Saturday, March 31, 2012


How can she be 14...look at how little she is!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tiffany made me do it...

10 random facts about me
1.I wasn't going to do this tonight.
2.But I figured I'd have a better excuse for dumb answers if I answered right away.
3.I love American idol.
4.My favorite this year is Colton.
5.I want (and usually have) something sweet after every meal.
6.I think Gale is cuter than Peeta.
7.I started this last night and am finishing this morning.
8.I've been a Red Sox fan since I was in 3rd grade.
9.I've never eaten a tuna fish sandwich.
10.I forgot appointments (2 at the orthodontist) for the first time ever last week, I REALLY need to write things down (and check the calendar!)!!

9 things I do everyday
1.shower (often more than once)
3.check email and facebook something sweet (usually chocolate) TV before I fall asleep (traditionally Seinfeld, but lately Big Bang Theory)
7.sodoku (most days)
8.text/talk on the phone
9.brush my teeth (definitely more than once!)

8 things that annoy me
1.when people brag
2.when people say 'supposably'
3.when people have extreme oppinions and push them on you
4.when the days go by so fast under 13 on facebook
6.when people don't listen when I talk (usually people I live with)
7.when people think I don't know what I'm talking about (usually people I don't live with)
8.that time is going too fast

7 fears/phobias
2.something bad happening to Mike
3.something bad happening to one of my kids
4.getting hit in the face with something
5.losing a tooth
6.rats and other rodents
7.that time is going too fast

6 songs I'm addicted to (this is hard, there are so many, I'm going with songs I currently love to sing)
1.Someone like you (Adele)
2.The Wizard and I (Wicked)
3.Defying Gravity (Wicked)
4.Mean (Taylor Swift)
5.Before He Cheats (Carrie Underwood)
6.Lifesong (Casting Crowns)

5 things I can't live without
2.Jonathan, Madi, and Jake
3.My parents
4.My church/ my faith
5.My friends

4 memories I will never forget (and I remember every single thing about these days)
1.My wedding day 11/26/94
2.Jonathan's birth 10/02/95
3.Madi's birth 3/31/98
4.Jake's birth 10/19/02

3 words I can't go a day without (stealing this from Tiffany)
1. I
2. love
3. you

2 things I wish I could do
1.sing exercising

1 person I trust
1. Mike

I'm tagging all the same people as Tiffany: Cindy, Ann Marie, and Debi, also Kirsten and Melissa (these are also probably the only people who actually read my blog!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


If I had to put a label on our "brand" of homeschooling, I think talk-schooling would be it. {Notice that homeschooling is one word, but talk-schooling is hyphenated, this is because homeschooling is a real word, and it really annoys me when it isn't written as such, ten years ago I felt the same way about breastfeeding.} Ever since the days of toddler Jonathan having an affinity for pulling other kids' hair (specifically his cousin Sarah's), I have tried to educate my kids by talking. "Ok we are going to a playgroup where there will be other kids, we aren't going to hurt them, we are going to play nice and use words, it's not ok to pull hair, blah, blah, blah..." It seemed like this form of education worked since by the time we moved to Florida when he was 3, I was hearing things like, "You're so lucky, he's such an easy child," this led me to believe that the talking worked, so we kept at it. I'm the kind of person who thinks I'm keeping a secret (or lying) if I don't tell my kids (or anyone) any major news that I have heard. I've always felt this way, therefore we have always told our kids (on their level) about whatever major event was going on whether it was the terror attacks of Sept 11 or the death of a loved one. That's just the way we've always been. I feel like with homeschooling high school over the last few years, sometimes the "work" has gotten in the way of the talking. This has bothered me. I do believe that the work needs to get done, but I'm tired of saying that we have to stop a really good discussion so my big kids can conjugate Spanish verbs or solve for x. This is why we homeschool in the first place. Everyday we are one step closer to having grown kids. Everyday this makes me sad. I'm going to vow to allow and even encourage the discussions from here on out because that is where the real learning and evaluating take place anyway. Today for example before lunch we had good discussions about the Hunger Games (and all stories about good versus evil) and how much we can't stand when people criticize something that they know nothing about, and about the differences between women getting the right to vote (in 1920) and the later women's rights movements. We touched on birth control issues, as well as episodes of The Brady Bunch, The Wonder Years, and Family Ties. We discussed how there are no TV shows that we can think of set between Little House on the Prairie times and Leave it to Beaver times. We talked about how we know some people who are raising their daughters specifically to be homemakers and others who we know who are specifically raising their daughters only to be career women (in case you didn't know, like most issues we are firmly in the middle on this one).

