homeschool with the Smiths

some homeschool families stay in their pj's all morning long as they do their homework.
But what if your pj's are your undies?


Speaking of Kim . . . I've really got to hand it to her for being quick on the relational uptake. I don't think we had even dried our hair or wrung out our bathing suits after our swim at their place, when she was knocking on our door with invitations to her boys birthday party the following week . . . and then a couple of weeks later, an invite to a real-live princess party.
So I'm making a princess gift.
I stood in line at Joann fabrics on Monday and the woman who attended me at the cash register asked me what I was going to sew with all my miscellaneous fabric items (aren't they good that way? I love it when they ask)
"a princess and the pea doll" I told her.
"sounds cool" she told me
"it's awesome in my head" I said
tomorrow's the big day. I'm off to sew some more mattresses.


five years later . . . Kim

I have a friend named Carol (I love Carol!)
I met her in College.
five years ago, Carol and her family moved away to another state - - far, far away. before she moved, she invited us to her baby girl's birthday party
where I met Kim - - Carol's good friend and co-worker

(fast forward to last month)

I have a friend named Shannon (I love Shannon!)
When we had no place to live last month, she and Steve invited to stay at their place for a bit (risky love, right?)
While we were there, the neighbors across the street invited us to all come over for a swim in their sweet awesome pool.
of course we went
and there was Kim!

I love it when God does that.


the reading and spelling crazies

Malachai picked up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this morning.
he put it down when he went off to his site classes at 8:00 am,
and then picked it up when he came home at 3:00
and finished the book before dinner.

That kid amazes me.

I picked up his writing class homework this afternoon and read this:

I like: cechin bogs and lesords (translation - "catching bugs and lizards")

and this one:

I like to: plai bascetbal and resol ("play basketball and wressle")

amazing, huh?

How in the world he can be so exposed to so many properly spelled words and be able to reproduce so few of them accurately!?

post script

ok, I just realized that Charlie and the Chocolate factory was actually in Spanish . . . but still . . . he reads enough in english. . . why can't it all just soak in?

post post script

whatever; who am I kidding? I just had to spellcheck like 20 words on this post; he gets it from his mother; there is no cure.


dessert for breakfast

if you serve your kids oatmeal for breakfast:
use an almond for a nose
and an apple slice for a smile
and chocolate chips for eyes (and your kids will think that you are giving them dessert for breakfast)


the apple tree yard

we did it! we took a family walk down to the apple tree yard yesterday. we knocked on the door and introduced ourselves and asked to pick their apples (actually, Joshua was the one who asked - - one of the best kinds of brave and manly, I think!)
"Yes, yes!" our neighbor told us "take the apples!"

and so we did.
I have a huge pile of apples sitting in my kitchen now, and I'm thinking I really should make up a pie or a crisp. does anyone have a recipe that I really must try?


Labor day-o-love

When we were in Spain, Labor day was one of those holidays that would come and go without us even realizing it. This year, though, it didn't get skipped over; in fact, we celebrated in three spectacular phases:

Labor day - - phase 1:
we stayed in our pajamas morning long until I decided to wash some clothes. the washing machine - - lo and behold - - would not fill, so we made a visit to Ed and Mary's place to see if they knew the trick to get it going (Ed and Mary are the generous, kind folk next door who actually own the home we are staying in). Ed came over with his tool belt and did, indeed fix the machine. Meanwhile, Mary - - who was clipping her rose bushes taught me how it should be done - - and when I shamelessly asked if I could dig through her cast offs and take some flowers home with me, she cut me the nicest stems of roses she had on her bushes; and then she told Malachai where in her rose bushes she had seen a preying mantis so that he could catch it.

that was some good love.
Labor day, phase 2:
Matt and Stephanie, and the rest of their bible study group threw a Labor day bar-b-q. . . and they thought to invite us;
we hadn't planned a bar-b-q for ourselves;
of course not;
we're out of the cultural loop these days.
So we were glad to get the invite to someone elses' shindig.
We figured we made out on two accounts:
they provided ALL the hamburgers and we got to meet everyone's neighbors
Josu made out because he got to carry around his very own can of rootbeer (some guys have all the luck, right?)

that was some good love.

Labor day phase 3:
Ryan and Catherine and their girlies came over for dinner and games
and they picked up like half of the key ingredients (for my special dinner for them) at the grocery store on the way over.
and we laughed harder than we've laughed in a long time

that was some good love


garden sharing

We spent a warm evening out in mom's garden this summer - - Rachel stitching up that gorgeous blue dress that she drafted herself, Gabrielle snuggling with my girl, and Mom with her shovel - - enlisting Amaleah and Selma to pull the snails off of the chard. it was perfect.

So one of the things I love so much about mom is that she gardens in her front yard; as she harvests her zucchini or pulls her weeds, there she is - - quick to strike up a conversation with a neighbor, or to offer a bunch of herbs to a passer-by. . .
and really,
gardening for her isn't only about the world's most amazing tomatoes or most fantastic basil (although she's got that too) - - it's about knowing the people that surround her, and about finding a way to love them.
the sweet little house that we are staying in this fall doesn't have a garden . . . but I went for a jog the other morning, and realized that one of our neighbors has an apple tree in their front yard;
poor abandoned tree; there were apples everywhere;
I wonder if maybe I will take the boys down sometime this week,
we'll ask for some apples, and get to know our neighbors,

through their front yard garden of sorts


at night I think

When we left Spain, we were in the middle of strawberry season; we ate strawberries as we packed our suitcases and emptied out our kitchen cabinets.

 I laid in bed the other night, thinking about Spain;
thinking about how, if I were there, I could get a full crate of Roma tomatoes for 3 euros at my market - with it being the end of summer and all.
and I thought about the glasses I had stacked on my counter to give away.
(and I hoped that someone threw a party with them this summer)