Thursday, November 19, 2009

Am I a helicopter parent?

I wonder if people think that we are because we are homeschooling. I wonder if real helicopter parents have kids who make satelites out of magnets. Sure, it's to destroy the enemy and maybe a planet, but I surely didn't help him. I realize the kids will need to be able to fail, and learn to get over those failures. But right now they are spending plenty of time creatively making up a world of their own. They often spend three or four hours a day playing. Kids use what they have learned and reinforce it within playtime. Dr. Stuart Brown from the National Institute for Play has recognized the importance of playtime in a Time magazine article:
managers at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) noticed the younger engineers lacked problem-solving skills, though they had top grades and test scores. Realizing the older engineers had more play experience as kids — they'd taken apart clocks, built stereos, made models — JPL eventually incorporated questions about job applicants' play backgrounds into interviews. "If you look at what produces learning and memory and well-being" in life, Brown has argued, "play is as fundamental as any other aspect.'' The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that the decrease in free playtime could carry health risks: "For some children, this hurried lifestyle is a source of stress and anxiety and may even contribute to depression." Not to mention the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation of kids who never just go out and play

There is also concern from teachers that kids never learn to do their own work. Well, I can say that my kids do all their own work. I'm sure not going to it for them. As I write this Abraham is finishing his report on invertebrates. It may not be spelled completely correctly, so my decision is whether to have him correct it or let it be. I do sincerely struggle with this point. Is this when I should let go, or should I help him to understand that the work isn't done until it's perfect. But I also don't want to swoop in and fix it for him. With math I have them keep working on a problem until it is correct. That is how is works out in the world, you keep at it until it's right. Well, this may be a mental burp, but just the thoughts whirling around my head.

On another subject, Esther has learned how to say "down" and "thank you." And they actually sound like the words. Amazing, right?! Okay, so not so much. But I am happy that she is trying to communicate.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Pictures

Here are some pictures from Halloween this year. Esther was a snowflake. She got food on her shirt to go under her tutu, so she just took pictures with the boys. Peter decided to dress up too. He said he got a lot of looks, but I think it's great he dressed up. Everybody should be able to pretend, not just kids! I am bummed the pictures are so grainy. Next time I will save them at a higher quality so that they look better. I didn't want to wait for them to upload.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snow Pictures

It took me awhile to get these pictures done and put up. These are from our first snow about a month ago. It was a wet snow so we were able to make snowmen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cooking music

I have found that even though I do enjoy cooking, I end up inside alone while the other members of my family go outside to play with Peter. I often succomb to frozen things so that I don't have to be inside while they are having fun outside. The days that I listen to music while making dinner I end up making elaborate dishes and really enjoy the time alone. It may be sad that it has taken me TEN years to figure this out, but I'm going to look at the bright side that I did figure it out. Lately I have been listening to Mandisa. Which is pretty amazing since I have never watched American Idol. Not once, ever. Now that we don't have TV that isn't likely to change.

Today I listened to my music while making dough for pizza. And even though I forgot to get out the stand mixer before mixing ingredients(which means in Ruth's kitchen, no mixer), I still enjoyed my tricep workout while kneading the dough. It helps me immeasurably to have music on. I am going to be making the marinara after I hit publish. I'm thinking about a little Jonny Lang. Interesting tidbit, he's a Christian. (Sidenote:Why is his music never on the "Christian" radio stations? Or Mandisa for that matter?) His music is good for stirring and chopping.

And having music on always keeps my prefectionism at bay. I think that I may be enjoying myself too much to get too stressed out about not having coriander. Or cumin. I am ALWAYS out. Except for right now, I actually thought ahead and have cumin to spare. Not coriander. I don't think I've ever had coriander. But cardmom works just as well, at least when I'm carefree in the kitchen.

I wonder do you, valued friends, listen to music while cooking? Or is this just another way I'm weird? Wait-- don't answer that one, let me figure that one out.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

County Fair

On Friday we decided to go to the county fair. We had a good time and the boys all had fun on the rides. We didn't go see the animals which some may seem as though it were beside the point.

