Monday, June 27, 2011

Aspie-isms & Cheeseburgers in Paradise...

okay - so, it is an odd title for the end of a uniquely great Godly day!!  :) 
I like uniquely great Godly days!

last night we ended the family part of the day with a family reading of the first two chapters of Genesis and 5 chapters of Psalms, where the child and I left off at our last reading. i had been listening to a play-along/play-away...play something thing from the library that is an audio book of the book of Joshua. i like this new family habit. i <3 this family time. i wish we had done this when my older child still lived here. :/

i could not sleep last night. i had to fix this old raggedy pillow my child sleeps with that was rat-a-tat-tattered beyond pillow recognition. it took pillow form last night finally around 3am(ish). i tried to sleep, but i kept thinking of the Levites placing the ark within the Jordan to stop the waters...makes for interesting night time thoughts. recent genealogy has revealed more than just the native american ancestry. it has revealed Ruth, and Rahab, and Tamar...and others...so reading is not just stories anymore. these are my grandparents now. wow!! finally the hubby got up to got to work at 5:30....alas, no sleep last night...

the child is continuously arranging the canning jars into pyramids. and each pyramid line is of the same type - the bottom row is salsa, the 2nd row is pickles, the third row is jam, and so forth...i rearranged them tonight before we went to get ice cream to see how long it would take the pyramids to reappear. we had been back home for maybe ten minutes when all the jars were reformed into two pyramid arrangements. this time they are separated by types in the lines and the pyramids differ with ones that still need labels and ones that have labels. :)  i love this part of him. a part of me wants to rearrange them to see what will occur next. i wonder about that.

and my jar tongs are apparently great for holding everything else in the house. and for making 'wacka wacka wacka' sounds like a gigantic mouth while the child runs around the house with them! 

our entire day was not amiss though...we accomplished part of the science cell on animals and plants unit today. he played with an interactive site online (http://www.cellsalive.com/). it allows the student to wand the arrow over the cell part and it highlights the part, tells its name and function. we discussed the website. we did 3 lessons in prealgebra. we read two chapters of SFR. we are moving along. tomorrow, we are making a cell out of food pieces.

tonight we went to get ice cream and jimmy buffet was playing in the background...hamburgers in paradise. so, a family decision was made over ice cream. we will be taking a family vacation to eat a cheeseburger in paradise. and along the way, a detour up or down along the path to visit family and friends, to see the puppy store, to go to the boardwalk, to see the dolphin with no tail...wonder if any friends along the path have a room with at least a queen size bed along the way???

and, as i typed this...
the child has broken my aloe plant tonight. he plays with the poor detached aloe limb for endless amounts of time. he tell me it is 'liquidy' and then he tells me it is stringy like snot. he likes to squish it between his fingers and watch it ooze out. my poor aloe plant. i think i will need to move it to another location before i go to bed tonight.

oh, and bambi made another appearance in the backyard tonight. cassie wanted so badly to go out and bark the bambi out of the backyard. did i mention the dog is a bit territorial?  the backyard and the frontyard and all cats, playground equipment, chickies, and kitties in the yard belong to the dog. obviously, bambi is oblivious to this notion as she happily comes forward to look for my tomato plants to eat all my tomatoes off of again. (my tomato plants are on now on the deck.) they look sort of pitiful with almost no leaves and no tomatoes. dang bambi.

Friday, June 24, 2011

where do you go??

lately my child will mention something he wants to do or a place he wants to go that we have been before...this would not be an issue...if those places were here where we live. the other day he wanted to go to the mall and see the 'puppy store', but not play with the bull dog puppies, because they are a bit too rough. i mentioned that there was no puppy store at the mall. he reminded me of how we went there all the time. and suddenly, i knew what he was talking about.

a year ago we lived somewhere else...another state to be exact...and now we are back where we have always lived...

the puppy store is in one of the main entrances to one of the malls of the city we lived in. he often will ask now that the weather is getting warmer if we can go to the beach for the day and watch the fire performers again, get an ice-cream cone, and walk the boardwalk to see what the vendors have brought out. he wants to know if we can make a day drive to go snorkeling about the reef. he wants to go see the dolphin with no tail at the aquarium. but, we cannot go...b/c those things don't exist here. they are there.

