Shabby blogs

Monday, February 25, 2008

On the Road Again

This weekend we drove to Bozeman. We went to visit our great friends the Behrendts and the Olsons, and to deliver bison. It was a great time. The drive down was uneventful - the roads were perfectly clear. There is not much snow left anywhere. I wasn't feeling well (developing a cold) and so was kind of a dud all weekend. The kids had a blast. They all drove around on the kid snow mobile and drug each other on a sled behind it. Jeannie, Colleen and I went shopping. We went to Fuddrucker's for dinner. We finally watched "The Ultimate Gift" (which was good, but there are things that they should have left out). Shawn took Brad to Sportsman's Warehouse to help pick out a good gutting knife. Sunday was Micah's birthday and we had brownies and ice cream just before we headed out the door for our trek home. It was a quick stay, unfortunately, because Brad had to get back so that he could leave for San Diego this afternoon. Our return trip proved a bit more eventful than our drive down. We hit lots of snow and fog. It was a bit scary at times, but we made it home safe and sound......and LATE. Here are some photos of our friends there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bible and Morning Time

One of my very favorite blogs has been Dominion Family. Cindy, who writes it, is a homeschooling mom of 9 kids - 8 BOYS (aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!) and 1 girl. I have gleaned much wisdom from her posts over the past few months. She has inspired me, challenged me, and helped me reorganize things that I was struggling with in our homeschool. The funny thing is that she has no idea. I don't know Cindy, I just read her blog like so many others. As of Feb. 1, she ended her blogging "career" because as her older children leave the house her duties in the home are growing again. She needed to give up her blogging to better serve her family. One of the things that Cindy helped me think through was my Memory time. We have Bible and memory time each morning where we read our Bible and memorize scripture and other things (the list of helping verbs, personal pronoun list, historical documents, etc.), but there were other things that I wasn't covering that were really important to our family. I just couldn't figure out where to put them in and so I was covering them haphazardly and always feeling defeated not doing them on a regular basis. In reading through Cindy's morning time posts in her archives I found the answer. We have now expanded our memory time into morning time and I have organized it all into sections with new things to learn and then a more systematic plan for review. I feel like a big burden has lifted off of my shoulders and we are so enjoying it. I miss Cindy's posts in my inbox each morning and in honor of her, here is next week's Bible and Morning Time schedule:

Memory Time 2/25 – 2/29

Learning: Fairest Lord Jesus
Review – Joyful, Joyful
And Can It Be?

Bible- Deut. 9-11, 13, 15-18
Psalm or Proverb


Learn: Psalm 19
Review – Luke 2: 1-14
Apostle’s Creed

Learn: VP OT Greece and Rome history song
Review - VP Explorers to 1815 history song
Old Testament books
Manger Throne

Learn : #3
Review #1, #2

Learn: The Quality of Mercy/ Shakespeare
Review: The Little Cares – E. B. Browning

Relearn: Declaration of Independence
Review: Gettysburg Address

Artist – Charles Russell
Music – Handel
Reading – “Plutarch’s Lives” –Theseus

Okay, and I have to interject about Plutarch....I know it is kind of a high and lofty goal, but I think that it is a good one - and my kids LOVE it - ha! They are as weird as I am! :)

Whitefish Lake in Winter

We have had four glorious days of sun. Not good for the snow, but great for the mind and the great outdoors. This Flathed Valley that we call home is beautiful no matter which way you slice it, but with sun - it is almost too much to behold. We took a drive to Whitefish Lake the other day and this is what we found. Ever walked on a lake when it is frozen? I was a little freaked out - must have watched too many movies as a kid where people fell through the ice and either drowned or ALMOST drowned. I have visions of Meg in Little Women - or was it Amy?? And of Henry Hoodini trying to breathe under the ice as he drifted downstream. Shiver!!!
But I digress. The ice that we were on was quite thick - EXCEPT where people had recently been ice fishing. Those are the places that you have to look out for I've been told - and so you can bet I did.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend in Hamilton

