Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Crows are Creepy

My house looks like the haunted house on the block. We rent and our dear landlord is not much for investing in the place. In our front yard we have two massive pine trees, a cracked driveway (from the pine trees), and no grass because I can't grow anything.

Yesterday we started our homeschool day when this strange noise started. Soon the noise became so loud the kids couldn't concentrate. I went outside to see large black birds squawking and incessantly repositioning themselves all over the tops of our trees. A murder of crows had shown up. (In case you didn't know a group of crows is called a "murder" not a "flock" creepy...) I don't know if it was Hitchcock's "The Birds," or all the Stephen King movies I watched as a teenager, or the fact that Halloween is just around the corner, but as I watched them all of the sudden the house felt creepy.

I went back inside the house to find both kids highly agitated. I sent them to the back bedroom with the door closed and turned a fan on for white noise. They could still hear the birds and refused to do any schoolwork with all the squawking.

So I left them in the bedroom and went to the front door to scare the crows away. My hand was on the doorknob when I thought... what if they attack me? I've never seen crows in my front yard before, what if they're rabid? What if a flock of crows is called a murder for a reason? What if Stephen King has had close encounters w/ a murder and that inspired his writing???

Do you ever have those times when you know you're suppose to act like an adult, but you really don't want to? I stood there reminding myself, that Hitchcock's work is fiction, King's work is fiction, I've never read in the newspaper about anyone dying from a crow attack... The over the din I hear G screaming, "I can't take it anymore!"

Drat! The choice is clear, face a meltdown or possible death by birds. I turned the doorknob, went outside, and yelled at the birds. They did nothing. I threw a pine cone, stomped my feet, waved my hands, and the wretched crows three stories up didn't even look at me. Creepy, rude, obnoxious crows, they ought to be called a nuisance... With a meltdown quickly approaching, there was only one thing left to do. I called my friend and escaped to her house.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Desperate Times Part 2

Well I haven't posted for awhile because I've been sick. As I mentioned before we are dealing with a new infatuation with G; Wario who's claim to fame is passing gas. This is common for people on the spectrum check out Maddy's post on chihuahuas and you'll see what I mean. As g-dub so nicely put it, I've been trying to "bribe G" out of this habit by paying him a dollar for each day he makes it w/o referring to or gracing us w/ his various bodily functions. Now I don't see this as bribing I see it as positive reinforcement... Anyhow, my grand plan has failed.
It's failed for a couple of reasons:
  1. Every time I define what G must do to gain a dollar he moves slightly outside of the definition and somehow refers to or brings passing gas into the conversation.

  2. Once G fails for the day, he then goes for it. He figures he has nothing to lose and so it is an all out Wario, passing gas frenzy. Oh my dear friends, you just don't know how badly I want to escape this. Why oh why can't he just go back to Star Wars?!

So now my new plan is that every time G refers to or passes gas however minutely he owes me a quarter. I will continue to take quarters even if I have to start taking them out of his US Quarter map. (I pray it doesn't get to that point, because I predict an all out melt down... ) Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Some fun pics

GA decided to try and become a mummy, the only thing is she forgot about the arms and feet.

Science fun...

Who cares if it's raining, G wants to jump!

Here is G's picture he entered in the K-12 art contest.

My husband works at the Napa airport, this is the label of the latest bottle of wine he was given. Hmmm...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

My son has a new hero, Wario. For those of you who aren't familiar with the character, let me just say his claim to fame is passing gas. Big huge toxic clouds of it... Over the last week my son has used the word "fart" in any and every way imaginable. He has brought it into every conversation. He has become highly interested in bodily functions and is thrilled when he can pass gas near his friends or family.

The other day we were driving in my friend's van and none of the kids wanted to sit by him... I couldn't blame them. The whole van smelled horrible, and G was laughing uncontrollably. (It's against the law to throw a child out of a moving vehicle, so I settled for rolling down all of the windows...)

So back to good old positive reinforcement. How do I positively reinforce his attempts to change this behavior? I decided that if G can make it through the day without referring to passing gas or burping AND if he can manage to do these things *privately* he earns a dollar. Thus far he has earned two dollars. I figure once we get to $10 the behavior should be extinguished. A small price to pay for driving in peace...
Just for fun, I just visited Maddy's Blog she's dealing w/ Chihuahuas...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Guilt Trips

guilt trip–noun, Informal. a feeling of guilt or responsibility, esp. one not justified by reality.

