Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Slow school week

I have the feeling there isn't going to be a lot of book-learning going on until after New Year's. Oh well. Yesterday we did do 2 chapters of history. Just got on a roll. Today though, there were no "traditional" subjects being learned.

But she drew a picture for her great-grandmother in the nursing home (they moved her to a new room and lost the last picture Violet sent her!) We also experimented with making homemade suet cakes for birds. They are in the freezer hardening (we hope) right now. And Violet made the chicken pot pie that we will have for dinner. Plus she's spent the afternoon playing pet store with all her stuffed toys. We did go to the library today, that counts too.

I hope our suet cakes turn out. We want to give them to the grandparents for Christmas. We used vegetable shortening and peanut butter as the base instead of lard. I really didn't want to use animal fat. For some we used corn meal to thicken them and others we used oatmeal. They all got raisins, peanuts, dried apricots and bird seed as goodies. We'll put them out in the freezer tomorrow and see if anyone eats them.

One of these days we'll have to do some math again. Maybe tomorrow. Of course on Friday she'll get some real life math experience. We are going over to our service unit's Fall Product Chair's house to help sort of candy and nuts. (For those of you non-Girl Scouts, we're going to sort the candy and nut orders by troop for a couple of the surrounding towns.) That should count for something.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Life's better on vacation

We took a mini-vacation this holiday weekend. This is the first time we've ever traveled on Thanksgiving. We went to Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws then headed to Minneapolis. We've spend the last 2 days at the Minnesota Zoo. We have a membership there. What can I say? We are zoo-ies. We love zoos.

It was really nice having both days to take our time and get to see everything. We did the bird show and the dolphin show. We rode the monorail. We got to see the shark feeding and the dive show. It has been very nice. And we got to take our time at the exhibits and not feel rushed.

In fact, not rushing seems to be the theme of the weekend. We did a little shopping the last two evenings after the zoo closed and amid the crowds and people, I didn't feel rushed or even uncomfortable. I usually panic with that many people around. But since I didn't have to get home to make dinner or work or clean, it didn't matter. I found a new pair of jeans. Violet and Mr. Incredible both found sleepwear (very different styles and patterns though, don't worry).

Tonight we stopped at a Target to get juice boxes and microwave popcorn for a snack at our hotel. We got a few other things too. Including 2 sweaters I snuck out to the car for Violet as a gift from Super Grandma (Grandma had requested we do that if Violet fell in love with anything - she did).

Mr. Incredible and Violet are watching Shrek 3 on DVD on Mr. Incredible's computer. I am relaxing, catching up on e-mail and going to raid their pop corn soon.

I hope you are all having as enjoyable a long week as we are.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Who is Freakmom?

I'm sure most of you already know my secret identity, but for those of you who don't and are actually curious, come to my homeschool forum and meet the me I hide behind. The real me is of course, Mrs. Incredible, Helen Parr, aka Freakmom.


Monday, November 19, 2007


Got the mammogram today. Glad that is over. Boy, do they squish your girls or what? Ouch. But it is for the greater good. I know that. But I am not relishing being over 40 and having to do that every single year for the rest of my life. I know, with mammograms my life could be way longer than without. I'll go. I'll do it. I just won't enjoy it. Just like every other woman, right? Hey! I finally found the great equalizer. So I'm not much like most of the women at the bus stop (I assume, I've never been there) or at the Girl Scout meetings or on the block or pretty much anywhere else. But we all dislike mammograms. Maybe I'm not so different after all.

Moving on, we did get a little school work done today. I'm at a loss on how to help Violet with math facts. I guess just more games with dice and dominoes and cards. Make her have fun with trying to remember that 4 plus 6 is 10. She's 8, she should know this cold! Sigh. I can't push her. She isn't me. She thinks differently and learns differently. She's a smart kid. Just doesn't have a head for numbers. Just like her father.

I think we checked out every fantasy novel in the library today. She gets that from Mr. Incredible too. I read mysteries when I was her age. Encylopedia Brown, Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, even the really old Cherry Ames series the librarian had to dig out of the back for me. (Well, some of those are when I was a bit older than 8, but you get my point. I read mysteries, she reads about fairies and dragons).

Two more days until we leave on our mini-trip. Yippee! We'll try to get more work done tomorrow. Violet has the rocks class. I'll take a magazine and read. I guess I should try to clean up the house too. Nah.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bah humbug

Can I be the first to say it? I'm already tired of the holidays. I don't want to decorate. I don't want to buy presents for extended family. I don't want to send out cards (that one's easy enough, I haven't done it in years).

I do want to cook a turkey dinner though. I like cooking turkeys. And Violet wants to make turkey noodle soup with the carcass.

There are rumblings about going to MIL's family on Christmas. I don't want to go. I want to stay home. Especially on Christmas Day. I might be talked into it on a different day.

