Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Homeschooling Proverb

Greater is He that is in you than he(she) that is in the chair!

I just wrote this in response to an email from a frustrated, homeschooling friend. ;-)

...another $0.02 for you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Spider's Tale

Yesterday I gave my 13-year-old son, T-Rex, a writing assignment. He was to write a story about the adventure of a spider. The resulting tale amused me this morning as I read it and I've instructed him to share it with you here. With no further ado: A Spider's Tale, by T-Rex!

We'd been sitting there for the last hour-and-a-half, watching and waiting. My troops were growing restless. That annoying drainage tube had foiled our plans once again. Well, I'd better start from the beginning.

I am a white spotted, black spider and I used to live in a village just above a gutter on Lynn Blvd. During my childhood I'd learned the ins and outs of gutter travel. I'd recently left home to join the Arachnial Guard at the prime age of 12 days. My regiment was sent to camp right below the spout of an especially troublesome gutter. Our primary objective was to scale the inside and reach the top. What we would find, or why we would attempt this nearly impossible trip, I'm unsure. But orders are orders.

Finally the rain had stopped. The camp was rushing about, as usual. The final preparations were being made. As not sure to when the rain would start again after it stopped, we had to be ready to move at a moment's notice. The camp was now silent, again, watching and waiting. Then the water stopped.

Immediately, group after group shot up the spout. Being an itsy, bitsy spider,one wasted no time, for the journey was long.

Past the three quarter check mark, we heard a faint rumble. Where I stood there was a pin-prick hole in the spout. With my far left eye I noticed a dark shape rolling in from the sky. With the hair on each of my eight legs, I sensed a sudden increase of humidity. Then a brief light filled the sky. But what caught my attention most was a single drop of rain, slowly falling to the ground in a tidal wave. All who didn't want to risk a high speed, watery descent, with a back-breaking halt as they hit the ground, then darted back down the spout.

I got out just before the raging river of water shot past me. Humiliated and cold,I stared defiantly at the top of the huge spout. "One day," I thought, waving three angry fists in the air, "we will find a way, have no doubt." We took our usual places, and once more, we watched and waited.

Three cheers for the literary stylings of T-Rex! I love it.

...and that's my $0.02!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To All My Co-Conspirators

Although I'd like nothing more at this time than to bury myself beneath a mound of comforters I now sit myself down (at 12:45am) to liberate this blog post which has been clanging at the bars of my mind, begging for the freedom of electronic publishing. Perhaps even before my Thanksgiving turkey was fully digested the ideas for this post began running laps in my head. It has been at the hands of Christmas parties, cookie baking, gift shopping, family get-togethers, holiday performances, and the like that it has remained imprisoned... postponed, but not forgotten! (It may not be my best work. I'm exhausted! But it's worth writing about.)

I LOVE this Christmasy time of year! In fact, as soon as the masses (but not the retailers) politely let Thanksgiving pass and began to make their Christmas preparations and decorations, I once again began to be in awe of the Yuletide.

What amazes me most?

I am joyfully astonished at how this celebration of Christ's birth inspires so many to conspiracy. It's true! At Christmastime we largely conspire to bring happiness to others. Lay down your pessimistic jargon about commercialization, and whatnot, for a moment and I'll show you what I mean.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm the emotional, deeply romantic kind of person who yet clings to belief in fairy-tales but still... how can anyone not be moved to see dads and husbands perched precariously atop ladders hanging Christmas lights if they ask themselves, "Why would they do that?" Is it not it to coax "oohs & ahhs" from my children and yours, as we make, what would otherwise be, all-to-routine evening runs hither & thither? I love they way my children are captured by beautiful light displays, nativities, and decorations. I adore the way ordinary days are transformed by hopeful anticipation and the fact that strangers eagerly assist in my plot to delight my children!

I've heard all the arguments about how Christmas has lost its true meaning and yet I still love that so many of us try so hard to find (or make) gifts to make our loved ones smile (or scream)! We search high and low to find that one thing, for that one person, so that we may be the cause, and the beneficiaries, of their smiles, laughs, and grateful tears. Personally, I don't call that commercialism. I call it LOVE!

I love that we've come together and agreed on this one thing: Life can still be fun and beautiful and exciting! Practicality really isn't everything! We choose to make fun... of life!