Even with all of the talking, the kids did manage to get some 'real' schoolwork done today including this...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daybook on another Sunday evening

Around the house...we did a fair amount of organizing and cleaning out this weekend, so it's not too bad. There is a ton of paper work I wish we had time to go through, but it'll have to wait for another day.

In the school room...last week was a little too 'spring break-y' for kids who need to be done with school two months from today. The social princess specifically had way too much fun last week with a pool day, beach day, midnight movie, a friend's karate tournament and more. Now we have to kick it into high geer! This afternoon I spent some time reading an unschooling book and then got all kinds of ideas in my head about what I would like next school year to look like. I spent the rest of the afternoon researching and making plans. In the process I decided Jonathan and Madi will both do this next year. I bought it for Jonathan two years ago and we haven't made time for it yet. Now I'm really excited that they'll be doing it together. Working with Jonathan and Madi together is something I've really been missing. I also spent some time looking into the community college admission test that Jonathan will be taking soon. In the process I found out something very exciting. Our local community college has an agreement with two four year universities and anyone who graduates with an AA will immediately be accepted at those schools. Interestingly enough they are both schools that our big kids have been interested in! I feel like we have a plan, now if time would just slow down so I can prepare myself for all of this!

On the table...Chicken soup and salad tonight. Jonathan and I combined forces and made some yummy fresh squeezed lemonade (he did the squeezing). He and I both gave up yummy drinks for Lent (he's only drinking water and milk and I'm only drinking water and unsweet tea), so we're also combining forces to drink it all before tomorrow (Sunday's a feast day all Lenten bets are off), I gave blood today, so I have the perfect excuse to indulge in lots of lemonade.

In the yard... The pool cover is off and Jake and I took a quick dip on Friday night, then we had the water tested on Saturday and it was way off, now we're working on getting it balanced because it is officially swimming weather.

Volunteering... today after church Jonathan and Madi along with some friends from youth group sorted and unloaded enough donated food to feed 2000 people.

In the plans... Madi will be 14 on Saturday. She'll be spending her birthday providing child care at church for an all day retreat. (Jonathan will too and Jake will be getting cared for while Mike and I will get to participate in the retreat) On Thursday Jonathan is getting a behind the scenes tour of The American Idol Experience at Hollywood Studios thanks to people he's met at the theatre. He's definitely got friends in cool places.

Prayer for the week....Praying for lots of friends going through lots of difficulties right now and more specifically for a theatre mom who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. All prayers appreciated!!
(Same as last week.)

Books...Madi is still in the process of reading most of the books that I mentioned last week, between socializing and reading Mockingjay, she's not caught up yet. She and I also started listening to To Kill a Mockingbird, but we've just finished disc 1of 11, so we have a long way to go.

On TV...Basketball. I'm loving American Idol once again. This past week was Billy Joel week and everyone was really good. I have the feeling we'll be looking into American Idol Live tickets again this year. I recorded Dancing with the Stars, but didn't watch it yet.

March Madness Bracketology...UGH! We were counting on Jake to win it for our family, he had 6 out of 8 in the elite 8, but lost every game this weekend...all his teams are gone. All of all of our teams are gone.

