Megan Ryan’s voice - Last night we gave the little new addition to our lives a little bath. After a few minutes of wading and playing, I took the little guy, put him on the changing table and started to dress him up. Halfway through what should have been an easy task, I stopped and realized why I was having so much trouble. The jammies were two inches too short. The little guy is growing fast and cooing and all that other jazz. He is beautiful. They are all beautiful. The new birth of our fourth son has brought much to our lives, including a bit of memory and intellectual degradation.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Liam Marcus’ voice - Don’t fret, going to sleep and actually sleeping between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am has been proven to help improve many of the issues related to sleep deprivation, e.g., memory lapses, etc. It seem that during this time the adrenal gland dumps waste/toxins, but you have to be asleep in order for this to occur. If you are not sleeping or enjoying a fantastic trip to nowhere land, then the adrenal gland does not do its job properly. This is why when we wake up the next morning we look like a two-ton steak hit us across the face.
The precursors to adrenal gland stress are too much sugar and caffeine in you diet, among others things.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed!
Megan’s Ryan’s Voice – Murphy’s Law of Homeschooling States: Once you get into the swing of things something will happen to ruin it. Last week the big boys caught the colds from the wee ones. Since I am not a MERCILESS slave driver I gave them a bucket next to their desks in case they had to stop working long enough to toss their cookies. No, we took a couple of days off but now they will have to do some catching up since some of their classes are online and therefore less forgiving.
Kindergartener promptly contracted the same cold back from them and got sick again. Fortunately that doesn’t phase his school work since he still has just as much energy as always. It’s turned out pretty nicely having him on a schedule of work rather than the very loose lessons that comprised his preschool education. He is old enough now for me to tell him to complete X Y and Z before leaving his place at the table. That leaves me a few free moments to attend to Toddler 1.1 or do REALLY important things like…take a bath.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Homeschooling is the kewlest thing one can ever do for their children, bar none – period. Those individuals who argue about, “Well, how about their social skills?” and this and that don’t know squat. Peons of a communistic educational system – indoctrinated zombies thinking in the same manner. Unfortunately, these are the individuals whom we need to be careful of. The may stop at nothing to destroy our right to educate our children just because they think they can do better.
Neither here nor there, it is exquisite to watch our children growing right in front of us. It is a treat to be able to teach them everything we know too. Oops, we get in trouble for that.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I freakin’ hate eggplant. So does everyone else in our family. Today we celebrated the last eggplant we ever have to eat because I finally used the last bag from the freezer left over from our organic rabbit farm CSA membership. Woohooooooo! Par-tay! Here is the only recipe any of us could stand eating eggplant. Click Here for the original recipe I used and adapted. It’s actually pretty darn good, but if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tear it out of my recipe binder now.
Crock Pot Sausage, Eggplant, And Tomato Casserole
1 tablespoon coconut oil
one pound of sausage
1 Large White Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 Eggplant, peeled and chopped
3/4 teaspoon Chili Flakes
1 (14.5 ounces) can Diced Tomatoes
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley Leaves, chopped
1 tbsp. salt
1. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sautee eggplant until very tender.
2. Add sausage, onion, and garlic and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, turning occasionally until sausage is browned.
3. Dump it and everything else into the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours, or high power for 4 hours.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - Marcus is cultivating a lovely black mustachio lately, and he and I were just bemoaning the fact that men’s mustache wax (think Poirot) is ridiculously expensive starting at $2 per ounce. Then I said, “Hey we should Google how to make our own.” Marcus thought for a second and said with a grin, “Well I have some left over tar in the garage.” We laughed, and I said, “It’ll hide your gray!”
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Ha ha ha, very funny man. I don’t want to look like this guy, just a bit smarter. Plus I am a bit superstitious, that’s all. I am thinking that if I get some mustachio handle bars, well, the other handle bars will disappear… you know what I mean?
Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s only week four of this year’s homeschooling, and already I can’t wait until it’s over…sometimes. Most people automatically assume the material/teaching is the hard part about homeschooling aka am I smart enough to teach? That’s not it. The REAL hard part is discipline, especially schooling teenagers. Being the teacher AND the principal and meting out the punishments, then stickin’ to yer guns. Teenagers are professional soldiers when it comes to emotional battles, and it’s all too easy to get stuck in trench warfare with them. Our teens are no different. They aren’t sassy, gum poppin’, eye rolling brats like a lot of public schoolers, but they are stubborn all the same. (Aren’t ALL teens??) They are having the usual difficulty (denial) in getting back into the new/old routine of school, and they are making everyone pay by shirking work and walking around with silent but dark thunderclouds over their heads. I’m SURE I was the same at that age – I freakin’ hated school.
As you know, I already warned them not to try last year’s shenanigans, but they’re doing it anyway. Neglecting subjects A, B, and C because they are at their mother’s house those days, and she doesn’t sit on their shoulders (like us) and ensure they complete all their work by the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crack a whip behind them all day shouting, “Heeyah mule!”. I write out the days work in a notebook and leave them to do it during the day. When it is finished, THEN privileges begin like having friends over and TV watching. If it isn’t done by 6 PM they have to stop for the day, do some push-ups (disciplinary action), and roll the work over into the next day and even into Saturday if need be.