we moved to put him in private school...to offer him a better education...in a less secular learning environment...he received it. i loved the school - awesome place...

but, we couldn't sell our house and we could not afford to stay. and while we were there, we desperately missed home. now that i am home, i desperately miss there.

we have often said...while we were there and while we are here now, if could move the town of home here to a place with the school of there, we would have had it all...when we first moved there, i severely missed my friends, support of them, etc. i missed my mom and dad. i missed my church here. oh, how i missed my church family. i missed people who spoke like me - the southern dialect...funny how you miss things you would never think of...i missed people who smiled at you to be nice. i missed men who acted like gentlemen and took their hats off when you entered a room and who held doors open. i missed yes ma'am and no sir. i missed seeing Christ in the everyday acts of people around me. i missed home.

when i was there, i felt alone often. i did not have many friends. i felt like the church was dry. i longed for my church family. i wanted to have the types of friends i had here, who were supportive, who you could just come over to their house unannounced for no reason and they would not mind. i had friends. i had people i did things with. i did not have home.

now we are back home. life continued as it did before...great church, great family, great friends...i don't miss the church there. but, i miss parts of life that i never knew i missed. i remember thinking when i was there that i could never miss a place like i missed home. strangely, now i miss there in ways i never missed home.

the people who i did the most with there really do not keep in touch with me now that we are gone. even when i message them, there is not much of a response...and i wonder.

one person there was always dreadfully honest about all things...she still is...she still keeps in touch...she still says what she thinks...she has invited us to her home with an open invite should we ever show up on her doorstep...i don't know if she remembers...i don't know if she meant it as a real invite, but i remember the gesture. that did not come from other friends we had there, nor from the family we have there. does this one person realize the impact of just a few of her written words on fb?

strangely enough, there was one person there who i never would have thought could be such a good friend. since we have left there to come home, i have realized that this one lady has more in common with me than i would have ever recognized and i find myself thinking i could confide in her and she would understand. i had to leave to find a friend i feel i could really trust. why was this not revealed when we were there? funny how things happen like that.

i have another friend there who was crazy fun...she still is in touch...she still looks like she leads a lively life...she has found love and it looks to really suit her. she deserves this.

and so now, we sit here...we love home. we miss there. and what we miss does not come down to the people, they were not there like that when we were there. we miss the school. oh, how we miss the school. but there is a new principal, the school that was is no more. we cannot get that back. we homeschool now anyway, so we would not need that back...

now i understand why there are 'snowbirds' who live in both locales...maybe we need to be snowbirds...i wish i could afford this home here and some something there to have both. i want to take my child to the puppy store or say in two or three months when we are there...we will go to the puppy store. we will see the fire performers and the boardwalk and get an ice-cream. and, i can visit friends i did not know i had that God provided...

how nice it would be to have both...selah!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creationism-v-Evolution/Big Bang Theory

Today we went back to the homeschool store and purchased a different science curriculum. I wanted something more hands-on and concrete to use with my Asperger & LD learner. We read the first lesson together and then he took the quiz for the reading portion.

Tonight we did the hands-on learning activity for giving a visual learning experience for Creationism-v-Evolution/Big Bang Theory. I was excited about this activity for him due to the way the activity made the explantion of this concept so concrete for him. We discussed the impossibility of randomness for everything just exploding from nothing and landing all in such order and beauty of a perfect design. Then we discussed how there had to be the hand of a Supreme Being to create such order and perfection down to even the most minute details. There is also the later discussion that many gods could not exist to do such perfection as the universe and mankind, as they would all argue and nothing but chaos would have ensued.

The activity involved taking a stack of cards and just dropping them from any height. Of course they scatter all over with no real pattern. You repeat this several times. We got to discuss outliers with this as well...got to get that math terminology integrated within. :)  Finally, you sit down and build something with the cards. Then you can talk about while you are doing all this that there is no perfection, there is no plan in a random bang and poof there is everything. There could never be a result of gravity and axes of planetary bodies and revelations and rotations with the exact combination of air quality and support of vegetation and so forth...with a big bang.

