Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friendship Widens Our World

Sometimes in friendships you take the time to do activities you may otherwise not pursue.
For example my Jacki loves skating. She is even on a roller derby league. She has instilled the love of skating in the hearts of her family as well as mine. We have been roller staking and ice skating over the last few months together, just like we have for years. We are brewing another trip soon as well.
Austin & Aubrey have joined the Yosemite Fitness Rock Climbing League. Jet & Dori use this to remain in shape themselves (like preparing for their trip to Everest) Rock Climbing is a huge part of their lives & they share that with us. This weekend, like several other times over the years the Vincents & the Lims tackled walls together.
Moving up to the foothills has put us contact with people who are showing us off-the-beaten-path areas we may not have ever known about.
Thank you all for enriching our lives.

The CHEFA Fine Arts Faire

CHEFA ( Christian Home Educators of the Fresno Area) puts on a great show every year. This is an opportunity for children of all ages to showcase their talents. There are two aspects to this project, performance & displayed arts.
Billy & Ricky are in the CHEFA Drama class. For the last few months they have been learning to mime. Their instructor split the class in half for the Fine Arts Faire. The girls performed a serious song while the guys song was real goofy. Earlier in the year they had homework assignments to create a mime to their own chosen song. Billy apparently did a wonderful job because his teacher asked him to preform this solo at the Faire. He mimed "colored people" by DC Talk.
As for the display section Billy & Ricky entered two photographs a piece. Ricky's 1st picture was of snow being rushed onto our window by a heavy wind with the trees in the yard beyond that. His 2nd picture was a misty-foggy sky with naked tree branches & the shadow of a sparrow. Both pictures look black & white, however it is just nature's coloring at that moment. Billy's 1st picture is of a spectacular winter sunset of red, orange & yellow against the naked black -looking branches. His second photo is interesting. The top half looks like a black and white photo of the mountain side & trees. While the bottom half looks like green grass & a field of yellow flowers. Again, just God's handy work, no trick photography. We had these blown up to 8 by 10's & framed. Look for them the next time you visit our home.
One special aspect of the Fine Arts Faire every year is the involvement of Jeff & Becky (Jeff's parents). Of course I have always done things in my own little school with my boys in preparation of this event, but so have they. Becky oversaw & photographed a Biblical herb garden that B&R planted tended & dried. Then they baggied & labeled the herbs. I helped the boys finish the project by overseeing recipes made for each herb, taking photos of that & placing it all together in a book. Becky also oversaw the tracing, stuffing & sewing of all the internal organs of a human body. These were then velcroed to a cardboard cut out of Ricky. As the boys have grown older she has been replaced by Jeff Sr. The guys have turned their attention to woodworking & the beginnings of metal working. He has helped in making a catapult, swords, shields & battle axes.
This year he was on duty overseeing Ricky make true Boomerangs. One is wooden & the other is fiberglass. Billy, being in high school, needed a more impressive project. So Jeff oversaw him make a bar dip, push-up/pull-up system.
I am grateful for CHEFA & the Grandparents for the hard work & opportunities they give my boys.

Thank you!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Jeff & Ricky have been taking Aikido together, but for separate reasons.
Jeff is endeavoring to sharpen his skills consequently bringing these new traits to his Chitudo instruction & of course personal knowledge. It's good for the teacher to continue renewing knowledge & understanding.
It was actually kinda of funny when his students found out he was taking classes from another school, they freaked out! They were very protective their school/art. They asked Jeff if his Chitudo instructors knew what he was doing (like he was sneaking around) Jeff explained that they encouraged him to pursue this, so all ended well.
Ricky has different gifts & struggles as God has graced. He is taking Aikido to learn to walk light, establish consciousness of every minute bodily movement. These skills, quite frankly, will help him tremendously in every area of his life.
Jeff began taking these classes first. This Dojo only hosts adult classes. Jeff asked if they would be willing to let Ricky join in the class he was taking. They agreed to a trial bases, if Ricky could behave (not interrupt) & keep up (not need extra instructional time) he could stay.....he passed.
"I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, 