Sam got a bit scared by the roller coaster. Micah, as you can see, had a great time on the roller coaster.

Sam loved the bumper cars and wanted to drive the bumper cars several times.

Then Peter and the kids watched the alligator wrestlers while I went by the merchant booths. They got a picture with a baby alligator after the show.

Abraham had fun on one last ride before home. I didn't take any pictures of the food. There was a ton, but the best was grilled pork tenderloin Terry from church made and didn't sell. Lesson learned.

Friday, August 28, 2009


So we started school a couple of weeks ago. I haven't had the umph to take pictures, even if the camera was here. But it isn't because Daddy has to use to bring home the bacon. So the pictures will have to wait. I guess you all will live. BUT if you can't let me know and will take some pictures STAT with my handy-dandy phone.

Anywho, things have been going okay. I am not at all organized as far as planning our time within the day. I wonder if I should have an overall plan. At this point we hit the books and stop when we've hit all the subjects. We haven't started science yet, but I am going to incorporate that next week. So it will be history on Monday and Wednesday, then science on Tuesday and Thursday. With Friday afternoon off field trips, or playing. Right now the kids are playing, no field trip this week.

Yesterday we went to the library because the kids WANTED to go. Isn't that wonderful? I was happy enough with the request to go on a whim. I was more than a little disappointed with the selection again, but I need to keep in mind that we have lived in college towns until now. So in short, I done got over it. Hello interslice will you take my money? Okay, then we can have copies of kids versions of Gilgamesh, the Odyssey and the Iliad. I will have to use them for Esther anyway. But Abraham found other "fun" reading books. Micah found some books on foxes. We couldn't find any on polar bears. We were trying to find out what regions polar bears live in. Is it only North America? We may go see if B&N has any good polar bear books. And Samuel discovered Wishbone. And Esther cried because she can't read.

Next week I will try to think about having a schedule, but I am not going to have my mouth make promises my brain can't deliver.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

7/7 and 7 years old

My Micah is 7 years old today.  He is such a unique child.  He lets it all hang out, at least his emotions.  And once you get him talking he just keeps talking, flitting from one topic to another.  His smile is real and sincere.  What a wonder he will be when he grows up!  I get the feeling that he will be a zoologist or something.  He loves animals, he always has.  He is naturally funny.  It has been my pleasure to be his mother.  We are so blessed that God chose let us borrow him for awhile!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Today at the Boise zoo the boys were playing at the little playground there.  At one point Abraham decided to climb up the slide.  This was after being told not to.  We didn't actually see him doing it, but Micah was caught doing it right after him.  When confronted with his disobedience he responded with "Abraham tempted me!"

Just thought it was funny and wanted to share a laugh.

Friday, May 29, 2009


So over Memorial Day weekend we went to Boise, well kinda.  We planted watermelons on Monday,  and by we I included myself this time.  I helped Peter do the planting--in the greenhouse.  But onto fun, we did this a little anniversery present to ourselves and made a family weekend of it.  I only took pictures of one day because as I mentioned our camera is broken and were using Micah's.  He hadn't recharged his battery and there were a ton thrown away to boot.  

But we had a lot of fun!  On Saturday we went to Cracker Barrel and then headed to the Discovery Center.  The interactive items were mostly about kinetic energy.  The boys enjoyed manipulating all the displays.

This is not your typical arcade grab the toy game.  It was an actual robotic arm with shoulder and elbow joints included.  Micah did much better than I did.  Who's surprised?  No raised hands, hmm.
This was, umm--I can't remember, but I did have to pull him away from it.
Esther's favorite item.  She was learning about being even cuter, oh wait-- no, it was reflections.
Abraham learning about centrifugal force.
Esther spending more time being cute.  When I shot this I thought, "What if there really were four of her?"  Mommy would be in big trouble!
If you look closely you can see the bubble that Samuel is blowing.  The kids really liked this one.
Then we stopped by some friends' house.  They moved to Boise in December.  They are all really happy there.  It was nice to see how settled and happy they are, as well as getting a chance to visit.

Then we checked into our hotel and went to Red Robin for dinner.  It was a hit with everyone!  
I didn't get any pictures from Sunday(the battery problem), but it was mostly shopping and swimming.  We got some Krispy Kremes before we left Boise.  It was nice to get some real donuts, but they aren't as good as Dunkin'.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a guy!

Yesterday was water day at Samuel's school.  I didn't get any pictures for two reasons.  One is that Esther was asleep when I dropped Samuel off.  The other is that our camera's main lens is broken.  It's been breaking for awhile, about 2 years, and now won't work at all.  So there are no pictures from the water day to show.  

During water day the kids are encouraged to bring squirt guns to play with.  I saw this a couple of years ago.  It doesn't turn out well because the older kids get self-important, take the younger kids guns, and just decide that they deserve them.  This happened to Samuel's friend, Alex.  So yesterday when I went to pick Samuel up his teacher stopped me to tell me she was very proud of Samuel.  When this happened to Alex he was too afraid to go up the 4th grader to get his gun back.  So Samuel went with him.  But that's not all!  Samuel went up to the 4th grader looked him in the eye and said "That's his gun."  Then he just stood there looking at him until the 4th grader gave Alex his gun back.  

What a kid!  He was so brave and stood up for what was right without getting violent or yelling or crying!  We must have done something right!  It just goes to show that the truth is a powerful thing, and saying the truth can affect change.  I am such a coward about saying the truth so often, I suppose I could learn a thing or two from Samuel!

Friday, May 8, 2009


We've all been sick for awhile now.  I have some wonderful pictures to put up, but somehow sleeping has been the priority for last bit.  I am happy to say that Esther now has long enough hair to put into pig tails.  VERY CUTE! 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I just heard this

Micah--Your eyes are the last part that are built.


Micah--Yes, the inside parts are there, but not until you are born you can see them.


Micah--Then you want cheddar bunnies


I can't decide if they are playing pretend or just really confused.  I didn't want to bother them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Playing with black and white

I wanted to try something new with Elements.  Peter's picture looked a ton better when I had it surrounded by black.  I definitely like the lower picture better.  Better contrast.  The top one has too much sky and not enough contrast.  I used two different methods of conversion to black and white.  The lower method wins hands down for me.  What do you think? 

Raised veggie beds

We recently made some raised beds for veggies in our backyard.  Okay, it was really Peter.  I think the idea of me with a power tool terrifies him, but he was nice and said that it was my job to make sure Esther didn't get in the way.  If you want a how to and wonderful, helpful pictures go the Pioneer Woman's page on building your own raised beds.  If you want to laugh and not really be informed stay here.

Okay step one in our version is be Dutch.  Go ask business landlord for some really old wood from a building that he is tearing down.  You didn't have to buy any wood, what a good Dutch person you are!  Next completely forget to take pictures of the pile of really old wood.  Isn't that easy.  Okay, now that we are this far let's jump to laying out the wood for where you might want it to go.  

As you can see we decided to put ours in the corner.  And I made sure to get a toy and some trash in the picture to make sure you know this is our yard and I didn't sneak into someone else's yard and pretend that we are industrious.  Peter put the drill in to show he was going to be part of the project.

You can see here the pitfalls of being Dutch.  You get wood with jagged edges and have to make your bed smaller than you may have wished.  But the wood won't warp, it's been prewarped for you.  Now comes the tricky part, you have to leave it there for and get carried away with real life.  I know it's hard, but in order for this to work you have to coach soccer and make money to eat.  There have to be Easter egg hunts.
Now that your week of doing other things has gone by you can get back to work.  Make one bed without your wife even noticing, aren't you awesome now!  Next call her outside to show her the ripping apart of a door from the torn down building.  

Doing work stealthy can make for disjointed pictures, but we aren't professionals so it doesn't matter.  Next your wife has to forget that she is supposed to keep taking pictures and goes inside to make dinner.  Next thing you know have built two beds and there aren't any more pictures of work being done.  It can make you seem like magic.  You sure are awesome now! 