Thoughts... I have plenty of thoughts swimming around my brain and someday I might even make the time to form them into something worth reading.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daybook on a quiet Sunday

Around the house...Bread and rolls are rising, homemade granola bars are cooling, and two batches of muffins are waiting to be eaten. Madi is at youth group, Jake is upstairs being very quiet (it either has something to do with the computer or practicing for Willy Wonka), Mike and Jonathan just went to Lowes and Publix.

In the school room...Jake just started Teaching Textbooks for math and is LOVING it!! We are big fans of Singapore math here for elementary/ middle school then TT for high school, but Jake (a big fan of the computer) had other plans so right now we're going with it, he did math yesterday (Saturday {and we were only home for about 2 hours all day}) and today (Sunday!) We are not technically on spring break this week like the building school kids, but most activities are off this week so we get to do school and enjoy some downtime as well! And all those building school families who might think we are homeschool slave-drivers will see we're really not when we are on our 2 week California trip and they are still in school!!

On the table...Burgers tonight, some e-meals this week including pork chops, beef burgundy, and of course tacos on Tuesday.

In the yard... we have two tomato plants in topsy turvies as well as cumcumbers and peppers. Jonathan has really taken this on and is out there watering them a few times everyday. Jonathan and Mike took the cover off the pool today...the Florida heat is on the way.

In the plans... a Pampered Chef fundraiser to earn money for Jonathan and Madi (and chaperone Mike)'s mission trip to Catholic Heart Work Camp this summer.

On the road....Mike will be back on the road the second part of this week, we won't be going though because even though there is no theatre or soccer there is bookclub, youth group game night, and the midnight showing of the Hunger Games for the teenagers! That's the thing about raising kids to think for themselves, eventually they make their own plans.

Prayer for the week....Praying for lots of friends going through lots of difficulties right now and more specifically for a theatre mom who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. All prayers appreciated!!

Books... Jake's listening to The Wizard of Oz (he's listening to it read by Jim Weiss, but i couldn't get a link for that), Jonathan is listening to Dracula, and just started reading Cathching Fire, Madi is trying to read Mockingjay, but has about 10 books to read for school including The Devil's Arithmetic, Moonshiner's Son, My Heart Lies South, and more plus Chains for bookclub on Thursday. I finished Catching Fire on Thursday, am reading Chains with Madi, a really simple mindless young adult book whose title I don't even know, and Surrender by Fr Larry Richards, plus trying to keep up with most of Madi's reading.

March Madness Bracketology... UCONN lost in the first round, no one in our family is doing very good in the pool.

Well the house hasn't managed to clean itself, the rest of the family should be here soon, and I'll have a better chance of encouraging them to do house work if I'm not on the computer!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

I'm such a thief, I just saw this recipe and want to remember it for Good Friday (and maybe sooner) so I'm putting it here.

Hot Cross Buns - 60 min Dinner Roll variation

Mix together the following; set aside until bubbly and active about 10 minutes.

1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
3 tablespoons yeast (I believe that is 4 packets)
1 cup warm water

Mix the following--

2 cups milk, scalded (I microwave the milk until really hot then dump it in with the butter straight from the fridge and this melts the butter as it cools the milk)
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
2 eggs sl beaten
2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1T cardamom
1 t nutmeg
1t allspice

Add the yeast mixture and milk mixture together. Stir in between 8-10 cups flour, one cup at a time until dough leaves the side of the bowl. Scrape out bowl and oil the sides. Knead dough until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Do not overhandle, soft dough=soft rolls. Place in oiled bowl, turn oiled side up. Cover and set to rise, 10-20 minutes or until doubled.

Punch dough down, shape into rolls. (Either simple round or roll out and cut into wedge shaped pcs and roll for crescent rolls, etc) If an egg-sized pc of dough is used this recipe will yield approximately two and a half dozen rolls. Place on greased pan/cookie sheet and set to rise 10-15 minutes. Brush on beaten egg wash if desired, bake in preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I just dropped the kids off at theatre where Jake and Madi are auditioning for Willy Wonka. Before leaving we checked out some of these oldies but goodies...