This past weekend, we went to Hamilton to stay with the Nelsons for Rachel's 6th birthday. We met at Costco in Missoula for dinner and went ice skating at the Fairgrounds. Then we drove to their house in Hamilton for cake and ice cream and a good night's sleep. Their house is GREAT - really interesting design and perfect for the kids. They, of course, have art everywhere. My favorite is a VERY large painting in Doug's office of George Washington and Nathan Hale; discussing the upcoming Culper Spy Ring going ons, no doubt. I cannot remember who painted it - shame on me. They also have lovely bronzes all about. Saturday morning, we got up bright and early and headed out for a day of skiing at Lost Trail Powder Mountain where both Karen and Doug are ski instructors over the winter (they had passes for us all!!). We had a great day skiing with our own personal instructors. Karen's daughter, Michelle, is 13 and assists Doug teaching his classes. But on Saturday, she devoted herself completely to the kids and us. Brad has snow boarded, but never skied. I had not skied for about 18 years. I thought it would be like learning all over again, but after a few minutes, it all came back to me. Brad decided that he is done snowboarding - skiing is the way to go. And the kids - WOW. After and hour and a half, they were up on the lifts ( all except for Micah). After lunch, Karen (Nelson) was done in the kitchen (she somehow got recruited to bake 80 - yep, 80 - pizzas for the last day of ski school) and took the kids (and us) up the mountain for some more instruction. The Nelsons have a baby - sweet Baby Lauren - who has already skied more mountains than I have in my life....she is not quite a year old. I wish I had my camera with me up there, because it is quite a sight seeing Karen skiing with Lauren in a backpack. They don't take her on hard runs, but they do ski with her regularly. Brad and I took turns on the bunny run with Micah who was doing GREAT. She got tired of us trying to help her real quick and just said she wanted to go down alone....and she did. She couldn't figure out the snow plow thing, but could turn and did pretty good stopping. She loved it and even rode the tow rope all by herself. The Nelsons' kids - whose last name is Cassens - are hot dog skiers. They have been skiing for years. Weston, who is 9, has no problem with double black diamonds.

The Nelsons park their 5th wheel up at the resort. We were planning on staying in the trailer and a SNOW CAVE that we were going to build but decided the night before that it would just be too crazy getting all of our food and gear ready to be able to stay. The kids were so dissappointed about NOT building a snow cave, that we decided to go ahead and do it. So, at the end of the day, we went back to the 5th wheel and started digging. We figured out that there was no way we would be finished in time to sleep in it (shew!). The kids snow shoed and sledded a bit and then Brad and Doug stayed with a group of them (Michelle, Jessica, Weston, one of their friends, Josiah, and Isaiah) at the trailer for the night (still all wearing their ski clothes since we didn't realize that we were staying) and scrounging what food we all had left from lunch. Karen and I went back to the house with Rachel, Elisha, Micah and Elias. The kids were plowed!!! Elias slept the whole hour home. The next morning, Karen took food to everyone on the mountain and their family all stayed to ski. Brad brought our kids back to the house and we left to head home. We had a great weekend and are trying to figure out how we can buy pre-season ski passes for Big Mountain here in Whitefish for next year. See photos here.

Over the Hump - we hope.

Life is crazy everywhere - and it has been extremely crazy here for certain. Lots has gone on in the past few weeks. One of the things that has happened is that over the past three weeks, we have had bouts with the flu (the STOMACH flu!). I want to know why everyone can't get it at once? In the past, that is always how it person gets sick and then a few days later more get it and the next day're all done in a week. Not this time. Josiah and Micah had it the first week (while Brad was out of town in San Diego). Micah threw up once and the next morning was just fine. I have this thing about throw up - I just don't do well with it (that is a HUGE understatement) and the Lord has been gracious to give me kids that rarely EVER throw up. Because of my problem in this area, I run a starvation camp until I know that there is NO WAY that kid is going to throw up again. They're lucky to get more than a drop of water out of me. The problem with that, however, is that I have two kids (Josiah and Micah) that throw up when they don't eat for a long period of time (i.e. if they don't like dinner and choose not to eat, they could very likely be throwing up in the morning and will not keep anything down until around noon.....I generally have at least SOMETHING that they like for dinner, though - remember me and throw up? So that almost never happens). So, Micah was fine on day 2 - truly fine - but just to make sure, I wouldn't let her eat more than a crumb at a time. So....the next day, she threw up again. Now, I'm not positive, but I think that her day 3 throwing up was due to lack of food. By about noon, with food, she was done and back to normal . Josiah, however, was miserable for a day and 1/2. After three days and no one else getting sick I figured we were all going to miss out. A week later - the very night that Brad was coming home - I got it. argh. Have you ever driven to the airport to pick up your husband while sick with the flu? Okay, granted, the airport is literally 5 minutes from my front door, but I couldn't even walk to the car without blacking out or lying down numerous times. I was a little worried that I was going to black out while driving - NOT good. I did make it, barely, and we got Dad home. At around 3am, Isaiah starts throwing up. I was a completely miserable zombie and Brad had to take care of it. I am so thankful that he was home because I could never have taken care of Isaiah - Brad was, however, NOT thankful that he was home! Isaiah was fine and dandy the next morning, while for days I felt like a truck ran me over. Again, after a few days, I figured everyone else was going to avoid the plague (oh, Brad had already gotten sick in San Diego - not the stomach flu, but the other aches, chills and fever flu). The following Tuesday (one week later) Elisha starts throwing up. That was a week ago tomorrow (gulp!) and Elias still hasn't had it. Surely if he were going to be sick he would've had it by now, right? RIGHT???