Although my children have never been taught to believe in Santa, I am truly tickled by the fact that countless "grown-ups" around the world conspire together to enchant the children that do! My family has fun with the legend, too. I am warmed as I hear tell of the story said to have begotten the fantastical tales.

I love that we choose to crowd our lives with family and social get-togethers. Yes, it makes the season hectic but it speaks, so sweetly, that we've decided to inconvenience ourselves for the ones we love.

I believe that at Christmastime we reach back through the past to grasp meaning from the things of days gone by. We enjoy many of the same songs our great-grandparents sang, tell the same stories, and keep the same traditions.

Mostly, at Christmas we love in a visible way. We conspire to make love seen. And none of us, not one, could do it without the rest of us. It's a grand conspiracy!

So... "Thank you" to the family about six miles south of my home with the animated music & light display. "Thank you" to the cities workers who tie ribbons around street poles. "Thank you" to the news channels for reporting on Santa's midnight run. "Thank you" to the radio stations for the Christmas music. "Thank you" to the churches who keep us grounded in the beautiful reality that is Christmas...

...and, more personally...

"Thank you" to our mothers (Ron's & mine) for the gifts that have brought our children smiles and laughs and fun! "Thank you" to our fathers (Ron's & mine) for the gifts cards and cash! "Thank you" to my aunts who've conspired to delight our daughters! "Thank you" to our family members who've blessed us with a little quality time and hospitality! "Thank you" to our friends for your cards and hospitality!

"Thank you" to all who share in the celebration and love of this season!

And lastly, most importantly, "Thank you" God for your gift of Christ!

...and once again... that's my $0.02!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Win A Wii & a Wii Fit!

Would you like to win a Wii & a Wii fit? I certainly would! You can enter to win them at Mile High Mamas! Just follow this link!

Happy contesting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 Things You Don't Know About Me

I've been tagged by my Twitter-girlfriend at Journey 2 Learn to write this post. I will do it, but I warn you, the squeamish should look away now!

No! There's nothing coarse or indelicate written here. I only mean, if you tend envision me with a luminous halo floating just slightly above my head, I'd rather keep it that way. ;-)

Just remember... people grow up, people change...

I'll list my little tidbits in the order of what (I think) you'll find least exciting to, most uhh... interesting. Tidbits #2, 3, 5, 6, & 7 are from an article I first posted here on January 20, 2007.

  1. I am currently taking Spanish 101 online at a site called Livemocha ( ). It is top-rate and it is free! I highly recommend the site for anyone (13 years old+) learning, or wanting to learn, a new language.

  2. I once attempted to water ski on a beautiful lake nestled in the mountains of Zell Am See, Austria. Let's just was the first AND last time I attempted to water ski. In the end I settled for a trip behind the boat in a big inner tube.

  3. During my senior year of high school I was the JROTC Battalion Commander of three cross-enrolled schools. As a freshman, JROTC Private I set a goal of becoming Battalion Commander by my senior year and, although I went to four different high schools (I was a military brat), I succeeded! I had so much fun. During my Junior year I was the Drill Team Commander and I LOVED that, too. I loved to compete. I learned so much about myself through those experiences. I wouldn't trade them at all.

  4. I accepted Ron's proposal of marriage after knowing of his existence a mere 3 months. I married him 5 months after that!

    (Here's where things take a turn for the worse... You can still turn away and leave my reputation untarnished!)

  5. My fifth, and more embarrassing, previously unknown bit of information.... In Junior High School I was madly, head-over-heals, out of my mind in love with Michael Jackson.

    Stop laughing!

  6. During my Freshman year at the University of Tulsa I was invited by the Student Association president (a senior) to be his date for the university's formal Centennial Celebration. It was taking place at the Adam's Mark hotel in downtown Tulsa and would be attended by distinguished alumni, faculty, and guests. We were the only two students invited. I decided to have a martini from the open bar and, because I was only eighteen, my date instructed me to say I was a senior if anyone inquired.

    As it turned out, my place card had me seated directly next to (then) Oklahoma Congressman Steve Largent, who had attended TU, with my date on my opposite side. It wasn't long into the meal before the pleasant Congressman was striking up a conversation with of the first questions being, "So, Tonya, what year are you in?" I fibbed, as instructed, only to find out that the dear Congressman had majored in the same subject as me. He launched into talk of courses and professors of which I'd barely heard mention.