In other words, things can never evolve from nothing. There is always a design. There was always a plan. There was always the hand of God in the building of the universe, of each plant, of each life, of each child...

Of course, we also got to discuss how Mother Nature creates things that destroy items so that new life can be built or created in that space. This can in the form of the big black labrador retriever that was known for a few minutes as Hurricane Cassie with the tail of destruction that would mightily wag all the card houses to make all the creations fall down and shatter. This same force of destruction also sent all the card house walls and ceilings scattering.

randomness of card scatter event 1 - we used spider man and wrestling cards!!


 random scatter 2

 random scatter 3

 random scatter 4

random scatter 5 (child was enjoying doing this by now)

hubby/dad had to do a random scatter - he referred to this as having a 'backwards thrust' - i decided to discuss outliers in mathematical term and anomolies with the child

 creation at the hand of a father begins to take shape - order only occurs when there is a purpose, a design, a plan

a building/card house was being built, but itself-destructed. :)
 lesson learned here was things have to be well designed with a purpose to withstand and be strong

 another design by a (human) hand of creation (a mommy creation)

 the design continues to grow (a daddy creation)

the rebuilding process (mommy creations)

building design of the child

dad's design becomes two storied now

the arrival of destruction - Hurricane Cassie - because playing ball and tag has got to be so much more interesting than building with cards :)

 more building (child designs)

 more building (mommy designs)

 and then mother nature sends in a force of wind and storms (tail and legs of lab doggy) - notice the look on the child's face as he tries to move her in a direction away from his card house he has just started to reconstruct on the floor near his and her feet

 house of cards falls - notice the doggy feet in the upper part of the photo??

 she walked right across his card house he had previously diverted her away from - you can barely see the tops of the cards in the bottom of the picture where she knocked the card house down

 and on the 7th day he rested, or more like on the 7th house attempt, he laid back and rested from his creations :)

 the face of house card destruction

 the child attempts to build yet again

 but wouldn't you rather play ball?

 walking through the cards again - notice the child has given up his building due to the random 'house attacks' from the dog and is laying back to rest now as well...

 don't even know what to say here -
she just sat on top of most of the cards in the middle of the three of us!! :)

and the cards scatter again -
not because of the big bang section of the lesson -
but due to the paws and tail of the doggy...

Monday, June 20, 2011

...finding my forever place in His time and space...

finding my forever place in this time and space is becoming much easier lately...learning who i really am and how the grace, breath, hands of the Lord have always been upon my life, before my mother ever breathed or thought of my name, is so overwhelming...i wish i knew all the words of the language in which all these things are told and revealed...so blessed to have an Intercessor who knows all the words...

resting peacefully while He wages my wars...

יְהוָ֖ה יִלָּחֵ֣ם לָכֶ֑ם וְאַתֶּ֖ם תַּחֲרִישֽׁוּן׃ פ 
שמות 14:14
אמן.

Pens, Coops, and such

About three months ago, when we were fully engulfed in learning and trying to teach my son many of the things he was working on for advancement or merit badges in Scouts...reading and explaining was just not getting the job done for my youngest child. He is a hands-on learner...So, I set out to do the things with him for better overall impression and retention of skills.


We determined to build a make-shift shed. He got to cut and measure and hammer and nail and drill and such. It took about a month to look like anything that would hold anything. A greenhouse roof was applied. I had a place to hold the new planting items for the small garden we made.


The new neighbor's dog had also learned in this time frame to scale the fence next door and escape. He likes my yard more than hers apparently. He dug up my new plants. He took off with pieces of my mulch. He takes my pots off the front porch. Lately he has ate my best pair of flip flops and ran off with one of my garden gloves. Oh, did I mention he also chewed up and completely destroyed my hose nozzle and I also have a new hole in the garden hose. Which, by the way, makes watering plants so much easier to accomplish...NOT!!


