what we said at the end of senior year?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kid quotes from the day

D said to K, "You're a genius!" and then added "but I'm more geniuser than you are."

L (not quite 2 years) is now attempting knock-knock jokes as she mimics her brothers attempts at humor. There is nothing more surreal than two year old humor.

L: knock-knock (she gesticulates knocking when saying this, it's so cute)
me: who's there?
L: meow-meow (her word for cat)
me: meow-meow who?

In other education related news, K is now officially slightly literate. He is reading and writing short-vowel words, but impressed me today at the grocery store when he told me the door said "Fire Exit". He is also "doing addition" and reading prices on things. I find all of this rather exciting. The reading has been slow in coming, but I think now that it is finally beginning to "click" he will love it. He also has his very first loose tooth, which is getting looser by the day. The rice crispy treats we made yesterday have done their job well. Perhaps the toothfairy will be visting our house by weeks end? or maybe by months end, you never can tell with teeth.

update: 10-19-05 The tooth fell out today! I guess I need to find my fairy wings! :)

Monday, October 17, 2005

(sing en francais accent) Thank Heaven for little girls

Prettiness (special effects unintentional)

Prettiness, my littlest bundle of joy turns two in a couple weeks. And she really is a bundle of joy (-ful energy).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Which is it? or are both equally true?

For some odd reason these two expressions popped into my head during my walk on this very fine autumn day. I'm not even sure what I'm asking, but for some reason it didn't seem possible for both to be true...and then my head started to hurt. Tell me what you think.

"If you are not for me, you are against me."

"If you are not against me, you are for me."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

THE dress

This is my dress...I was hoping for some better pictures, but my dad's thumb was in the way, so this is all you get.

Monday, October 10, 2005

From the past

I saw my second grade teacher last week at the grocery store. I had to introduce myself, she happened to be one of my favorites from elementary school. Her name was, Mrs. Smith. She said she remembered me, can this really be true or is that what all teachers say when they meet former students? and that I looked just the same. It must be the bangs... She said I still have "the same sweet smile". (I couldn't help but think the only reason I recognized her was because she looked exactly the same except her hair was more salt than pepper, but she styled it the same way.)
What made me think to blog about this? Seeing my picture posted below, I do look the same...damn it time for another "do" I wonder?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Duct tape me!

My friend, Sandy, and I had this running joke in high school, whenever we did something bizzare or stupid, of saying afterward, "So, what did you do last night?" It was to mimic how we would answer the question the following day after having done something relatively inexplicable or completely embarrassing. So you ask me, "What did you do last night, Joyella?" Oh, I'm so glad you asked.....

I did this last night, and just in case the link is faulty for whatever reason, I will briefly explain. I have wanted a custom dress form to help me with my fitting when I sew for myself. When I sew for others it really isn't an issue, but my critical eye can't see and do what it needs to when I'm wearing the garmet I am trying to fit on myself. Many years ago I saw an article in Threads about making a body double or custom dress form using duct tape. I have wanted to try this ever since, but never had the guts to ask one of my friends help me with it, it is a rather intimate job. It takes a pretty close friend to see you wrapped in a tube of thin cotton knit and then to cover your body with strips of duct tape. But I overcame my body image fears and asked Tree, and she obliged me. We made a night of it, drinking cosmos and laughing so hard I nearly burst out of my silver cocoon. In the end I looked like a female C3PO, I kind of walked like him too. I could barely move once it was done, and cutting me out of the thing made me feel like a snake shedding its skin. Now all I have to do is tape it back together, stuff it and mount it on my old (skinny) dress form. Voila! Another me is born.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seasons of change

It's October and yesterday the Stuntman (D) was running around inside and out with no shirt on. It's been unseasonably warm, which is kind of nice, but it makes me forget it is actually fall. The leaves are still mostly green although some varieties are dropping to the ground and getting crunchy. I love these seasons of transition, in weather, in life the transition seasons are much less comfortable. I am learning in my Bible study on Colossians, God is more concerned with what is going on inside of us than in our comfort. What is life, though, if not a series of changes and transitions from one thing to the next? Nothing stays the same...and that is good. Growth requires change, otherwise you just have stagnation...and we all know what happens in a stagnant environment. All kinds of nasty things begin to grow and fester, and so even remaining the same becomes a change for the worse.

I remember my Life Fitness teacher in college said in order to maintain our level of fitness we need to excercise 30 minutes twice weekly....that's for maintenence! In order to improve our level of fitness we need to exceed that amount. I am thinking that if our physical bodies need that much attention for maintenence, how much more attention does our spiritual body need. I have always, always struggled with the whole quiet time thing. Perhaps it began in my rebellion as a child living in such a revered Christian family. (The rebellion of my youth manifested itself in subtle forms most often.) The importance of having a daily quiet time or devotional was hammered into us from day one. But now I know it is vital to my spiritual health and yet it still is such a challenge to accomplish. I have three little excuses for not having a quiet time who disrupt my mornings. It seems no matter how early I wake, the very fact of my consciouness wakes them earlier too. And I'm not a morning person, but today I did manage to steal a few minutes with the Lord before the ambiant noise of my children rolled into a ruckus. It is my aim to be consistent with this, even if I do have to wake up earlier. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The concert adventure: Coldplay

There isn't a whole lot more I can say than what my dear best friend wrote here , except perhaps that despite the "adventure" of the concert, Coldplay was awesome. They put on a good show.