It’s times like these Marcus and I fantasize about throwing in the towel. And I DO mean fantasize. “Hey honey the kids are in school! What do you wanna do today?! Drink ice cold beer at the beach?? Done! WHEEEeeeeeee!” Then we wake up and stick to our guns for one more day, then another, and another after that.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Duh gone it! I don’t know how we’ve been able to manage without the public school system for, what, seven years. Well, well, well, a lot of patience and stamina; brain stamina. Ha ha ha. Hey, don’t sweat it, let’s have some fun. You know it’s been fun.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Okay, I need a little encouragement right now. If you recall from this post, I have so much trouble growing plants that I can’t even cultivate weeds. Well, I took the plunge recently and planted some catnip (a weed), sage, italian lavender, and oregano (also a weed). Two months later and what is growing? Only the oregano. That’s a 25% success rate, folks. ~sigh~ Plus, it’s not much of a success when the ONE plant that is growing is a weed, and the other weed did not survive…didn’t even sprout! This past year I have planted FOUR weeds and only one of them grew. Can you guess what the fourth weed was? Dandelions! I. can’t. grow. dandelions.
Oh well, at least we can enjoy homegrown, organic oregano in our favorite dishes (Marcus’ famous pizza sauce!) as well as use it to relieve headaches, fever, earache, and even toothache! Click Here to read even more medicinal uses for the only weed I can grow.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I. Think. It. Is. The. Sand. Yep, the sand. We live in a sandy area of the continental united States of America. Not just any sand, but construction sand. Something else is that it’s been raining like I can’t remember ever raining around here this summer. It’s been a bliss, but too much water can kill anyone, so I’ve heard.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Wow it has been a busy two weeks! Not only was it our first and second week of homeschool being back in session, but then we upgraded Preschooler 4.12 to Kindergartener 5.0 on Saturday with a little party. He had a blast with his friends being silly, munching snacks, and blowing out candles. The candles on my first homemade, 100% organic birthday cake. It’s a feat I’m proud of and never thought I would (or could) accomplish if you asked me two years ago. I digress. It was so cool to watch him have so much fun. Thank you, Jesus for all of our children. Thank You for parties, and little friends, and big fun.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Kindergartener 5.0 was in love. It is a remedy to being alone with a pair of old peeps like us, right Megan? The little rascal was distributing, “I love you” to everyone he met this weekend. Hey, at least it wasn’t, “Mami, Papi is that lady naked?” – this one is for another post. For now, let’s reminisce on the fact that this little rascal is incredibly outgoing, something I lack from time to time. Hey, I was, but I ain’t no more ‘cause peeps kept drilling my social-ness into the ground.
Last Monday was a great example of this little rascal’s outgoingness. We went to a nearby theme park and it so happened that the park was nearly ours to enjoy, but wait, no not really. We experienced a British invasion of sorts. We didn’t mind. It was like being over there, in England, without having to pay for an airfare to visit them. Well, the little guy went on the River Rapids Ride for the first time and it blasted him, but he enjoyed it so much he proclaimed it to every single Brit that came onboard the (five trips) rafts we occupied. He had a blast, and the people around him had a blast and appeared to enjoy the little guys’ comments, “We are going to get wet… again!” Sure enough. People got wet, and he told them, “See, I told you!” and they laughed.
Yes, a few times he said, “Papi, it was all right, but there were some ladies naked.” i.e. wearing skimpy clothing. Nevertheless, I think he will rise to the occasion again and again.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We spent last week getting ready to start school today. I planned out the subjects the Teenagers would be learning on a marker board while they assembled the needed folders, notebooks, and textbooks. Then we mapped out each subject and wrote out a course outline to help us determine how to pace the school year. I decided to imitate the same style we had last year where they do subjects A, B, and C at our house and subjects D, E, and F during the days at their mother’s house. Since she is too busy to help them with their work they can bring the finished assignments back here with them for me to grade. I can already smell trouble brewing though. Last year they started to slack off at mom’s house and come back here with little to no work done on those subjects. I fear they’re going to give that another try this year. I’ll just have to be very frank with them and warn them ahead of time not to try it. It didn’t fly then, and it won’t fly now.
This will be Preschooler 4.11’s first official year of school On his 5th birthday coming up I’ll have to upgrade him to Kindergartener 5.0! Even though we’ve been doing preschool and kindergarten workbooks since he turned four, he is still excited about having ‘school’ like his big brothers. The only thing I’ll change is to switch out his Pre-K workbooks for K and start teaching him to play the piano and read music. He has Marcus’ gift for music so we want to give him the tools to unlock his potential as soon as possible. As always, the biggest challenge will be to keep order and a loose daily schedule running smoothly. And most importantly, keep the TV turned off! It’s nice to have that ‘electronic babysitter’ for Toddler 1.0 at times, but the trick is to keep it to a maximum of thirty minutes per day – if I have to turn it on at all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice –It’s special. Once in a lifetime event. Okay, hey, maybe he can do some ka-ra-TE too. Just read an invite to “Meet ups” karate event. It seem inexpensive too. $40 per month for 4 lessons. One can even pay as one goes – kewl, heh?
I’d rather he start playing hockey, but hey, we will have to resort to roller hockey for a while instead. Musical talent?? Ah, shucks! I don’t have talent at all. It’s been hard work my lady, hard work, and even then, the work one has to continue to put in is even harder.