My child's dog, does not get along with other dogs. Humans and cats (our cats) are fine. Nothing else is. Our dog will fight other dogs. The neighbor dog thinks all other animals are playmates...not much of a clue that my dog will fight him if he comes in our yard. We quickly had to add a pen to the most available location, the new greenhouse shed, to place our puppy in when dumb dumb would escape from his yard and make his time in ours. We had to place our dog in protection to keep her away from the intruding dog. She does not like other animals on her turf. Most days this would mean quickly placing her in the pen, which was quicker than trying to get her into the house, and then walking the neighbor dog back to his property line and placing him back in his backyard quarters. He would promptly scale his fence again in 15 minutes or so, but it gave us time to let our dog go potty and put her back in the house.


It took about a month for the neighbor dog to stay on his side of the line. He also quickly learned where the underground fence of our yard was located. He will walk the perimeter of the fence where our dog can stay in the yard now and he is out of her proximal territory zone. And the fence around the shed remained.


We decided to buy chickens. Our boyscout learning adventure went from shed to greenhouse supply shed to dog pen/shed to chicken house. At least it turned into a productive and useful project overall. We had decided to get chickens before all this transpired, but we were originally opting for a transportation tractor for them. I had priced several and they weren't all that expensive. The shed seemed like the likely spot of use. The pen became the run. 


We are entering a new phase of learning now, particularly with homeschooling on the agenda now as well. I think any new projects will have to remain versatile as we progress...


By the way, as I write this, the dingy doggy from next door is romping in my front yard after a butterfly. A recent facebook post I made was about a deer in our backyard a day or so ago. A neighbor down the road commented this same doe has been in her yard and chased and bit another neighbor's puppy. I wonder if the deer would visit my yard more often, if it would chase the neighbor's dog back into her yard??

CPR, Blackberries, Chicks, Jelly, and a Council to boot...

It was a whirlwind of a day today...

We were running on less than enough sleep this morning. Last night entailed reading the First Aid chapter of the Boy Scout book to the child to review with him for the CPR and AED certification training he took this morning. Finally, a little after midnight, it seemed as though even review had transpired as the child was engulfed in a meltdown. (Of course, his mother was not far behind him in having her own little meltdown as well.)  He went to bed, and I got to stay up until 3 am to grade papers for the online classes.

This morning, the child mastered his pretest to qualify to stay for the CPR training. Thank goodness someone understood that he needed the test read to him due to the learning disabilities and this was provided for. :)  I love that God is on the side of those who are true to Him. Jehovah Jiereh!! 

This gave me 4 hours to be able to get some stuff accomplished. I picked more blackberries before the heat of the day came on too strong. I was only able to fill half a gallon ziploc bag. I really wanted more. I did pick much more than this, but I dropped about half as many as I bagged. I was not about to attempt to retrieve those berry suckers from through the mass of vines and prickers.  I came home with more scratches and scrapes than berries perhaps.

Back home for the remaining 3.5 hours until time to retrieve the child, the chicky mansion received an overhaul. Complete scrub down cleaning inside and sweeping out of the house. I raked the run and put down fresh bedding chips. It was so clean and pretty. I shut the girls in their house while I raked out the run. This seemed to confuse them quite a bit. It was amusing to watch them turning their heads inquisitively to try and figure out what was happening to their establishment. The feeder and waterer were hung at a more stable location. The burlap make shift keep them in the cage covering thing that went from the rafter of the house to the pen edging was pulled away and tossed. The new plastic henny penny caging was unrolled and put up and affixed properly to keep them from trying to become free-range chickies and to keep predators out. It looked all quite nice when it was finished and the girls seemed to appreciate it. I am not sure if they really liked the new straw and clean run, or were just happy to have been let out of the house.

The cleaning spree was temporarily interrupted long enough to retrieve the child from the Scout church. He passed his CPR training and is certified in CPR and to use an AED. I am quite proud of him!! 

Needless to say after spending 5.5 hours outside picking blackberries and making the chickies happy under the direct heat of the day...and almost no sleep last night...and the child receiving little sleep as well...we promptly closed up the house and retired inside to nap for a few hours. We slept until almost 6pm.

Tonight the child and I have made our first attempt at making blackberry jelly. Two of the jars popped the bottom off while boiling to set the tops to adhere and be air-tight. So 8 jars of jelly quickly became 6. We decided if it works, one will be ours, as one did not fill completely to the top and would make an excellent tester jar for us to use here. I am hopeful these set and all will be well. Pickles are next on the canning agenda.