Friday, February 8, 2008

Paperback Swap

After my last post on reading, I figured it would be a good time to make a plug for Paperback Swap. What a great idea. If you aren't familiar with the club, then you ought to be. We LOVE books here at the Dunham house and this has been a great way to trade the ones that we don't want for ones that we do. You join the club (it's FREE!), post books that you want to part with, and request ones from other members that you would like. You receive a free credit for posting your first nine books and then each time you send out one of your books that another member has requested, you receive another credit with which you can request a book. The sending member always pays the postage (so you pay when you send, and they pay when you receive). We have gotten some great books - in perfect shape I might add! If you love books and you love getting things for almost free, then Paperback Swap might be for you. Check it out and see what you think . If you decide to join, please tell them that sent you and I will get free credits! There is also a DVD Swap and a CD swap. I have so many old CDs that I am ready to ditch. You know what they man's trash is another man's treasure! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

So Many Books, So Little Time

I LOVE to read, however, I think that I ought to be able to back that statement up with some proof. The zillions of books in our home or the love I have for books themselves might be enough evidence, but then again maybe not - how many of those beloved books have I read lately? The answer (other than the ones that I read aloud to the kids - and we do plenty of those during the year. Not the little story books, but real books) is Two! Lately, I have read two. Kind of pathetic for a woman who claims to love reading, but sadly that number is way up from what I had read in the previous few months - combined. I decided that this year I am going to back up my claim that I love to read. In order to do that, I decided to come up with a reading list. I like goals; lists that I can check off to prove that I am actually getting something accomplished. Some days I add things like "take shower", "make bed" so that I don't end the day thinking I really did nothing. Some days are just that way. You moms know just what I mean. So back to my reading list. I decided to post my proposed reading list here so that I will be more likely to stick to it. If I post it to the world (my mom and two friends!) then I will be really ashamed if I DON'T stick to it. My goal for January was to read "Mansfield Park"/Jane Austen (again!!) and "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God"/Stacey McDonald & Jennie Chancey. I did it....well, I finished one day late and I DID start "Mansfield Park" a couple of months ago but hardly read any of it then and finished the bulk of it in January. So, don't be arguing with me - I got to cross it off my list, so it counts. I would love to somehow fit 2 hours of reading a day into my schedule...pipe dream, I know. But wouldn't that be great? If I ever get it figured out, I will let you know. Okay, so here is the rest of the list. I reserve the right to change my list on a whim, but I will read. These are the ones that I am planning on reading during the months listed, but I do have others that I might insert as well. And this does not include the books that the kids and I read together - these are just my own personal reading choices. Okay, here goes:

Feb. – "Salad Bar Beef"/ Salatin, "The Heart of Anger"/ Prioli
"I Don't Read My Bible Enough" by Ron Smith
Mar. – "Home-Making", "Ben Hur"
April – "So Much More"/Botkin sisters (finish),
"Northanger Abbey" (reread)/Austen
May – "Herbal Antibiotics", "Hidden Art of Homemaking"/Schaefer
June – "Tale of Two Cities"/Dickens, "Age of Opportunity"/Tripp
July – "The Slave’s Champion" (Wilberforce bio.)

Others not yet assigned:
"How does a Poem Mean?" John Ciardi
"Ecomonics in One Lesson"/ Hazlitt
"Quo Vadis"
"Made to be His Helpmeet"/ Debbie Pearl
Something CS Lewis - cannot decide which....Grief Observed?, Surprised by Joy?
I am sure that I will come upon some great kids books to read too.

I will update as I go along. If anyone has any great suggestions, please let me know. Or if you have your own reading list, please post it for me. I started reading "Mansfield Park" because the Curles Girls had to read it for an online essay writing class and Jane Austen is one of my very favorite authors. I figured I would revisit this great piece with them. If you post something that you are reading, maybe I will read along with you!