Satisfying my obsessive compulsions through the pursuit of creativity and personal betterment

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day Fifteen: Coffee

I am thankful for the coffee, because without the coffee things wouldn't get done around here at all :).  And by extension, Starbucks Peppermint Mochas.  NOM.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Days Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen

Day 12:  I am grateful for my sister, Jenny, with whom I have a 100 inside jokes and we actually enjoy the sight of each other, unlike a lot of siblings.  We are alike enough to hang out and not kill each other, and different enough that we are not monotonous.

Day 13:  I am grateful for kind cashiers at Walmart who rush out and give you the item you scraped change together to buy and then in the bustle of getting children out, forgot to pick up.    I'm grateful for my Walmart in general, actually. Unlike most Walmarts that I've heard of, mine is personable, and the people who work there are kind and know us all if not by name, at least by sight.  Our local grocery store is not nice at all, and we get more glares and nasty under-breath comments there than we have anywhere else.  Even though they have better produce and meat, I try to only go there a few times a month for groceries due to the hostile environment. 

Day 14:  I am grateful for the landlady calling the plumber in a timely fashion and that there will be one here this afternoon, because HOLY LORD do I smell and I need a shower :D. 

EDIT:  WOO I hit 10,000 words!  A little slower than I would have liked, but still, an accomplishment!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Last Few Days

So, I've missed a few days.  On the upside though, several of them have been missed to writing.  I'm getting so much done, and I'm thrilled with it.  Now if I can just balance the housework in again, everything would be peachy.  So I'll try to catch up briefly while Lachlan sings along with Dory on Finding Nemo.

Day Eight:  I am grateful for such a beautifully mild fall so far.  Even after the chill of this morning, I can still appreciate barely having to run my heater at all.  And on that note:

Day Nine:  I am grateful for a house full of warm bodies.  Even today, with a high of 54 degrees and a very chill wind, the warmth of the children playing plus a little help from the oven cooking supper was all we needed to warm our house.  I didn't have to turn the heater on until after everyone went to bed and the temperature had dropped below freezing outside.

Day Ten:  I am grateful for a new church full of new friends.  We have been welcomed warmly and it already feels like home.

Day Eleven:  I am grateful for 4 lb, 4 oz tiny skinny newborns stretching up into great, hulking, ten year olds, that go off to a friend's house by themselves to play video games with barely a goodbye wave and no apprehensions.  And no, that was not a tear in my eye. *sniff*

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day Seven: Patience

I am thankful my husband has the patience of a saint. (At least as far as his wife goes).  Because I am a crazy, crazy, woman who needs lots of patience :).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day Six: Free-Range Kids

Today I am grateful for the right and privilege to homeschool my children, and by default their freedom in childhood.

One of the most important things to a well-rounded education, and life experience, is to have low stress and the freedom to have a say in their subject matter and method of teaching.

I want my kids to be able to breathe, live, and enjoy life, without being stuck in a school and then homework and extra-curriculars from morning until night. 

I want them to be able to bond with their siblings first, and their friends second.

I want to keep them safe from socially acceptable abuse, like bullying or peer pressure.

I want them to be able to pursue their own interests and make their own trails.

I want them to get enough sleep at night, be able to help cook their own meals, and take charge of their own needs.

I want to be able to appreciate things as they come, like a beautiful day to pack a picnic and take studies outside, or a sudden warm rainfall to build dams against and make scientific observations.

I don't want to confine them to age and gender specific roles.

I want to watch their minds expand and unfold before me as they learn new things.

I want to spend every minute I can with them, because no one ever regretted spending too much time with their children while they were young.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day Five

I am grateful for small, well-run, personable credit unions that give people a chance with borderline credit.  And electricity not being turned off.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day Four: This Boy


Today I am thankful for this boy, Lachlan Jericho.   His nickname is frequently, "The Non-Verbal Minion" and he has accomplished what no other child in this house has done:  at age 2.5, he had not uttered a word.  I was not worried.  None of my boys have ever talked before age 2, and they always caught up very quickly with no issues.   He made different sounds and noises, he was affectionate and looked you in the eye, was not unhappy, and seemed to be able to hear just fine.  So I let him be. 

Diligently painting his fingers at the library Halloween party.
 At the beginning of September, he started acting sick.  One day with a fever, one day off, then the third the fever returned in force.  He would not eat and was very unhappy.  By the end of the third day I could tell he had a nasty ear infection:  one of his ears was swollen inside and draining a bit.  We treated it the best we could (it was a weekend, and we were between insurances) and the next day it was worse.  Sometime in the afternoon blood and pus began oozing out of his ear, and we knew his ear drum had ruptured.  We cleaned it very carefully with peroxide, and by the next day it was still draining, but clear and was much less swollen.  A visit to Dr. Google and we confirmed that his ear would be draining for some time, so besides periodically cleaning it, we left it alone.  (It did get re-infected a couple weeks later, but we got him some antibiotics and it cleared back up) 