Final note tonight is to note that I am now appointed to the council!!  I can't speak on this much yet, as some don't understand this new chapter of my life, so we are proceeding down this road carefully and making small revelations over time.

All in all a great day...I wonder if CPR training and the first aid chapter of the Boy Scout book and canning apply to some form of the homeschool curriculum?  I think I will check the science curriculum tomorrow to see if any of the first aid stuff applies. Mmmmhhhmmmm!!

Maybe the jars of jelly can be kept to place in the baskets we weaved last week as a home craft together!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

chicky chicky this, chicky chicky that...

So, recently we got three chickens...for purposes of getting eggs this fall. A friend/relative raised them for a few weeks while we wrapped up the public school year. We have had them for about a month maybe, so they are about 2.5 months old or so. I have decided these birds have a pretty simple life, which makes them interesting to watch when you are feeling stressed.

They have distinct personalities. It has been interesting to watch how they have learned that when the dog is released from the house to the backyard, that it typically means a human will come to the coop. This correlates to food and they rush to the gate door of the run. Mind you, they still do not like to be touched too much or handled...but they rush the door to wait in anticipation for a human to bring food.

They have names: Florence, Matilda, and Louella...great southern girls they will become!!  Flo, Tilly, and Lou for short...although, most of the time they just get called chickens. I named this this to be nicer than what we were called them. I said there were three of them: a fat one, a middle one, and a little one. This equals out to an F one, a M one, and a L one...thus their name beginnings match their sizes.

Yesterday, I took them some crickets for treats. It was fun to watch them run to grab one and run off with it while the other two chased the one with the treat around. It is almost too easy to decipher their chicken chortles and sounds to say - give me that! I was going to eat that bug!  It is like watching chicken keep-away. It is also easy to see why the fat one is fat and the little one is little. Flo is smarter than the rest. She was quick on the uptake to note these bugs were food treats...and she is quick. She quickly started to come over and peck her head into the cricket cup and would grab one up and run off to a corner of the run to eat him up. Tilly is brilliant enough to grab one up if it jumps near her. Louella - well she is just not that bright.

As a special education teacher of 15 years or more, I would say this dear girl would need an IEP. She looks around at the other two of her small brood and chases them with their delicious cricket finds. She tries to catch the cricket that hops by at her feet, but normally Tilly or Flo were too fast for her to even know where the cricket went to as she was attempting to gobble it up...Alas, most of the time she only pecked at air, because the delicious cricket she tried to claim was already on its way to the belly of her counterparts. Although, she did manage to get some of the crickets, so she was not without.

I have come to realize it is a good thing these chickens will lay eggs soon and that God made such natural for them...as they are not too bright on their own. Poor chickens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

learning on our own

first blog ever...first post ever...

we are homeschooling this year for the first time ever...we are about 1.5 weeks into the experience. i am learning things about my kid i never knew before...and, i am his mom.

i found out the other day he has no clue how to transform mixed numbers into improper fractions and back...he had no clue they were interchangeable. how did this happen? 

i am also seeing the fruits of only a few days of learning taking place and ideas generalizing to other areas. example: today i decided to drive up the interstate to see the pirate ship on the wateree river after the weeky occupational therapy session. i thought this was fascinating and took pictures...he could have cared less...yeah, so what? mom was taking pictures of the pirate ship on the river bank. whatever!! 

we drove on a bit down the road into camden domain (i should have had heidi's number on hand...). i wonder aloud about the crop in the field next to us. i comment it looks slightly like spinach. from out of the backseat is the voice of reason who quickly informs me that spinach has a slightly smaller leaf and is a lighter color of green. the backseat voice tells me various leaves of varying crops it could be...

we have only been gardening this year, but the child goes outside routinely to collect spinach for eating with our meals. we smell the air and recognize watermelons and sweet hay. and it hits me that he has learned about the vegetables independently from helping to work the small things we planted to grow. he comments often lately on rows of corn and such. the Lord is working in his mind daily...

and yet we remain such a small piece of the infinite plan.