I don't want to exchange presents with people who don't seem to really know me anyway. At least they don't by the presents they give me. I don't need another picture frame. I don't need another ugly sweater. I don't need more bath gel. Donate the money to my favorite charity instead. Or heck, your favorite charity.

Or better yet give it to the family down the block who have just been laid off/diagnosed with cancer/had a fire/or another terrible thing happen. Every block has that family. Luckily it isn't us this year. I hope it isn't you either. It could very easily be one us of next year. I hope not, but these things happen very suddenly and without warning. Spread some good karma and give to those who need it. I'm fine right now. I can do without another candle or kitchen gadget.

Maybe I just need some egg nog. Spiked of course. I think I am already going through caffeine withdrawl waiting for the stupid mammogram. It has been 4 hours. 20 more to go. Wait, beer doesn't have caffeine. What am I doing here, when I could be drinking beer?

Going every which way

Once again I've been pulled in every direction but to my blog. Sigh, I miss it here. People here "get" me. Here's a short synopsis of what I've been up to:

Violet has taken a couple of classes at the nature center. She's enjoyed them. She was signed up for one tomorrow on Rocks, but it was canceled due to lack of enrollment. They did however give us the option to enroll her in the 3-6 year old class on Tuesday. (She's 8.) We're going to give it a try because it was material she really likes. I'm a little unsure about it. Is having her 2 years older than the rest really the group setting I'm look for?

Work has been very busy lately. I only have a few clients, yet it seems they all have had crises the last 3 weeks. I have to prepare a presentation for my boss today then it should be quiet until after Thanksgiving.

I had a dinner party! Yes, I had the girls over and we ate and gossiped and drank. We have a group of 10 all have worked at one time or another for the firm I work for. Only 4 of us made it this time, but in a way it was easier to all talk than when we're all there. Of course that meant cleaning the house, shopping, cooking, cleaning up afterwards. The house really needed the cleaning. I still haven't put everything back yet.

One really good thing that came out of it all was that I cleaned out the pantry and the fridge of old food. Mr. Incredible is so reluctant to toss out food past its expiration date. So what if it is stale, he might eat it. :roll eyes: He was out of the house, I got it all bagged up and tossed. There's still more, but I didn't want to raise suspicions. I'll do another round soon. Shh

On the Girl Scout front Violet sold over $450 in candy, nuts and magazine subscriptions! That has to be one of the highest sales in our region. She's also worked on a few Try-It badges.

It was so great being at the Service unit meeting last night. So many of my friends from day camp were there. I got hugs and "how are yous?" all night long. I have finally gotten what I really wanted out of it all, to be part of something and to get to know people. And best of all, I didn't sign up for anything new. We also had our Delegate meeting yesterday. There are some really big changes coming to Girl Scouts and our council in the next few years as we merge with 3 other councils. It is a really good time to have my foot in the door and already be involved at the council level.

Our last appointment of the year is tomorrow. I go in for my mammogram. We've done eyes, teeth, physicals. Violet got her braces off!!! Of course the every six months at the dentist starts up again in January, but at least we can get through the holidays with no appointments! Let's just not get sick.

Finally, Thanksgiving is upon us. We are going to the Grandparents in Wisconsin for the day, then on to Minneapolis that night. We're going to the Minnesota Zoo for a few days and hang out. We bought a membership there a few years ago. We try to get back once a year. We have to decide today if the cats and hamster will be okay for 3 nights or if I need to have the pet sitter come by and check on them. The hamster has escaped 5 times now. I'm almost more worried that if she tries to feed him the cage won't be closed up tightly (it needs to be extra tight or the little guy shakes his way out). Would it be weird to put a little food on the floor under the table his cage sits on, just in case?

That's the last 2 weeks in a nutshell. Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving, in case I don't get back here before then!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Winnie the Pooh

Well, Violet and I both decided that we are definitely not too old for Pooh. The performance was a lot of fun. It was 4 performers and they each played a couple of characters. I like it when Violet figures out which actors had more than one part. That always makes her feel so grown up. They did the stories of Eeyore losing his tail on his birthday, Kanga and Roo moving to the 100 Acre Wood and Pooh and Piglet trying to catch a heffalump. They morphed them all into one story. I don't remember hearing the story of Kanga and Roo moving and Rabbit being scared of Kanga because she is big and new.

The rest of the audience was very young classes like preschool and kindergartners. I think Violet was a little worried when she saw she was the oldest kid there. But she really liked the show. We were the only homeschoolers there! Usually there are 5 or 6 families there. When the usher took us to our seats she pointed out the two we were assigned to but said we were the only ones in that whole section so make ourselves comfortable! They seem to be putting all the homeschoolers together this year. I kind of like that. Then we aren't smack in the middle of a big school group. Also nice that evil mom wasn't there. I'm just as glad to avoid dealing with her.

Our next performance is in December, The Nutcracker. I am looking forward to that too!