Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The label random postings could easily be placed on 40 % of my posts. I am in my very nature random. However, I have saved this label for the truly random like my post about alternate names for our home school or when I solicited opinions about keeping my beard or shaving it off, or my classic April 1 2009 post how High Fructose Corn Syrup works for me.
Today's random post is about a cocktail party game that Amy and I made up called what a thing to say. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that between Amy and myself we have attended a total of zero cocktail parties. I mean we're only in our forties, we're pacing ourselves. I just imagine it's a game that would go over well at cocktail parties. We play it at social gatherings like weddings, wakes, funerals, reunions the sort of thing where much small talk will occur.
The way we play is like this. Before the EIQ (Event in Question) one of us thinks a phrase that the other person has to say and the # of different times they have to say it. They are not supposed to reveal that they are playing a game and just work it into conversations. In November of 1997, Amy and I were recently engaged and were at my grandfather's wake. This is the first time I remember playing. I gave Amy the phrase "People don't floss as much as they used to." She played it like a champ. One year at Christmas with Amy's side of the family I was to use the phrase "the all-mighty dollar" and I just kept bringing it up into conversation and no one other than Amy had any clue that it was all pre-arranged.
Other phrases soon followed like "I don't like (whoever had just been mentioned) they supported the war movement" this was funny at the time because it was the late 90's and there was really no war movement to support. We still laugh when we remember Amy telling her Aunt that she doesn't like Oprah Winfrey because she "supported the war movement." Especially when her aunt thought Amy had made it up just then.
What a thing to say has not been all that popular with us in the past 8-10 years as we have both been to family parties where we don't remember having any conversations because we were so busy herding children. Now that our children are becoming a little more self regulating it may become a game we play more often. Maybe at our first cocktail party.
Next Time: The return of 7 word September
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Label # 15 Our Bunny Girl
Our Bunny Girl is a label I use when blogging specifically about our oldest daughter. Today is a special day as we are celebrating her birthday early; she turns 11 on Thursday and the party is today. The thing is, she doesn't know about it yet.
Homeschool Dad's Wife here: Dave and Emma are at the White Sox game enjoying "Frank Thomas" Day, where they are retiring his number. We are expecting Emma to walk in around 6:15 pm, amid family and friends. She historically hasn't done well with parties at our house. She anticipates, plans, gets all excited, then has a total melt-down when the time comes. We were hoping that the element of surprise will help her just enjoy all the attention for a short while, then she can go and read in her room if she wants to. She is a beautiful, smart, sweet young lady, and we are so thankful to the Lord for sending her to us at just the right time, almost 11 years ago.
Friday, August 27, 2010
My 6: My computer ate my blog post.
Last night I wrote an informative yet somewhat boring post for 6 word Saturday about my youngest daughters sickness, my son's new soccer team and my upcoming visit to a Chicago White Sox game with my daughter.
This morning I woke up and tried to link the meme to this post and while my post was still intact on my blog, when I went to edit it, it was entirely blank.
So I had a choice leave the post alone and not link it back to Six Word Saturday or blow it up and start over. In cheer leading parlance: I blew it up, blew it up, blew it way up.
None of this makes an awful lot of sense to me, my blog posts usually don't pull a disappearing act. For more Six Word mysteries and mayhem click here.
Next Time: A label for lagomorphs
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
It's carnival of homeschooling time again and I am serving as your host. I just discovered recently that our digital camera has a panorama setting. It allows you to take up to 3 shots and it will automatically blend the image into one shot.
I recently took a picture of some items on our kitchen counter.
I then took a picture of each individual item and combined them in the panorama setting.
I have decided that this week's carnival will look at the panorama that is home schooling. I will intersperse the fine posts offered by fellow bloggers with panorama shots I have taken with my camera since my discovery of the setting.
To get us started Rhonda Miller of Time4learning offers up some beginning of the school year encouragement in Extreme Makeover - The Homeschool edition. So move the bus and head on over there.
Our next post is from Jennifer Lavender of Princess Momma. She introduces a new feature of her blog in Home School Answers. What's it all about? Need I say more?
Alasandra of Alasandra's Homeschool blog says You are not a homeschooler if you send your child to public or private school.
I asked each of my children to run towards me and as they did I took their picture and combined it here. My kids all responded to that task differently. One aspect of the panorama of homeschooling is the many different types of students it involves.
Sandy Davis talks about dealing with students who are creative, easily bored and highly distractable in Sizzlers at Falling Like Rain.
Jennifer presents How To HomeSchool PreSchool - What I Have Learned posted at HomeGrownMommy.