    I was sooo very stuck.

    With the help of friendly interruptions by my, very nervous, date we stumbled through until, at last, the subject was changed. To this day I wonder if we really pulled that off or if our Congressman was just gracious enough to let us slide on by.

    Phew...was I glad when that was over!

  7. ...and lastly... I am a fugitive from justice. Really... but let me explain.

    It was my junior year at Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt, Germany. My friend Anna and I had stayed after school and somehow missed the ASA (after-school-activity) bus. This was a problem because we lived in Darmstadt which was about 45 minutes to an hour from Frankfurt. It was already dark and we had to get home.

    Anna had a plan. I followed it...and it was downhill from there.

    She said we should take the Bahnhof (the major train system in Germany) and, since we had no money for fair, we should hide in the bathroom when the ticket taker came around. She said she had done it before, though she probably hadn't really, and I saw no alternative so I agreed.

    It didn't work.

    The ticket taker waited patiently for, what he must have assumed was, one passenger to come out of the bathroom. When his waiting failed to work he began banging on the door and demanding it be opened. Just before entering the restroom Anna had handed me a wrench (I DO NOT know why she had a wrench, but she did), and she had grabbed one of those devices intended for breaking a window in case of emergency for herself. She said that if we were caught we would stay in the bathroom until the train stopped, open the door, threaten the ticket taker with our weapons, and make a break for it.Well, we were caught.

    Since I hadn't had the good sense to do it earlier, this was definitely the point where I should have said, "Anna, you are crazy!", laid down my weapon, and accepted defeat.

    But I didn't.

    I followed through with the lunatic scheme. The shocked ticket taker backed out of the way of our upheld weapons and called for the Polezie (police) as we made our break. Luckily for him (unluckily for us) there were two patrolling the Bahnhof station very near our chosen exit and we were quickly apprehended, unarmed, cuffed, and nearly dragged to the polezie station. A couple more polezie showed up to lend a hand. The two uh...gentlemen escorting me were not gentle at all. I could barely walk for the way they held my arms.

    Long story, short: My Mother was called, I was fined by the Bahnhof, scheduled to appear in court for my actions, and released into my Mother's somewhat hostile custody.

    I had no money for my fine, but my good friend Vanessa cashed in a savings bond and loaned me the money, which I later paid back. Thanks again, Vanessa.

    It wasn't long before I left Germany to stay with an Aunt and Uncle in Oklahoma because I was having too much trouble at home with my Mother. I can't imagine why...seeing how good I was, and all.

    My departure came before my court date and I never looked back. Let's just say I'm glad I was a minor! (But still...Don't get married in Germany 'cause I'm not coming if you do.)

So there you have it. Seven things you would've probably never guessed about me in a million, trillion years. If you are still courageous enough to admit to knowing, or being related to, me...please comment and include seven things I'd never guess about you. Since you now know me so well I'd like to get better acquainted with you too. Come on! It'll be fun!

Tag! You're it:

  1. Natalie at Geekgirl611's

  2. Jill at Live Laugh Blog

  3. Karen at Simply... A
    Musing Blog

  4. Trish at A Joyful

  5. Lindylou at Lindylou

  6. daddyclaxton at The Dads

  7. Jesse at Good Girl Gone Bad
    (She already posted something similar on the 6th of this month!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Somebody's Mother

I did not write this poem but it moves me and I want to share it with you... It is in my son's 7th-grade A Beka reader. He read it to me aloud and my eyes watered from emotion. The author is unknown. Enjoy...

The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the winter's day.

She stood at the crossing, and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng

Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of school let out,

Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.

Past the woman so old and gray,
Hastened the children on their way,

Nor offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir,

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.

At last came one of the merry troop-
The finest laddie of all the group.

He paused beside her, and whispered low,
"I'll help you across, if you wish to go."

He guided the trembling feet along;
Proud that his own were firm and strong.

Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.

"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow;

"And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,

"If ever she's poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away."

And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said

Was, "God be kind to the noble boy
Who is somebody's son and pride and joy!"

My $0.02?


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long." Leonard Bernstein