because they see & hear nothing of ordinary life 

To be finished in the year 2025

I am writing a book about Homeschooling. It will be ready for you to read years after B&R have graduated from our little school, when time & I get along a little better. I have lots of ideas, but no time to really dedicate to the project. I do write but not with any regularity. I have a folder I dump thoughts/writings into, which I will compile at a later time. Many of you (My friends & Family) have made every effort to push me in this direction, insuring me I have lots to share with others....& that I shouldn't harbor that knowledge. So Look forward to reading my book sometime before you die!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Have you ever experienced this or ever even heard of it? Basically you are playing hockey with broom looking thingys on ice wearing tennis shoes. B&R played earlier this month with CHEFA, This activity started at 10:00 p.m. & we got home around 1:ish. I don't know why, but this is the time the Ice skating rink has always chosen. Billy's friends chose to be the green team. Ricky relented to the girls on his team & so he was on the pink team. Being the ham that he is, he embraced it. He tied the pink piece of fabric around his head like a babies head band & swung his hips around while out on the rink. His team didn't win, but he didn't care anyway. Actually I don't really know whose team won to tell you the truth.
"Education is what remains after I have forgotten what I had learned in school"- Einstein

Okay, so about the coffee woes

I have a little problem with breaking carafes. So a few years back Jeff bought me a coffee maker with a metal carafe. Unfortunately as I was taking it out of the box I dropped it. Yes, I broke it. Well, a chip fell off the plastic rim & a big dent was created on the side of it. I decided not to replace it assuming I would just repeat the offense. I was content with my silly looking carafe. Eventually the coffee maker its self stopped working (not my doing) We needed to replace it, but couldn't afford the price tag of a metal carafe. Of course glass was not happening!
Becky lent us her old-time percolator, which stopped working soon after we received custody. It had a faulty wire that had been tweaked a few times. Her percolator lived a long and purposeful life. Yet it came to my kitchen to die!
The next product came straight out of our garage. Yep, we used our camp coffee percolator. The all-metal campfire one. We used this for a while. Sometimes we did have chewy coffee. Especially the lucky one who was blessed with the last cup. It was hard to ignore its hoaky appearance, although it was a conversation starter.
Ron & Ceci gave us a thermal metal carafe coffee maker for Christmas. We have enjoyed it very much.....thanks bunches.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why do I have cats?

I am allergic to cats, yes its true. I can't cuddle up with my feline friends. I shut my door at night so they won't sneak in bed with me. I vacuum my furniture regularly (which they also scratch). They are the reason I can't have indoor plants. It is common for cats to try & use the soil for a liter box and that is bad, but my cat does worse. Kansas plucks each leaf or pedal right off the plant/flower. No, he doesn't eat the plants. They are toys in his eyes, well everything is really.
They are destructive! I left a ceramic sugar bowl out on my counter one night. I woke up the next morning to sugar all over the counter & cat scratches in it...not like litter scratches...but like they were batting at it. The ceramic dish was spared somehow. But fear not, they got into the dish drainer & knocked a platter onto the aggregate flooring. Millions of tiny fragments flew in every direction. I was barefoot. It was still dark. Yet I didn't step on even the tiniest of pieces. I made it to the light, but when I turned it on, I just wanted to turn it off & go back to bed.
No, this is not uncommon. Why do I have cats? I guess because even though they do things like scoop the acorns out of a bowl on the coffee table. They are cute and oh so funny! They make me laugh and I need to laugh. there you have it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"The secret of success is to know how to deny yourself. Prove that you can control yourself, and you are an educated man and without this all other education is good for nothing."-R.D. Hitchcook

Monday, February 9, 2009

They Lied to me!...Twice!

When Billy was born ....& again when Ricky was born "they" said I was gonna have "it" easy. Well "they" lied! Boys are not cheap! With all the instruments, activities & sporting goods...let me tell you, its not cheap!
And that's before the real growing began. Billy has really challenged our bank account the last couple of years. He is growing out of shoes, pants & shirts. Ricky is creeping up right behind him. Every time I turn around, someone needs some article of clothing.
And the hormones! I was told, things would be simple. They are not! I have randomly regenerated hormones flowing through my house every day.
However, I will say this, the relationship I share with my boys at this age is precious. I know that I will miss all the drama, chaos & just plain noise when they are gone. So I am grateful for it all.
A lady at church, who has grand kids my boys age, told me if I will let it happen, this will be the time we can grow closer together. She says, when you are going through a wheels fallin' off the cart time & you want to scream, say to yourself "is this what I want them to remember about our home?" I'm glad she said that, it will stick with me.
Its hard to remember when one of them comes down the stairs in a foul mood , that this is a special time to be cherished. This happened today & the cranky-pants didn't even know why he was upset. I was able to send him right back up to the shower & by the time he came back down, he also forgot he was upset!