Mama Squirrel presents Another year of boxes, bins, notebooks: trying not to duplicate posted at Dewey's Treehouse.
This is a panoramic view of spider droid's first horseback ride. It kind of looks like clones on horseback.
Speaking of nature, (You might not have known we were, just try to keep up.) Laura Grace Weldon of her eponymous blog www.lauragraceweldon.com says: "Consider making a nature study of something nearby. A tree's lifestyle through the seasons, the activity around a wasp nest in the eaves, the behavior of birds at a feeder." Interested? read her fine piece entitled How to make spiders your teachers, trees your guides.
NerdMom presents A Day in the Life posted at NerdFamily Blog.
E-mom shares 13 Bible Trivia Questions: Patriarchs and Matriarchs at Chrysalis. She says: Test yourself first. Then test your kids. I Say: There are no questions about the Noaharchs.
I am not the only one in the family taking panorama shots. Last weekend the girls were sick and we took the t.v. out of theoretical mothballs and put on Star Trek Generations. My son snapped these pics near the end of the film. I like it because the height of the pictures gives the illusion of 3 different televisions all showing Star Trek at the same time.
The next section will feature the various "treks" that our intrepid home school explorers have made. Starting off is Kim at Homeschool Peeps with a couple of firsts. Our Summer of Learning: Part I is the first of hopefully many posts "dedicated to sharing the fun and educational experiences" they had this summer. It is also their first submission to the carnival.
Lizzie at a Dusty Frame takes us on a trip to an art museum for an "amazing visit with" La Donna Velata, The woman with the veil - Raphael.
The next panorama is pure genius. Word Girl (Word Up!) sandwiched between a sandwich villain (Chuck, the evil sandwich making guy). Word Girl survives to lead us into our next section a panorama of language:
Cristina of Home Spun Juggling presents Home Spun Comic Strip #514 where she begins to unveil her homeschooler's alphabet.
April from Question the Culture presents a post on the power of words to develop our minds in Words, words, words.
The Family presents Once Upon a Family: Book List for Grades 4th - 7th posted at Once Upon a Family.
Nak presents "Why Should Anyone Be Tense About Tense?" posted at Sage Parnassus.
Now that school has started, Lynn from Electic Education is going to show us what to do when our kids say Mommy I'm Bored. I've never had my kids say that to me, but then again, I am a Home School Dad.
We have come to the end of our panorama of homeschooling. Homeschooling, like the expressions of my children in the above photo, can be painful, thought provoking and goofy, sometimes at the same moment. I hope you take time to read all the fine articles assembled here.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Zero weeks until school starts.
Today is in fact the day. It seems odd to start school 2 whole weeks before Labor day. Amy's school started classes last Monday so I guess I shouldn't complain.
I have been promising to post about our recent vacation. That doesn't look like it will happen.
Starting today, I will be including some vacations pics in the next few posts. That will have to do.
I'll be back tomorrow with the Carnival of Homeschooling. Right now I have actual homeschooling to attend to.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
1) A few years ago I passed by my manager's office space while she was in a meeting with another of her employees. The only thing I heard was the employee say, "I haven't fallen asleep at my desk again." He said it nonchalantly and so matter of fact, and I got the idea it was a
2) Prior to the November 2008 general election, I was at a restaurant with my kids and an older married couple. They basically ignored us and had a conversation about a proposal on the Illinois ballot to have a constitutional convention. The wife was talking the ear off the husband and after he responded, she dismissed him by saying, "You don't understand politics. You've never even watched The West Wing!"
What's the funniest thing you ever overheard ?
Next Time: Summer's out for the school year.
Friday, August 20, 2010
http://www.showmyface.com/ hosts an extravaganza called Six Word Saturday.
My Six: Swimming against the dead pool current.
A couple of my relatives are participating in a dead pool this year. A dead pool is basically like any office pool but instead of best actor or super bowl halftime scores you pick celebrities who you think will croak first (Kermit the frog excluded).
One of said relatives likes to talk about it all the time and preface it with "I know you don't like me to talk about this, but ..." I'm in many ways drawn to death. I used to have a page of my now defunct geocities site where I posted recent obituaries of the famous. I didn't have any qualms against calling the page, Currently Dead. But Death Pools? No Way!
I think there are just a few main reasons why I'm against death pools:
1) On some basis you are rooting for the death of someone else for your benefit. (Note: My relatives have no money at stake in their pool. Just bragging rights.) One of my relatives likes to tell me proudly who she picked correctly. The other is "jokingly" mad that someone on her list has been twice hospitalized but has not paid off for her.
