A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday Time:

My 6: I haven't forgot how to blog!

It's not that I've been super busy, I really haven't been. It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about, Lucyisms still abound here and there's always plenty of things for me to tell you. It isn't like I said I wouldn't blog while the White Sox were on their current hot streak. If I did, who knows when I'd blog again. The truth is if it wasn't for the kind transmission by my wife on Monday, I would have maintained blog silence for a week.

Blogging just hasn't been my bread and butter this summer. I am gearing up to teach a blogging class this fall at our home school co-op. So, I actually have been working on blogging on the down low. More on that later.
I am also trying to get use to the keyboard on my new laptop and I keep on typing my new words in the middle of my old ones.

I hope all is well for my readers, if I have any left. I will be back to blogging with abandon soon.
Head on over to See my face dot com to check out more six word Saturday.

Next Time: Toy Story to 3-D and beyond!

Monday, July 26, 2010

All Heart

4 weeks left till school starts
Dave is out helping people today, so I thought I'd take this moment to infiltrate his blog. Shh...don't tell him. Dave is all heart. When anyone needs ANYTHING, he is right there to help out, to give of himself. His dad broke his shoulder this week, so he needed some help on a household project he was working on. Then the Illinois floods came and ruined the basement of his sister-in-law. So today Dave is taking time to shuttle between places to do some grunt work. Dave is not a fix-it man, but that doesn't matter. He is all heart. You need something, I'm there. That's his attitude. While we'll miss hanging out with him today, we are thankful that he's out there, helping people who really need it. We love you Dave!
Amy/HSD's wife

Friday, July 23, 2010

Local Anesthesia?

It is time once again for six word Saturday over at show my face dot com. Today's Six:

Think Local. Drink Local. GPS Needed.

There are many unusual things about me. Here are just a few that relate to today's rant.

1) I listen to the radio quite often.
2) I pay attention to the commercials.
3) I notice discrepancies between fact and error (in advertisements and other programming.)
4) When I notice these discrepancies or abnormalities, I talk back to the radio as if it could hear me.

While I am for the most part a Chicago White Sox fan, I listen to quite a few Chicago Cubs games. A long time sponsor of Chicago Cubs baseball is Old Style Beer. For the past few years Old Style has had the advertising catch phrase: Think Local. Drink Local. They have had several different radio ads over the past few years but the idea is to tie in the Old Style product with being authentically Chicago.

This is not a bad idea, as I have been following the Cubs since the early 70's and Old Style has been connected to the team and the broadcasts as far back as I remember.

The thing that gets to me is at the end of the commercial after they have made the whole think local, drink local, pitch they announce the name of the company and where there company is from: G Heileman Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Hey! So let's get this straight. Chicago Cubs fans should think local and drink local by buying beer from a company from a different state?

This year the ads have been about how to "kraeusen (the sytematic way Old Style is brewed)" different Chicago institutions. The idea is that since Kraeusening makes Old Style better, the ads tell how to make other typically Chicago things like 16 inch softball better. So when those commercials come on I usually talk back to the radio and say: here is how I would Kraeusen this commercial: I wouldn't talk about how great it is to be local and then say: "Hey, we're not even from here."

One of the first years this campaign was on the radio, the Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers were fighting for the lead in the division almost all Summer. I found it ironic that the company championing being local had their offices in a town where most of their residents were cheering against the Cubs.

The crazy thing is I don't drink alcohol at all. So Why does non beer drinking Sox fan get all worked up about beer commercials primarily played during Cubs games? If I could answer that question, my therapy bills would be much much lower.

Now that you know that I think loco, head back to Six Word Saturday at Show my face dot com.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Things Fortnightly

I am a few book reviews behind and have decided that these reviews will be my "things" for this edition of things fortnightly.
Review 1: Down To The Wire By David Rosenfelt

David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter books are series that my wife and I enjoy very much. Down to the Wire is Rosenfelt's second foray outside the series. The result is a much more satisfying read than his previous Carpenterless contribution: Don't tell a soul.
While I still prefer the Andy Carpenter books, Down to the Wire takes some of the more evocative elements from Don't Tell a Soul and even a secondary character and creates a vibrant, humorous page turner.

Review 2: A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
This book is a memoir of Soviet life from the late 1950's through the 70's. Gorkhova presents a sometimes sentimental and sometime sardonic view of growing up Russian.
Having lived in Russia from 1992 to 1994 this book really struck a chord with me. While my Russian experience was in a different continent (I lived in Far East Russia and she lived in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg ) in Europe and both Gorokhova and her mother (the 2 principal characters) in the book were both residing in New Jersey by the time my Russian adventures began, Their Russia and my Russia were eerily similar.