One of the first times Lachlan let her play next to him without freaking out and running away

That week after his ear drum burst, something extraordinary happened:  whenever I took a picture with my camera, Lachlan would run over and say, "Cheese!"   Besides random gibberish, this was the first word he had ever spoken, and by far the clearest.  I was so amazed I took dozens of pictures that week, just to convince him to keep saying it.   It did not stop there:  slowly at first, but quickly picking up speed, he has added at least a dozen decipherable words.  And he MIMICS.  I knew he was jabbering while watching Thomas, but I never really listened to it.  (I had always blamed too much television for his unwillingness to speak)  The first thing I noticed him mimicking was Baby Einstein farm animals, and he sang a very enthusiastic EE AI EE AI EE AI EE AI OHHHHH whenever they did on the screen.  This was wonderful, and I tried singing the song with him, but he usually clammed up and stared at me.  So I just resigned myself to listening and grinning whenever that song came on, to hear his little voice take character and personality and make SENSE. 

Lachlan and two of his older brothers

In the meantime, he was trying out many new words, one of his favorite being "NO!" of course.  He would sing along a little bit with "Itsy Bitsy Spider", but mostly he just wanted to listen.  Then after we returned from morning trick or treating the weekend before Halloween, I put on Nightmare Before Christmas, one of his favorite movies.  As the Husband and I got lunch together, I noticed him singing along to the movie.  I stopped to listen,  and after awhile I realized something amazing:  he was reciting the entire movie.    In his sing-song gibberish-y way, he was mimicking almost every line in the movie by the prominent sound, the few words he knew, and the emotion behind the voice.  When a character yelled, he yelled.  When the voice singing went up in pitch, so did he.  If they spoke fast, he jabbered fast.  If they sang slow and hauntingly, he swayed back and forth, singing along.  And one of the incredible things was he wasn't just hearing something and repeating it, he was doing it at exactly the time that it happened, like he already knew the entire thing in his head. 

Lachlan loves his trains

At this time, I have listened to him mimic and recite many other movies and songs.  His memory astounds me.  I haven't ever had a child do this before.  It's like watching a beautiful story unfold, something you've never seen before, and you have no idea how it's going to play out.  Will he retain this ability to memorize and mimic later in life?  Will he become the talented singer that I've longed for out of my kids? (Don't get me wrong, all the kids are....enthusiastic.  Just not quite on pitch :) )  All I know is I feel privileged to have a front row seat to watch him absorb the world and make it his own.

More Cheese!  Srsly, I have about 25 pictures that look exactly like this.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful Day Three

It's also in the background of all our outside pictures.
I am thankful for the very nice salesman at Joe Diffie Ford in El Reno that sold us our 10 passenger van.  It has been the first vehicle that we have owned outright that runs well and is reliable.  When Mark walked three miles in the snow to their doorstep after working on the old green van all day, trying to get it to work, we didn't think we'd be able to afford anything that was big enough to hold us.  What we got was more than plenty, super reliable, and tough enough to take some knocks.  It's a gas-hog and sometimes a pain to park, but I love our van.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nanowrimo and Thankfulness

It's November, which means two things in the blogging world:  Nanowrimo (and all its forms) and one-a-day posting of the things we are thankful for.   Both are an excuse to write more and make it a habit to do so.  As bloggers everywhere dust off their favorite writing pens (metaphorically) and start to empty out the ideas swirling in our brains onto paper (again metaphorically: I doubt any of us use pens and paper anymore to write)  I have decided to join them this year. I would like to write more on the stories that I'm working on to empty them out of my system, and perhaps move on to bigger and better things. My goal is to write 30,000 words this month, the equivalent of a small novel or novella.  I am going to include writing from my stories and from blog posts into this.  I should average 1000 words per day, which should be attainable even in my limited time.  As for listing the things I am thankful for, well I think everyone could use a little more thankfulness in their lives, myself included.  I will keep a running tab of words written on the sidebar over there, as well as updating my blog daily.  I will try to keep the entries short:  I want the bulk of the writing to be done in the background, on finishing up Z and E's story and writing more tidbits on Maerc and Shirelle.  I did get started a little last night, hitting 715 words before heading off to bed, so I need to catch up some today.  The hardest part of this is to just get the words out without editing my fool head off. I HATE unfinished work.   The goal is more words though, not perfect words. 

On that note, for my first day of thankfulness (technically yesterday) I am grateful for:  Adversity.  Without adversity we would putter along in our adequate worlds, doing adequate jobs, participating in adequate relationships.  It is only through adversity, which knocks us down, breaks apart our comfort zones, and changes our worldviews do we rebuild ourselves into something greater than before. 

For my second day of thankfulness, I am grateful for my partner through adversity, My Husband.  We have lived through, and still work through, problems and circumstances that no one should have to.  But if we do, I would like no one else to travel this journey with than him. 

Till tomorrow :).