2) I think it is insensitive to the families of these famous people to speculate on the demise of their beloved. Sometimes this speculation is on perfectly healthy famous people. Many dead pools give more points the younger the deceased. This point ties in and overlaps with my first. My relatives and I all lost a dear family member (my brother) in the past 18 months. I questioned one of my relatives about this asking her what would you say if I said "cool! I had Keith in my dead pool."? The reply was that He wasn't famous. But these famous people have relatives too. Where is the empathy?
3)The greatest reason I am against Death Pools is that it is counter to my entire philosophy of life: A)We were made by a creator for the ultimate purpose of eternal fellowship with Him. B) In life we have the opportunity to follow Him reject Him. C) Those who follow will have eternal fellowship, Those who reject eternal torment. D) As long as life continues there is opportunity to follow.
Many of you may not hold to the same philosophies as I do. That's not the point. The point is I would never want to hope in any way for the eternal torment of anyone. For me, participating in death pools or tolerating them would in my mind, be a way of doing so.
So thanks for visiting the Illinois Suburb of Downer's Grove today. You can participate in Six Word Saturday by clicking here.
Next Time: Overheard
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This week's carnival of homeschooling is at NotesFrom a Homeschooling Mom. Please head there and check out the back to school edition.
I am hosting next week's carnival. My theme will be the panorama of home schooling. If you home school and you blog, you should think about participating. Here is some information about how to submit an article.
Next Time: A Family Playcation.
Monday, August 16, 2010
This is the year that I attempt to teach all 3 kids at the table, at virtually the same time.
So here is what I did: I set out all the school work and made a plan of attack.
I then wrote out all the classes that each child would be working on on some index cards.
After a while the table looked like this . . .
Then with the help of my lovely and talented wife we pieced together a tenative schedule that looks like this . . .
Next Time: A playcation
Sunday, August 15, 2010
# 16 (3 way tie) Seven Word September.
Much of blogging, mine anyway, is reactive. You see a good movie (or a bad one) and you want to tell people about it. You have a cool thing that works for you and you want to share it. You have some neat pictures and you want to post them. Last year I discovered a cool meme Six Word Saturday at http://www.showmyface.com/. The basic idea is to share six words about what's going on in your life right now. Here is my first submission. Here is my most recent.
I liked the idea so much that I augmented the concept last September to have 7 word titles for all my September blog posts. This was my inaugural post. September 2010 is now just around the corner. I have decided to bring back seven word September for this year as well.
Next Time: 1 week until school starts
Friday, August 13, 2010
With little more than a week left until school starts around here, there are a few things I want to accomplish before things gets into full swing. Normally I take the aim at nothing and you'll hit it approach. But as Dr. Phil surely knows that isn't working for me. Here's what needs doing:
*Make Six Word Saturday post (check)
*Buy supplies for science and history classes
*Clean out garbage cans and garbage cabinet (w/son's help)
*Clean out garage (w/daughter's help)
* Work on blogging class for homeschool co-op.
* Complete this sentence: accesorize and the world accesorizes with you. (Blank) and you (Blank) alone.
*Buy more tennis balls so I can play tennis with my wife (w/wife)
*Speaking of my wife, I should probably buy her flowers more often (okay she wrote that one.)
*Clean out school shelves one last time
*Make history time line.
* Sell Paramount on film idea: Barack Obama's Day Off.
*Enjoy my last week of unscheduled time with the kiddos, bunny, and my wife (even though she's back at work already, her school starts on Monday the 16th)---possibly some more swimming will be involved, even though we swam non-stop during our recent week long vacation to Wisconsin Dells.
*Prepare myself mentally to see a few more White Sox games
So that 's it for me. What are your plans for the end of summer? Make sure you plan to click here and see the rest of Six Word Saturday.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Just a fun night at the races.
Thanks to my SIL for being the founder of the feast of fast. Next time need to bring mosquito spray and ear plugs. I think my MIL wants to go to the Demolition Derby next month.
Next Time: Things Fortnightly
Monday, August 9, 2010
Two weeks left until school starts.
Summer has many great traditions and events. From outdoor movies (which sadly we did not partake of this year) to weekend getaways, our summers are filled with some great activities. Some are relatively new, like home school baseball on Thursday nights and some have been going on for years, like my sister and her kids' annual visit from D.C. to the old homestead. Last year a new summer tradition started which starts again today. Allen Levi will release a new song on his blog today (http://www.allenlevi.wordpress.com/) and continue to release a new song each day until Sunday. Yep 7 songs in 7 days. You can also link to the blog from his web site http://www.allenlevi.com/.