This enchanting memoir really swept me off my feet. Her use of the English language is much more powerful than my own and it is not her native language. I would have liked to have read more about her husband and daughter. But like most good books, you are left wanting more.

Review 3: Autumn With the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell

A few years ago I picked up this book at a home school seminar. It is the second a four book series. My daughter Emma really enjoyed it, so this Summer I read it to the whole family, a chapter at a time after dinner.

It is the story of a home school family with 4 children and a 5th on the way. This particular book follows their exploits through the season of Autumn. While the book is based on the author's own family, it reads like a fiction in comparison to our own family. The children get along with each other and are generally obedient and compliant.

I was actually pretty surprised that all 3 of my kids like the book when our own life is so different than theirs. I would highly recommend this book, but be prepared if your family doesn't stack up. Another feature of a good book is that it leaves you wanting more for yourself.

Those are all the things I have for today. If you would like to share your things link them below.

Next Time: A rant about a beer commercial

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 thumbs up

I have a new computer. part early birthday present, part necessity for blogging class I am teaching in the fall. I have joined the world of laptop users.

It has a camera which allows me to pose for goofy pictures at a moments notice. Like this one.

Next Time: Things Fortnightly

Monday, July 19, 2010

Charlie goes to school

Five weeks left until school starts!

Charlie started a 4 week summer school class at our local public school today. It is 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. He is not yet reading at grade level. Last summer we had him tutored by a special ed teacher and that really seemed to help. We are hoping for some good results from this class as well.

Charlie has never been part of a daily classroom learning environment before. The local school understands that this is just for the summer and has been very accomodating.

When we walked in the school this morning there was a piece of artwork in the entryway. It is a picture of a tiger cub frolicing. Besides the tiger are the words: children are not things to mold, they are people to unfold.

Emma used to have Girl Scouts at that school, so I have seen that poster before. But today, the first day I was entrusting my child to its care I got to thinking as to what that saying means.

My first thought is that pithy sayings like that are more for molding than unfolding. My second thought was the unequal word association with molding and unfolding. If you choose to mold some one's character than that person is a thing; but if you are going to let them unfold then they are a person. My third thought was that this phrase would seem like the credo of an unschooling advocate and thought of what strange bedfellows unschooling advocates and public school administrators make.

I think parenting and any other type of educating is part molding and part unfolding. My kids are all different with different strengths, interests and abilities. Some of those abilities need to be unfolded or in my words, unwrapped. Other character traits need to be molded or in my words, modeled to my students.

I will post more about Charlie's progress as his class unfolds. Sorry I couldn't resist.

Next Time: Book Reviews and plenty of 'em.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Christmas in July

Two years ago, Amy set the camera up and left the room here is the result . . .

When we were going through discs looking at photos and videos recently we came across it. The first thing Charlie said was put it on youtube. So here it is

Next Time: Six Word Saturday

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tennis Anyone

Word Count Wednesday: 100 Words or Les

I love Tennis. It is a sport that Amy and I hope to play into our old age. The problem is that eons (okay years) sometimes pass between our court dates.

On Sunday we played for the first time in 2 or 3 years.. We played with some doggy chew toys that were shaped like tennis balls. We played 5 games Sunday and went back yesterday and played 8 more.

Charlie wants to learn. Hopefully we’ll play lots this summer. We might get actual tennis balls soon.

Next Time: Down to the Wire

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Skills Round Up

Six weeks left until school starts!

Howdy Homeschool Pardners! How are your doggies getting along now that summer's breaking at your home school on the range?

Well lissen up cowpokes. I want to tell ya something we use during the summer to make sure we don't have any strays when we start driving facts and figures in the fall.

It's called Skills Round Up and it works for us. But lissen up City Slickers, how ya say it. It is not pronounced skills round-up. It's skeeeeeeeeeels round up. Plus when ya say it, you have to motion with your hands like your throwin' a lasso. That is, if you don't have your own lasso to throw.

Okay, Buckaroos here's whatcha do! Perty much once a week during the summer, gather up at the table and review some of the stuff you've learned in the past. Amy likes to put 'em through their paces in state capitols, continents and Bible verses. You can do it with just 'bout anything from historic dates to the periodic table. I think they call it the periodic table cause you have to review it periodically.

The nice thing about skills round up is you can do it any time, anywhere. In the back 40, in the van, in the store, anywhere! All the prep work is on the parents end (Amy can never remember that French fella that's the capitol of South Dakota.)

So, the next time things are slowing down on the home school ranch, mosey up to your tool kit and pull out your lasso and skeeeeeeeeels round up!

