Monday, September 10, 2012

For Sarah

The mailman brought a big surprise for the twins this morning - a letter from big sister Sarah at college.  

I didn't expect they'd be able to read her handwriting, but I was wrong.

They read it out loud, together.

She sent them a movie quote that touched her recently:

"If I were God, I would have made the world just so and no different. And so I have you."

Baking Bread and Taking Names

Okay, just baking bread.  My husband cooked a ham last night that we didn't get to eat, because we went to the amusement park instead.  So I cleaned it last night, got the vegetables ready, and put all the components in a crock pot to simmer.  This morning - voila!  Homemade bean soup!  And nothing goes better with bean soup than fresh bread, so I enlisted the twins' help in adding ingredients to the bread machine, then let them watch as it started mixing.

They were playing a game with the kneading blade as it turned, using chopsticks and trying to avoid the dough ball as it went round and round.  Whenever the dough ball touched their chopstick, they screamed "Chain Chomp got me!!!!!"

After a few minutes of kneading, the blade starts to pulse intermittently.  They didn't know this.  All of a sudden, the blade stopped.  They both peered in closer, quizzically.  What happened??  And suddenly, it leapt to life again, and they both jumped backwards and almost fell off their chairs, screaming with laughter.  I only had my cell phone camera with me, but this memory was made for keeping.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The World's Awhirl

Tonight we took a quick last-trip-of-the-season to Knoebel's.  We only had an hour and a half before closing time, so there wasn't too much time for rides.  We had to hit our favorites to make it count.

It wasn't too crowded, for once.  Third time on the carousel, the twins snagged outside horses and tried for the brass ring.  They weren't even close, of course, but they were so proud to finally be big enough to try.  

I used to be able to ride anything, but standing next to Regina's horse made me nauseous today.  Blame it on the bifocals - they already make the world bend and swirl under normal circumstances.

I thought the pictures turned out really cool, in a surreal sort of way.

Brian & Regina <3>

Monday, September 3, 2012

Why I Chose To Homeschool

In cleaning out our homeschool library, I finally found both pages of a list I made quite a few years ago.  I can't remember now exactly why I made this list.  I think it was because of something I read in a book - Catholic Homeschooling / A Patchwork of Days .  A sample of the book, including the table of contents, can be found here.

Anyway, the author recommended making a list of the reasons why you are homeschooling, and keeping it in a safe place so that you can whip it out when you just can't remember why you ever decided to do this in the first place.  I was probably close to that place when I made my list.  Upon reading it over, I can see now that several of them are not so much reasons to homeschool as they are benefits of homeschooling.  Whether you consider these good reasons or lame ones, valid or invalid, here's what I put down:

Why I Chose To Homeschool

- I love spending time with my children

- They were frequently bored in regular school

- We are not "morning people"

- We can study our own interests and pursue them as far as we want

- We don't have to stick to someone else's agenda for a curriculum

- Much time in regular school is taken up with busywork

- To shield my children from too many negative popular cultural influences and child cruelties "in the name of socialization"

- Because I am learning right alone with them and it's exciting to re-educate myself

- Because I love the "light bulb" moments and I doubt that it would go off as frequently in regular school, and I wouldn't be there to witness it

- It forces me to cultivate patience and become more organized

- I am learning how to understand my children and the way they think even better

- We as parents can be their principal role models longer than usual

- Side benefit - the children are more pleasant and get along better than ever

- We are all learning together alongside each other

- Side benefit - many great books are finding their way into our home

- It's counter-cultural!