Now wait just a minute, you might be saying who is Allen Levi and what kind of music does he perform?
This video may begin to answer those questions.
I am not sure if I have posted about Allen before. I know I have periodically put up links to his website and blog before. I met Allen about 15 years ago when I was living in South Carolina. He performed concerts at the church I was attending 2 years in a row. He was in the early years of his transition from full time lawyer to full time singer.
Allen quickly became of my favorite musicians. He is a prolific song writer/story teller who at both of those concerts sang songs he had written only hours earlier. Unlike Bebo Norman who is featured with Allen in the above video, Allen has not become a Contemporary Christian Music star. I am not sure this was his intention.
A good # of Allen's concerts are played at Young Life (A Christian parachurch youth ministry) camps and training events. He also plays churches like the concert I saw him at. He also has performed at many more intimate venues. He told me once he even plays at birthday parties. I found this out first hand in 2004 when Amy flew him from Georgia to Illinois for my surprise 40th birthday party.
I reviewed all of the songs Allen played last August in preparation for this week. I thought I would link one up here to give you an idea of his music. The problem is they were all awesome and I had hard time deciding which one to choose. You can find them all by clicking here.
If I had to choose one I would choose Proposal (A Love Song). I chose this one because a) I like the premise of a proposal song following the advice Elisabeth Elliot's father had for her brothers: Never tell a girl you love her until you are ready to propose. and b) because I once told a girl I loved her in a song and then proposed in the same song. (She said "sure" btw.)
The indecision in picking 1 song is understandable as I vacillate easily when trying to determine which of Allen's songs is my favorite. Yesterday it was A Frazier Fir in Florida from that album I bought 15 years ago. Today it's back to Love to Give Away, a beautiful song about his singleness. I am sure after this week I will (and hopefully you too) will have some new gems to choose from.
I could probably go on and on about Allen, but instead I will let his music speak for himself. Not only is he my featured blog this week, he is also listed in my blog roll. Give him a listen, and a read, as his song explanations are often as poignant as the songs themselves. Who knows? maybe he will play at your surprise birthday party as well.
Next Time: A night at the races.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Label #16 (3 Way Tie) Blah Blah Blogging.
This blog has not been immune, at times, to instead of blogging about home schooling or crazy family members or first place baseball teams, to occasionally just blog about blogging. This label nostalgia is a pretty good example. Last weekend when I posted that I had not posted for awhile is another.
Over the 20 months Home School Dad has been the blog sensation sweeping the nation I have made a few observations about blogging. I'd like to share a few here.
1) You could always spend more time blogging. Early on I became overwhelmed with how much time I could pour into the blog-o-sphere. But no matter how much you spend, it seems like you could always spend more. Not letting blogging consume me was a hard calf to corral the first 6-8 months. It is now pretty easy to not get swept up out of control. This balance was hard to come by but it is certainly something I will want to pass on to the blogging class I teach this fall.
2) Some ideas just don't work. I sometimes get an awesome idea for a post. Sometimes it's just an excellent title. Often times, these ideas and titles pretty much write themselves into epic blog posts. Other times, no matter how hard I try, I just can't bring the idea home. This is where my wife/editor is so helpful. She'll read it and say "I have no idea where you are going with this." Sometimes I can salvage the idea, but every once in a while that dog will just not hunt. When that is the case, the best strategy is just to let the idea go.
3) Some ideas aren't worth the work. In my first few months of blogging, I used to look back at my previous months worth of posts, choose the 5 I liked best and put them in a box in my blog called Dave's fave five. This became an incredibly arduous process. First of all, it was sometimes hard to choose the 5 best because I thought everything was great. Other months I thought nothing was any good. It usually depended on whether I had a nap or not. Then after I decided on the 5, I had to link them and label them and mark them with D and put them in a blog for David and me. By the time I got it all done it was about time to do the thing over again. Part of running an effective blog is to know when to go the extra mile and when to pull the plug. A number of months ago I scrubbed all references to Dave's fave five and I've never looked back.
So from time to time I am going to still blog about blogging, but like they say at the Porcupine Salesmen Convention: Don't ignore what got you here, porcupines and more porcupines! And my porcupines are definitely home schooling and being crazy. Two porcupines that I know a lot about.
Next Time: In Praise of Allen Levi.
Friday, August 6, 2010
http://www.showmyface.com/ is the home of Six Word Saturday.