Howdy WFMW folks. Skeels rounds up works for me. It can work for you whether you home school or not. To find out what else is working. head over to We Are That Family.
If you are stopping by from the Carnival of Homeschooling click here to mosey back.

Next Time: Tennis Anyone?

White Sox in first place at all star break

What a difference a month and 3 days make. On June 8th, the White Sox had lost 6 0f their last 10, were 5 games under .500 at home 4 games under on the road and 9 1/2 games behind the division leading Minnesota Twins. Pundits were calling for the dismantling of the team, and advocating trading Mark Buehrle, AJ Pierzynski, and Paul Konerko for whatever you could get for them. Since then, The Sox have won 25 of their last 30 games. 14-1 at home and 11-4 on the road. Sure, 13 of those wins came during interleague play which is where hurting A.L. teams can traditionally feast on their senior circuit counterparts. But during the same run the Sox have been 6-2 against the AL central where they had been struggling all year and went 6-1 against the Angels and Rangers the big guns of the A.L. West.

Baseball is a game of runs. It took the Sox 57 games to win 24. They've won 25 more in 27 fewer games. The Sox now find themselves 1/2 game in first place for the first time since opening day. Can it last? Who knows. But hopefully this will be the run that leads the White Sox to the World Series title I predicted at the beginning of the season. A prediction that looked none too promising a month ago.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Catching Up

Things Fortnightly time once again.

This week's theme is catching up.

Thing 1. Dropping in.

Sometimes we catch up with people when they drop in for a visit.

These paratroopers were a highlight of a wonderful visit to Cantigni park in Wheaton for Scout-A-Rama. Been meaning to post these pictures for a while and am just catching up to it now.

Thing 2. Has it really been that long?

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with several friends that I knew in my high school days. We got together last weekend, sang some of the old songs and had a great time visiting with each other. What's really odd with seeing people that you've known for pushing 30 years is that some of the things that you remember the person for, they have forgotten and vice versa.

Thing 3: Catching up on Labels

A few months ago when this blog celebrated 300 posts. I decided to write 25 tribute posts to my 25 most used labels up to that time. This has proved to be a little more difficult than I first anticipated. I've decided to give it another go.

Here is today's installment

#20 (7 way tie) Russia

From 1992 to 1994 I served as a missionary to Russia for the Southern Baptist Convention. In many ways it was the best time of my life. At least it was the best time of my life up to that point. From time to time it comes up in the blog.

Someday I'd like to take my whole family back to Russia. One of the books I am reading about now, is a memoir about a woman from Russia. It reminds me of the time that I spent there.

Thing 4: Speaking of Catching up.

On the June 4th installment of Things Fortnightly I mentioned the White Sox and my passion for them. I mentioned how they had lost the game the night before that I took my son to and how I was taking my youngest daughter to the game that day. The Sox had a record of 22-30 at the time. They were 8 games below .500 and 8.5 games behind the division leading Minnesota Twins. They were 5 games behind the Second Place Detroit Tigers.

Since then The Sox have turned their season around. They beat the Rangers when Lucy and I saw them which was the beginning of a 23-8 run they are currently on. They have gone from 8 games below the .500 mark to seven games above and with tonight's victory over the Angels they are in second place in their division only 1 game behinf the Tigers and have just pulled a half game ahead of the Twins.

Thing 5: Vote Pauly, Vote Often.

A big reason the Sox are doing so well is the monster season Paul Konerko has been having for them. He is one of 5 AL players who can be voted to next week's all star game. In tonight's victory he doubled twice. Click here to vote for him. He is currently in third and needs to catch up (you knew I'd have it somewhere) to make it to the game.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Six Word Book Review

I am trying to write book reviews about all the books I read this summer. Book reviews take time and that's not always a commodity I spend well so I decided to try a six word review.

The book:

The Review: Riordan's Myth book does not miss!

A few extra words: The first paragraph and the chapter titles (Chapter 1: I accidentally vaporize my pre-algebra teacher + Chapter 10:I ruin a perfectly good bus are some of my favorites) alone make the book worth the time it took me to read.

I originally read it to discover if it was appropriate for my 8 year old son. My verdict is this: I don't think He is ready for it yet. Perhaps when He is 10. That isn't to say it isn't for any 8 year olds. I just thought that there were certain aspects of the book that I don't think He is ready for. I think any adults who are wondering what this series (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) is all about should read the book themselves. I think you will enjoy it and be able to make a good determination as to whether your own child would like it.

To review more Six Word Saturday head over to Showmyfacedotcom.

Next Time: Catching Up.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip