The world as seen through the eyes of an exhausted, caffiene addicted, homeschooling, atheist mama.

Archive for the ‘Havin’ Fun’ Category

Money Around the World

I love our neighborhood and I love our neighbors. Our neighborhood is quiet, pretty, and mostly shady. Um, shady like full of big, shade-giving trees, not full of  big, drug dealing thieves.  It’s a nice, quiet neighborhood that happens to not be a through street between the nearby major streets. One block over, people speed away because it’s a through street. But not ours. Our street is calm and quiet, safe and pretty.

Anyway BB likes to race from one end of the block to the other on his scooter, and I have to time him. His goal is to shave a full second off his time every time he goes scootering. This one particular day, one of our neighbors stopped him and asked if collects stamps. Okay, contrary to what you see in your head, this stamp-collecting neighbor isn’t old. He’s older than me, but not by more than about 15 years.

BB does not collect stamps and very nicely told him so. Neighbor K then asked if he collects anything. My very interesting son didn’t say the obvious (Legos!) but said that he collects metal things that he finds lying around. It’s true. He has nuts, bolts, washers, flattened coins. He has little charms from charm bracelets, old keys, and even an ancient rusty beer can he found while we were hiking. I have no idea what his fascination is with old metal stuff. but I do get how fun it can be to collect.

So Neighbor K says:

Metal things, huh? Well, I have to clean out my garage and if I find anything metal, I’ll make sure to bring it to you.

A couple of hours later, he did bring some metal stuff to BB. A Ziplock bag full of coins from around the world. Apparently Neighbor K is a world traveler and just kept coinage from the places he visited. But now he’s done with these coins and he’s passed them on to my metal collecting kid.

BB is having a great time with all these coins. He’s separating them, sorting them, trying to figure out where they’re from, choosing is favorite pieces. I mean, he’s loving this!

So many pretty metal things!

Coins with holes in them…even square coins!

Even really old coins (this one is from 1938)

Thank you, Neighbor K. I suspect you have unwittingly given a focus to BB’s metal collection.

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Coffee and a Lazy Day

I’ve been sleeping pretty poorly the last week or so. Insomnia follows me from room to room at night and when I finally drift off to sleep, nightmares chase me through my dream-worlds.

Last night’s dream was a real humdinger, and after so many nights of not sleeping enough, I’m barley functional today. So today is going to be a lazy day. BB has a music class in a couple of hours, and we’ll go to it, but for now, I’m gonna have myself another cup of coffee and I’m going let BB read as much as he wants today.


Fluffy pillows, cozy couch, funny book...what's not to smile about?

A  random day off is good for the soul. So are good books and coffee.

Those Powerful Polygons!

Last week, we got our hands on some pretty cool homeschool supplies. Right now BB’s favorite of his new supplies is a set of colorful, translucent polygons. He’s been having tons of fun finding patterns in the shapes and creating really cool pictures.

So this is homeschooling? Sweet!

Polygon dude and house

I love that this is what homeschooling a fourth grader can look like.

You oughtta be in pictures…

So BB was cast as an extra in a movie.  Two winters ago he was in a play at a community theater and was bitten pretty hard by the acting bug.  I wouldn’t let him audition for anything else for a while because it was just too much for a six year old.  But he has been a part of three student produced/written operas with performances at pretty big venue, and he’s performed in every variety show he hears about.  Since his play he’s chattered almost constantly about being in a movie, so when a call for extras came up, Hubby and I took him and he was cast.

We went in at 5am about a week ago and were there for something like 4 hours.  Two to get checked in and costumed, two more for shooting the one minute long scene.  Over and over again, from every possible angle.  I thought for sure he’d be bored witless, but I was wrong.  I saw a part of my kid that I’ve never seen before.  He’s usually a great kid, but yesterday he was glowing.  He said he loved being there and he wants to do more, and maybe get a speaking role next time.
So here I am, the mom of an eight year old who is begging to act.  I think we’ll let him, as long as he’s enjoying it.  All the money he makes will be put into a trust fund so he can go to college or backpack through Europe or invest in something when he’s older.  I’m looking around for an agency, for photographers, and for a second car.  I never thought my life would lead me here.
Full disclosure:  the above was written a few days ago, but life has been busy and I wasn’t able to come back to finish this post.  One of the reasons is that BB was called back for a second scene yesterday.
This time he had to be there at 5:45, and we were on the clock until 2:15.   It was about 102 yesterday and he was playing a homeless kid, outside, in Utah…in the winter.  He was dressed in sweaters and a vest and had a blanket wrapped around him, and like the first day, they shot the same scene a million times.  Every time they yelled “Cut” I ran out to him to give him water and wipe the sweat off his face.  His “movie mom” did a great job of helping him take his costume off and put it back on between takes, and everyone was very good about keeping the kids hydrated and understanding that they had to take breaks to cool off.  It was tedious.  It was dirty.  It was hot, long, and tiresome. And he still loved it.
I have to confess, a part of me hoped he’d see how hard this was and that he’d decided he didn’t want to move forward, but if anything, it’s stoked his fire even more.  He was amazing, and funny and kind.  He was receptive, responsive, and good natured.  He dealt with exhaustion and heat in a way that made me feel nothing short of awe.  I, on the other hand, was more exhausted than I’ve ever felt in my life.  Okay, maybe not as exhausted as right after BB was born…but still, my whole body was wiped out.  Apparently, even if I had the desire, I’d be a piss poor actress.  I’m too much of a wuss!
A  friend told me that she admires that I was able to experience yesterday and still be willing to let him move forward. I told her that if she had the opportunity to see into the deepest parts of her own child’s soul and watch as he discovered what very well may be a passion, that she’d do the same thing.  Watching BB yesterday and last week was like watching a rare night-blooming flower open up to the moon.  It is not something I could ever describe with words. There are no words… I am just humbled that I am fortunate enough to be able to see the flower.Ethan's first "test" head shot...taken by a good friend.