My Six words: My wife doesn't read any prologues.
My wife is an avid reader. But she doesn't read forewords or prologues. I used to think this was just true about non-fiction as some forewords and prologues can be kind of dry. But I recently found out this is for fiction books as well. I on the other hand read all forewords, dedications, introductions, prefaces, prologues. I mean I usually read the Library of Congress catalog information.
I am currently reading an excellent book, The Time Traveller's Wife and she is rereading her favorite Grisham, The Last Juror. Both books start out like gangbusters. Chapter 1 of The Last Juror is ostensibly a prologue. The action of the book begins in Chapter 2. Chapter 1 just tells the history of the town newspaper. If Grisham would have called it a prologue, Amy would have missed the colorful back story. The preface of The Time Travellers wife really enticed me into the book. It did a great job of starting to flesh out the characters in present time. Present time is a rare commodity in this book, so it literally was a calm before the storm. I want Amy to read the book, but she won't even read recommended prologues.
So, if you are writing a book and want my wife to read it. You can either title the prologue chapter 1 or just say mean things about her in the prologue. She will never find out.
For more six word Saturday click here.
Next Time: Blah Blah Blogging.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I am starting to get ready for our home school co-op for this fall. I will be teaching a class on blogging and yes I have been consulting the above referenced book for a few pointers. One thing I will be emphasizing in the class is Internet safety. I will be instructing my students not to use their own names on their blogs. To that end, I will be no longer using the names of my children and replacing them with nicknames. My oldest will be called by the not surprising moniker, bunny girl. My son will be known as Spider Droid to combine his love for Star Wars and his previous passion for Spiderman. My daughter with the penchant for Lucyisms will be referred to as Princess puppy. (Lucyisms will be referred to as puppyisms)
I blog using blogger and will be teaching my students this platform. One of the things I like about blogging is the ease of removing or editing previous posts from blogosphere. In the weeks to come, I will be editing past posts and replacing the kids names with their nicknames.
I am excited about the class. I have created a new blog just for the class, but will still be linking things here as well.
Next Time: Blah Blah Blogging
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Label# 16 (3 way tie) Reviews
I have reviewed many things on this blog. Books, films, & music. Today I am going to compare two movies my family watched yesterday . While most of the family went to watch Toy Story III again with Amy who had not seen it yet, Spider Droid and I went to see Despicable Me.
I had taken everyone but Amy to watch Toy Story III on opening day in 3D. I can only vouch for about 90% of the movie as I made 3 runs to refill popcorn. What I did see was quite entertaining. I definitely enjoyed TS3 and would recommend it somewhat highly. (PS Amy did not like TS3 at all...she found it violent, scary, and poorly written, but that's just HER opinion, and this is NOT her blog!)
I will say though, that it is not nearly as good as the original and while I had first thought it better than TS2, I realized afterwards that much of the plot of 3 is just a reworking of 2. I also thought that the 10 (4 * $2.50) extra dollars I spent on 3-D were wasted. (The 4.50 I spent on the kids popcorn were a shrewd purchase with my multiple refill trips) The only thing that was really enhanced by the glasses were the short at the beginning and the Despicable Me trailer.
There was also a more dark side to TS3 that I thought was unneeded. Without giving away the plot, the danger the main characters were in the end caused my youngest daughter nightmares (which is why we didn't take her when Amy went yesterday.) The suspense in the other 2 films was much less scary.
I will admit that I did cry like a baby at the movie's conclusion. If the theme of the movie could have been toned down just a bit it would have been a much better ending to a fine series.
Now while TS3 was a movie that I thought would be fine for the whole family it was not, at least for ours. Despicable Me was a movie that I thought would only be suitable for Spider Droid and myself, but after watching it, I am convinced that all the kids would love it.
Despicable Me is one of those films where you laugh from beginning to end. We didn't buy popcorn this time so I can say that for the entirety of the film. The movie quickly shows it has depth beyond the premise of an aging villain trying to pull off one final evil plot.
Because of timing issues we did not see the movie in 3-D. It would have easily been worth the extra $5.00 ($2.50 * 2(Do I have to spell out everything for you?!!!!)). From the 3-D trailer I saw at TS3 and from the version we saw, it is easy to tell how the 3-D experience would add to the visual excitement of the film.
But even with all the visual excitement, it was never where I thought it would overwhelm a certain 4-year old of mine. The tone of this movie is not nearly as dark as a tale of a villain bent on evil schemes could have been. I would recommend it much more than I would TS3.
Well that's what I have for you review wise.
Next Time: Blogging Class