Now add soil that you get from the same landlord for free again.  

Now the raised beds are ready for veggie seeds.  And you have a very appreciative wife.

I have learned alot from this little adventure.  I really appreciate what Peter does around the house.  And I also learned that I have to take more pictures and they have to be closer to the work being done.  Oh, and I need to keep the yard picked up better.  Peter was a full cooperater in this and no Dutchmen were harmed in the making.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Link-Am I my neighbors keeper?

An old friend and smart guy (but what else would one expect from an Aggie?), John Ferguson has likened our political life to the Good Samaritan in his blog post "Am I my neighbors keeper?". He really has put a new spin on it.  I would encourage you to read it.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party

Just one note about the sign--we didn't write it and I thought at the time it was talking about big corporations.  I was very impressed with our tea party here in Twin Falls.  There wasn't any racism and it was very positive.  I also liked that the first speaker acknowledged that our speaking out now and not under Pres. Bush is hypocritical.  There should have been more outcry then.  However, now is when the camel's back was broken.  Please don't leave any nasty or condisending comments.  I also think that it is true that this is not a partisan issue.  Both houses of Congress are being irresponsible and corrupt.  I need to speak up and say that our President does not create the laws, he creates policy.  So this national protest should not have been focused so much on him.  God gave us this President, what do we have to learn here?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Truth can be Beautiful

Peter and I watched a new documentary The Beautiful Truth.  It was very informative as well as appalling that the truth and medicine has been co opted by power and money hungry individuals.  (There is one thing that I would preface it with, I think one of my distant family members tried this and he didn't live.  However, I wonder if he did the coffee enemas.  I know that he drank and ate carrots.  I was quite young and not sure what exactly he was doing.)  Did you know that Donald Rumsfeld worked for Searle?  What the nut?  Why the heck was he the Secretary of War or whatever if he was in the pharmaceutical industry?  Seems backassward to me.  And he was the head when they developed aspartame.  Now I'm unhappy.  Seems they pushed that puppy through. 

Okay, the first point.  Dental health is important.  The filling amalgam that dentists use has MERCURY in it.  When we saw that the amalgam continues to emit mercury vapor for at least 50 years Peter just about had a heart attack.  He opened his mouth and I was just about blinded by the silver it contains.  So now he wants to get his fillings removed.  So if anybody knows a dentist qualified and willing to remove them he would be most appreciative.  According to this film if a dentist is willing to do this he will be run out of the business and be sued.  Now here is where is gets really crazy.  A study was done on the dental techs in Norway and most of those young women in the study ended up with fertility problems as well as other problems.  So don't let your teeth get to the place where fillings are needed.   

I'm just going to lump the other points together because I really think the film is worth watching by everybody.  The second point was deficiency.  The processed foods we eat routinely aren't giving us the nutrition we need.  DUH!  What is worse is that MSG is in almost all of them.  They call them glutamate.  It affects not only how things taste but also turns our brains full sign off.  So it's not just sugar that is the root of our weight problems.  This was where Donald Rumsfeld and his political ilk came in and I have to say I blacked out with anger for a minute.  It seems much of the policy that is made BY BOTH PARTIES is for financial reasons not about the people's health.  

Then there was Dr. Gerson.  I think that my grandfather must have read his book because I can remember him talking about some of this stuff.  Maybe both grandfathers were familiar with his work.  Basically Dr. Gerson said that cancer can be cured by eating a vegan diet for a period of time as well as getting coffee enemas and drinking freshly squeezed carrot juice.  There were many other things that can cured by this as well including autoimmune diseases.  There was plenty of qualitative research to show.  I wonder if there will ever be any quantitative research done on this as a viable was to treat cancer.  That would prove most informative.  

I watched it on Netflicks instant.  Bottom line is that I would definitely suggest this to everyone to see.  I may watch it again sometime.  Who wants to come over for some organic snacks and watch it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Addiction is bad

So where have I been?  I have been detoxing from Diet Coke.  It seems that being addicted to something for more than 10 years can make a person grumpy and tired for the longest time.  I was feeling better on Sunday then I decided that coffee would be okay.  I was hyper then grumpy.  And on Monday for a wonderful treat I got to start the day with a headache.  It ended at about 7pm.  So I'm off caffiene completely now too.  