I hate guilt trips. I hate it when someone says something, that in a round about way makes me feel bad about myself. People who give guilt trips often give them without realizing it. They guilt others because they are insecure and they need to project their failures onto others so that they can feel better about themselves. I know this because it has recently come to my attention that I give grade A, all expenses paid, first class guilt trips. There I said it, it's hard to admit but true.

This recently came to my attention because my daughter called me on it. We were at Chuck E. Cheese and she was talking to me while I was playing a game. Well my score started going down and I said, "there goes my score." She replied with, "wow, that made me feel guilty, I didn't make your score go down."

and you know what... she was right...

That got me thinking.
Did what I said teach her anything? No...
Did what I said encourage her? No...
Did what I said model the way of Jesus or set a good example? No...

What I said was a load of crap and GA called me on it. I felt bad about my score and wanted to blame someone else so I blamed her. How trivial, but true. I hate it when I learn gross stuff about myself. I also hate it when my children are the recipients of my baggage. So late Sunday night I apologized to GA and told her I have yet another bad habit I'm working on. I'm often reminded of a quote I heard in college, "Christianity is simply this, one beggar telling another where he found bread." D.T. Niles Jesus is perfect and I am not. All I can say is thank God the bread is free.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Da Vinci Exhibit

Last week we went on our first field trip to the North American premiere of the:

"Da Vinci an Exhibition of Genius"

We had a blast. It was so fun because G has been learning about early European history and Leonardo.

The exhibit starts out with a beautiful timeline of Leonardo's life and how he fit into the history of the Renaissance. G has been learning about different artwork and the difference between Renaissance art and Medieval art. He immediately picked out a medieval picture in the timeline and said, "that picture is out of place." I looked at it and had to agree. I felt so proud of him!

The exhibit had all kinds of life-size machines, anatomical sketches and interactive displays. It was very interesting and we had a great time. GA did not enjoy the nudes, but once she started trying the interactive displays she was hooked!

I would definitely recommend this exhibit!

Friday, October 5, 2007

William Tell Overture

My friend Marla sent me this. I thought I would post it for something fun to watch on a Friday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bubble Factory

Kayla blowing bubbles

My friend visited me recently, and we made a bubble factory for her daughter. She loved it! Now that G & GA are getting older these things have lost their interest.

To make it cut two holes in the top of a yogurt cup:

Sorry this isn't a good picture, anyhow cut a small hole on the top and a larger hole on the bottom. Fill the yogurt cup half full of bubble mix. Insert a straw in the small hole and let the child blow bubbles. If you are worried about the child sucking up the bubble mixture, cut a hole in the straw about one inch down. This will keep her from sucking up the bubbles.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Being Loved

So as stated below my homework has been to find pleasure. I am happy to announce that I did read the Sunday paper w/ my donut in hand and it was nice. However, I am learning about a deeper pleasure a deeper joy. The joy I have started learning about is being loved when I am completely unlovely.

I have not been myself lately. I have been forgetful, short with my kids and husband, procrastinating and more. Yet, in the midst of this my husband has shown me such a deep kindness. For example, last night he was tired, yet he sat on the couch next to me and just put his head up against mine. Now usually when he does this, it means he is hoping for something... However, last night he just wanted to be next to me.

It reminded me of this quote:
"To be loved when we are feeling lovable- that's good. To be loved when we are feeling unlovely, unlovable- that's life to someone who's dying. That's grace."
-John Ortberg

This brings me to another quote:
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us"
1 John 3:1
I'm overwhelmed with the idea of "lavish" love. Love that is given to us not because we deserve it, but because we are treasured. Love that doesn't keep track of all of the good things you have done for the day. Instead, a love that loves, simply because you are you. A love that loves even if the only thing you can do is keep breathing. That's the kind of lavish love Jesus has for us. It was wonderful to receive that kind of love from my husband.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Use the force!

G working on his composition assignment.

G is not enjoying all of the writing required for his composition assignments. So I let him wear his Vader mask. His reply, "everything is easier when the force is with you."