Celebration of Success

Group shot

Every year our homeschool group gets together for a potluck style celebration at a park.  We chat with one another, eat some food, and then have a brag fest for our kids.  Although most of the homeschooling families I know homeschool year round, like us, it’s fun to acknowledge our kid’s growth over the last year.  And the kids seem to enjoy having their successes highlighted in front of their friends and families.

COS 2009

It’s really hard to highlight what BB has been doing.  He’s making such huge strides in so many areas, but at the same time it’s all organic, spontaneous growth that it feels like no big deal.  If he were in school, he’d be finishing up first grade, so he’s doing all the usual first grade type things, but there’s more to it than that.  He is a whiz on his bike, he has passion and drive, he stays up till all hours of the night reading, he is kind and thoughtful, some of the Lego creations he makes just blow me away. . .I could go on, but I’ll spare you!


I just wanted to share that it has been another wonderful homeschooling year and we are all looking forward to many more!

Look to the future!

Meet Harvey!


This is Harvey the Wonder Mutt.  We call him Harvey for short.  He is six weeks old and we just got him yesterday. 

Those of you who know me personally may know that I’m a dog person by nature, and my marriage came complete with three cats.  I’ve always said that one day it would be my turn to get a dog because eight years with three cats is a looong time.  Of course I love the cats, but deep down I still feel like a dog person.

We went to the another town, about 45 minutes away, yesterday.  We heard of a neat farmer’s market and festival and we wanted to check it out.  Well, the festival was a dud, but we didn’t let that ruin our trip.  We went out to lunch, at a place that was recently featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Having eaten there one time before, we figured we’d go back for round two.  It turned out that they were still serving breakfast (at 12:45) and that breakfast wasn’t near as good as lunch, regardless of what Guy Fieri and Gene Hackman say.  But we didn’t let that ruin our day out either. 

On the way home, we passed a funky, side of the road, swap meet type thing and saw a sign that said PUPPIES.  I didn’t even have to ask before Hubby turned the car around and  went back to the Puppy Man.

And that’s where I fell in love with little Harvey.  After ten minutes of holding and cuddling him, I got back into the car, prepared to drive away.  But Hubby surprised me by asking if I really wanted that puppy.  I said yes, and BB piped in that he did too.  The next thing I know, I’ve gotten our landlord’s permission for a dog and Harvey (originally named Bilbo by the guy who sold him) was nestled in the backseat, right between me and BB.  Just the sweetest thing EVER!

  Tired Harvey

All the way home we bantered about what his new name should be.  Ruffles, Oso, Cloud, Beary, Bear, Toby, Winnie, Louie, Fluffles, and Oatmeal were considered and rejected.  Toby was my favorite, but then Hubby suggested Harvey and somehow it just fit.  Harvey it was!  Because he is a mixed breed (we were told German shepherd/Italian sheepdog-Maremma) we decided the extended version of his name would be Harvey the Wonder Mutt. 

Now, we’re not sure if he actually has any Maremma in him at all; the seller was just a guy who was selling his dog’s pups.  But when we got home and did a search for the breed, we discovered that our little Harvey doesn’t much look like a Maremma, which are always white or ivory.  But we did find a photo online of a German Shepherd/Chocolate Lab mix puppy that looks exactly like Harvey, right down to the white streak on his chest and the little whiskers on his chin.  In the end, it doesn’t matter what he is.  He’s Harvey.  Our Harvey, and he certainly is a most wonderful little mutt.


Miracle on 34th Street opens up the night after Thanksgiving and there is a preview show on the day before Thanksgiving.  Only four more days until there is a real audience and six more days until there’s a real paying audience.  It’s been a long time in the works with rehearsals nearly every night for the last three weeks and at least 2x a week since Oct. 1, but I think it will be well worth the effort and time. 

Althought BB has been in front of an audience before, this is his first play and his first experience with having rehearsals every night (and staying up way past his bed time).  To be honest, he’s handled all of this so much better than I would have expected.  When he was cast and I saw 6:30 rehearsal times, I was worried that he’d quickly fizzle and act out.  But he hasn’t complained about going to one single rehearsal and he seems to really be in his element.  I’m still worried about the 8pm shows, but I think it’ll be okay.  At this point he’s used to staying up till 10:00 or 10:30 (I fear the 7:00 bedtime will never return after this) and I think the adrenaline and excitement of being in front of a crowd will pull him through, but that worried mom in me is still a little apprehensive.  Should I have not encouraged his interest in doing the play when I know how early he usually goes to bed?  Am I asking too much of a little guy? 

He doesn’t seem to be at all nervous, but good lord, I am!  I was talking to a friend whose daughter is also in the show and I told her that I know I’m going to bawl like a baby.  Heck, I’m in tears just sitting here thinking about it!  I wonder, what is it about seeing our children perform that makes moms world wide well up?  Pride?  Sure.  Amazement?  Yeah.  But there’s more.  It’s a jumbled up, confused tangle of so many raw and big emotions that I can’t even begin to name them all.  What I do know is that I’ll have to load my purse full of tissues.

One thing I really wish is that he could have family out there supporting him in his first foray into theatre.  Yes, he’ll have me in the audience, and some friends are likely to come, but I wish he could have aunts and uncles and grandparents like all the other kids.  People who will also tear up and scream and cheer long and loud for him. 

Today is our one day of the week where he doesn’t have to go to rehearsal.  Hubby does, but BB doesn’t, so we are going to spend the morning together hanging out.  I will try to post pictures of some of the rehearsals. 

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