Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We've moved. We're moved. We're unpacked. Well, my family is unpacked. I have a problem with unpacking. It overwhelms me. My clothes is still in boxes and laundry baskets. (but I know where it all is!)

And our library is a disaster. I have the shelves. I have the baskets (ask me about the GREAT deals I got on baskets at SERRV last week!!!) I have my stuff in boxes in the room. The baskets are even on the shelves (see, Honey? I made progress today!!!). This is a disappointment to the cat, BTW. Maple has declared all the baskets his. Even the cutlery baskets. How you can sleep with one foot in each section and your gut over the divider is beyond me, but then I'm not a cat.


We ARE doing school. The girls, who unlike me, do not have an unpacking problem, packed their school benches into a concise box and then promptly unpacked it back into their benches upon arrival in the new house. Thus, they are able to do school. We're even reading. I found Daniel Boone and we've finished that book.

Next on tap is the Erie Canal. Oh, after we finish America Travels.

I think I threw some markers in a cutlery basket today. Problem is, that's not really where I want them. I'm not sure where I really want anything. THAT'S the problem.

Anyone want to come over and help me organize and decompress?

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Open My Hand

With our move, I'm finally biting the bullet and clearing out books we seldom use.  

I am a self-confessed book-a-holic.  A Bibliovore.  I have a small addiction.  And now I have an even smaller library in my new house, so some things have got to go.

My biggest obstacle is thinking that "Maybe one of the younger kids will use this someday." 

Well, true.

They might.

They HAVE!

I have materials I am very successfully using with Daisy and Pepper that RoseBud had no interest in.  I recognize that the boys may not be the same kind of learners that the girls are.  They may well require different methods and different materials.

Does that justify my holding on to stuff we have never touched? Just. Open. The. Hand.  Let it go.

Does it justify holding on to "deals" I bought when RoseBud was an infant (ok, a toddler) which have now been reprinted twice?    Just. Open. The. Hand.

Have I not learned which materials work best for me and for the kids?  Mainly for me.  If I can't use it, it's unlikely they will get to use it.  Too crafty, too much planning, too advanced, too wordy, makes the kids cry when they see it, yada yada.   Just. Open. The. Hand.

And with the increasing amount of stuff on the internet, I'm finding I just don't use books in the same way I did as a kid.  Like today's earlier post on the Star-Spangled Banner, for instance.  There are so many cool resources out there.  Granted, I am still a hard-copy paper kind of girl.  I like to have it in my hand and page through it.  But for storage purposes, I'm all for hosting it on someone else's server! Just. Open. The. Hand.

So today I begin to loosen my grip, begin to open my hand.  Let it go.

Oh, Say Can You See

Today we read about the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner (the song and the flag).

The girls were thrilled because they remember when we were at the National Museum of American History in 2006 and SAW the Star-Spangled Banner.  It was still under renovation at that time and we saw it on its rollers in the lab.  Very cool.  They always say, "Is that that big flag we saw that they were sewing on?"

Here are our flag connections for the day:

We were awed to compare the size of the real Star-Spangled Banner to our house.  Our kitchen/dining/living room is 18 x 40 (ish)  The flag is 32 X 40!  Whoa!

Be sure to play the quiz game and collect the 14 stars to earn your certificate on SSB trivia!  We got them all correct.

Last night we were watching a rerun of Antiques Roadshow in Texas and a flag collector there, when asked if there were any flags he did not have that he WOULD like, (he had over 600!!!) said, "the Star-Spangled Banner!"  (can you believe I found the clip!  Is there NOTHING that is not on the internet????)

I sang all three "popular" verses of the SSB to the girls this morning.  (I'll spare you a demonstration) The third verse is little known and seldom sung (but I bet you know verses 1, 2 & 4, don't you!  I hope you at least know verse 1)

Enter a SSB singing contest sponsored by the NMAH on YouTube

Listen to the original English drinking song from which the melody for the SSB was taken!

Check out a rendering of the Star-Spangled Banner by one of my favorite illustrators, Peter Spier.