This is from a performance troup event about 4 years ago, the video on the bottom is the audition song Jake could be singing at this very minute. For some reason this link doesn't show the video, if you care you can try this and see the whole month of May 2008 including the video and other cute things.

Jake really wants to be Charlie or Mike Teevee. Jonathan was Mike Teevee four years ago!

What do you think about this face?

I think blogging is on it's way out. In 2008 I had 322 blog posts, in 2009, 193. Last year...84!! Put another way I think facebook killed the blogging star. I have thoughts in my head, but they just seem to stay swimming around in there. I'd really like to write a book someday, but for now I think we are just too busy living life. These old posts were from four years ago. They seem like yesterday, but in four years Jonathan will be 20 and Madi will be graduating from high school. Hopefully my thoughs will last until then when I have more time to make sense of them and can turn them into something worth reading.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday evening post

This is an unusual time for me to post, but I'm home from a long weekend of THEATRE and laundry and dishes are going, and the only thing left on my agenda today is to lay on the couch and watch Three's Company (DVDs I got from the library), so I figured I'd take a few minutes to blog. I'll get some 80's FOLLIES videos up here eventually, but here's where facebook friends have an advantage because they are already over there. Today was a huge day for Jake because in addition to rockin' in FOLLIES (Especially in Don't Stop Believing) he also cantored at church (this was his first time doing it solo). This means he sang the Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and Angus Dei (yes in Latin) all by himself!! It was a huge deal, he is considerably younger (not to mention more male) than any other cantor at our church. When the Choir Director put him on the schedule, I was wondering if there was some man named Jake that I didn't know about, but no, it was the kid who up until last year was rolling around under the pew and saying things like,"ten more minutes and we're outa here!" It was an emotional Mass to say the least. It is a challenge for me to say humble when I'm overflowing with pride for my kids (it was a challenge to remain holy-- not to mention sane, when he was the one rolling around under the pew). So anyway Jake was well prepared and pulled it off without a hitch. That is until I looked at him in the choir loft towards the end of Mass and he was wiggling and squirming mouthing the works "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM" to anyone and everyone that was looking his way (thankfully this was not during one of the solo parts), he managed to sneak off for a potty break and reappear in seconds flat in a very professional manner and didn't miss a beat. (Now I'll remember to remind him to go the the bathroom before Mass next time). All in all a hugely successful day. He's now enjoying the rest of the day doing what he does best (after singing and performing that is) playing with the neighbors!

Jonathan has had a financially profitable weekend. Last night he was DJ, video man, and tech extrodinaire for a 50th birthday party that took place in the theatre after last night's show. He was able to make a slideshow of pics of the guest of honor and figure out a way to display it during the party while simulaneously playing songs from past shows and 80s hits for the crowd. He got compensated handsomely for this! He also found out this weekend that for the next second stage show he will be able to be the stage manager and will get some much deserved financial compensation for that as well. Lastly he was asked to be a production assistant for a movie that is going to be filming locally this summer and this is supposed to include payment as well. You may remember that he spend a month about a year and a half ago as a production assistant for a movie that ended up getting scrapped (and those 12 hour days were all volunteer). These opportunities are a win win around here because the theatre stuff is what he loves, but he's going to have to figure out a way to make money if he ever wants to get his actual license (because he will need to pay for his insurance).

Madi shined on stage this weekend as usual. Clearly this has been a braggy sort of post so I'll continue on that path and say I can't even take my eyes off of my daughter when she is on stage. I am truly mesmerized by her stage presence (and her beauty). Twice recently people have made comments about her looking older than her age (this is a big exciting deal when you are on the verge of 14).

And for those of you nonfacebookies I'll round up this post with my two most recent facebook posts which sum up the theme of this post, our weekend, and my life...

I saw this quote today and thought I'd share it...
Don't rob your family of yourself in order to impress others. That's not impressive!
It's hard to be humble when your kids are as awesome as mine!