I also have been without a camera.  Peter was using it at work.  So I didn't get any pictures of the boys first soccer game of the season.  Or the first days of play outside weather.  I hope to be feeling more energetic next week.  And to have my camera back.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Living Lovely with Family-Special Times

Our favorite time of the year is summer.  We spend more time outside and doing fun things.  It's also when special treats are most likely to happen!  

The boys go to soccer camp and have fun being crazy with friends.  The last day they get to have their faces painted by Mom!  Last year was flags, so we decided on flags from the state where they were born.  

They play baseball and have fun learning about teamwork.  I LOVE baseball, so it's fun to get to watch some with my favorite players!

Sometimes we go for ice cream from an actual ice cream store.   The boys love the variety and cones.  

We go to an airshow.  Too bad there isn't a picture of Daddy looking at the planes.  He's the one who taught the family to love planes.

Since we live far from family we enjoy the special treat of spending time with them when they are in town for special occasions like Thanksgiving.

Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles is continuing her series on Living Lovely with Family.  I am so glad to have this as a chance to look our life, to remember and realize what fun we have together.  Hop on by her page and see what others are saying, it's truly inspiring and fun to get a peak into others lovely.

Friday, March 20, 2009

One Year Old

Wednesday was Esther's birthday, but since we continued to have internet difficulty I wasn't able to post them.  Oh, well.  At least when the internet does work,  it works fast!  It was fun to find these amongst the pictures from the last year.  

I have been blessed with a wonderful, beautiful daughter.  We opened her presents last night.  One was a tea set from us.  It was so fun watch her play with it.  Girl fun to be had!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh, the internet!

For the past couple of days we have been without internet.  On Sunday our internet worked for about 5 minutes.  Then on Monday we decided to switch providers.  Because of that we had to wait until Tuesday to have it hooked up.  So today I have internet again.  I am grateful because we have been battling the internet for a couple of months now.  Also I am amazed how quickly the new internet was connected.  When we lived in Florida it took two weeks just for the cable people to call me back.  Then another couple of weeks for them to come and connect the cable/internet.    

Friday, March 13, 2009

Morning Talk

Samuel and I have had some fun time together this morning because Esther is taking an early nap.  We were listening to some music and one song was said that God will never leave us.  Samuel and I were talking about it.  His response for why God will never leave us is that He is invincible.  I wonder if in some part of his mind Samuel thinks God is a superhero.  

So many people see God as a kindly grandfather who says, "It's okay, don't worry about that sin.  I've taken care of it.  You don't owe me anything."  While that's a nice and true enough, one doesn't think that their grandfather is invincible.  I tried to explain to Samuel that God is more than invincible.  How do you explain to a 4 year old that God has more facets to him than just one?  I want him to have a dynamic faith that includes a full picture of God, not just a small box that feels comfortable.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daily Family Life

Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles is having a series about living lovely with family.  Today is about our daily lives.  The last couple of months I have been trying to live with intention.  Before now I never would have thought about the time spent with my family.  We don't have many wonderful, brand new traditions, but we do eat dinner together nightly and read the Bible at the table once we are done.  The boys usually ask for more than one story to be read.  That makes me feel as though we are making an impression on them.  For awhile our attention was diverted to other things, but Peter and I have recently been having discussions about how to have more intention filled relationships with the kids.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yesterday I was in a funk.  I just could not get out of it.  I complained within myself, I complained to those who would listen, I grumped.  It was not pretty.  There was much anger and frustration coming from within me.  I am REALLY ready for spring.  The snow and cold and is starting to get to me.  Since it seems that spring is not on the horizon for us I decided to buy myself some spring yesterday.  It was a good price at Costco, you can go get yourself some spring there too.  

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King

Emily Dickinson

Isn't my store bought spring wonderful?

Monday, March 9, 2009