Saturday, May 30, 2009

We do more before 6AM than most people do all day...

Saturday is a special day. It's also a work day, most generally. Today was a satisfying and productive day. We mowed two lawns, hauled a ton of detritus out of one yard (literally-- I have the transfer station receipts to prove it), killed a bunch of weeds, cleaned one house, cut 4 heads of hair (Catie's bangs needed a trim, anyway), and generally got ready for the Sabbath. I made ham and bean soup for tomorrow's dinner. 

We also resisted the temptation to buy a new TV today. We're in the market for one, given the fact that one of the kids let fly a wooden sword and "done in" our most recent model. We aren't quite there on the budget yet, though, so we'll wait a bit longer. It's "no-screen" month (middle of May to middle of June) for the boys in any case, so we'll manage all right I suspect. 

In other news, I'm having some fun wandering from book to book without a specific reading purpose at the moment. I do have some summer goals, and I'll get to those books soon enough, but I'm just kinda reading whatever strikes my fancy. So, I've read all or part of:

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (Stegner)
The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes (Watterston)
Children of the Mind (Card)
Remix (Lessig)
Traplines (Rember)
My Life in France (Child)
Half-Blood Prince (Rowling)
The Folk of the Fringe (Card)
The Gathering of Zion (Stegner)
The Professor's House (Cather)

What's on your summer reading list?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A week away

Sometimes a vacation isn't a vacation. The time, effort, money, and stress involved in "getting away" sometimes add up to nothing like a rest. We have some friends who traveled across the country a year or two ago seeing friends and family, and they reported that they spent more time doing strenuous work than resting and recreating. I suspect most of us have had a vacation we needed a vacation from when we got back. 

This trip to California was nothing like that. It was a week of fun and rest and connecting that our family has very much needed. It was a true vacation. 

Perhaps the main thing we did that made it nice was spent time--real time-- with our older boys. Having two toddlers, who are very much like twins in many ways, is a full-time gig and a hectic one at that. The older boys spend quite a lot of time either being ignored completely or being roped into service in taking care of the toddlers. For this trip, those two adorable maniacs stayed with dear (not to mention patient and extremely generous) friends while we went to California with Jake, Josh, and Cam. As a result, we could really spend time with them and do some of the things they wanted to do. We spent a number of delightful minutes, on several occasions, deciding exactly which of the many wonderful rides was our favorite. We ate caramel apples, churros, popcorn, deep-fried club sandwiches (the famous Monte Cristo at The Blue Bayou), and many other kinds of goodies. Disneyland isn't Disneyland unless you've had your frozen banana, you know.  We swam in the wonderful pool at the hotel. We shopped, we stayed up late for fireworks, we slept in (one morning, anyway), and we just went were we wanted when we wanted and did what we wanted. No stress, no fuss, no troubles. (contented sigh)

BTW, Disneyland with little children is not (repeat NOT) an all-day thing. A hour or two with toddlers in Toon Town is doable. Don't try to take little ones for more than that, though. Every time we saw a crying toddler we were happy that our littlest were safely in Melissa and Kevin's backyard-- not strapped in a stroller, fretting and fussing because they couldn't run around.

We did drive 15 1/2 hours (which included the MANY stops) on Saturday to get home (and one of the absolutely necessary stops was for Krispy Kreemes), so Sunday was a bit of a difficult day. The trip was well worth it though, to be sure. 

And the lawn was still green when we got back. 

[see more pics on facebook or at this link]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cracklin’ Class

I don't know how you would describe those great class sessions, but I call 'em cracklin'. When the energy in the room is zooming around and people are falling over each other to comment, when everyone is locked-in engaged with what we're saying, when no one is sleepin or texting or whatever else they do to pass the time, when I'm mostly sitting on the side nodding my head or calling on who's next to speak—that's cracklin' class. Cracklin' like electricity—cracklin' like an epiphany—cracklin' like the cellophane on a fresh Twinkie (okay, that last one's a stretch, but you know you want a Twinkie, so it works – in a way).

That was my last class session in American Lit II today. I even got just a tiny bit choked up to think that we aren't going to meet any more.

Where have you had that kind of experience? Share...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bloggin’ from Word

I'm no Microsoft fanboy, but I noticed today that I can apparently blog from within Word which will allow me to revise, edit, and proofread more easily, so I'm gonna give it a go.

We're in the home stretch here. Today is the last day of classes for my comp course, and tomorrow will be the last day for Lit. We reviewing for the final exams. Students are tired and a bit grumpy. Heck, I'm tired and a bit grumpy. Overall I think it's been a pretty good semester, but I guess we're all ready to be done.