Saturday, August 30, 2008

Name Change

Hi, my name is... guess what? Take a guess. Any guess will do. But you probably won't guess THIS name!!

Er... huh? What? How did you get THAT from Carody???

Apparently this is what they heard when I went through the drive-through at Starbucks and they asked me for my name. Which has never happened before. Not the going through the drive-through part, obviously (I could happily live in the Starbucks drive-through... yes, Bonnie, I went there today, after we just went there yesterday... it's been a happy weekend!), but the asking for my name part. I thought they only did that when you went inside.

So I didn't spell out my name for him, because I wanted to just see what he came up with. Well, I didn't even notice the name on my cup until we were halfway through the card class I went to this morning with my friend Jaymee. We went to Roni's house (Roni is an awesome Stampin' Up! demonstrator who has a make-10-different-cards-for-12-dollars class at her house once a month) to make our ten cards, and I was so excited about the class (and a bit confused because I hadn't turned on the right street to get to her house, so we had to backtrack just a bit) that I forgot to check out my cup after we left Starbucks.

Then during the class, Jaymee asked me what my cup said. And we all had quite the laugh.

I'm still giggling, actually. Who in their right minds would name their child Tyranny?

In other news (or could it be related?) I found a FUN website just for redheads (I hear we can be a bit tyrannical), at It is too fun, and I ordered a couple of shirts from there. I'll show them to you when they arrive.

I went to Mardel -- my new favorite place -- on Thursday night (Mike gave me the night off! Yay!!) and bought two huge maps, one USA and one world map, for the wall of our school room. Griffin is always really interested in where places are, and where we are going, and I thought it would be fun to get him started with geography early. I loved geography, and {shameless bragging about to happen, brace yourself} my junior college World Geography professor wrote a letter to a well-known university and recommended me for a geography scholarship, all without my knowledge. I got a letter from the university praising me for my accomplishment in the area of geography, which came as a huge surprise to me, because I thought my geography professor didn't like any of us.

Anyway, I am preparing for our homeschool year to officially start on Tuesday. It won't be anything earth-shattering, but we will be trying out a new schedule, which we'll need to adjust often, I'm sure. I'd like for Griffin to stop taking naps, and for us have school time during Sammy's nap. We'll see if that happens or not. Griffin sleeps really well at naptime, so his little energetic body might need the rest that a nap provides, even if he is 4 years old.

I have been studying all of the different methods of homeschooling, so that I can tailor the boys' education to their learning styles. There are so many choices!


*Principle Approach

*Traditional Textbook

*Charlotte Mason

*Unit Study

*Special Needs



*Unschooling/Delight Directed

*Whole-Heart Learning

Just to name a few!

The choices are many, and it will be nice to be able to have the flexibility to teach the boys in the way that they can learn best. I think that right now, our best bets are going to be reading, educational games, and learning by experiencing. I'm also going to use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann, Haddox and Bruner. It is supposed to take about 20 minutes a day, and if we do it every weekday we'll be done with the program in 20 weeks. I have the full curriculum from Sonlight for Pre-K, too, so we have a lot ot look forward to this year!

Well, I think I'll go watch a movie with Mike before bed. He was off of work on Friday, and will be off again on Monday, so this has been a nice break!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Different Kind of Before and After



You can barely see it, but it's there... and it didn't go away for about 24 hours after he ripped all of those little stickers off of his poor sensitive belly. Poor guy inherited his Mommy's skin!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dog Pillow

We got Gordon a new big, soft, plushy, multi-layered dog pillow, made by Cesar something-or-other, the "Dog Whisperer"... and as you can plainly see, the dog just LOVES his new pillow.

Yeah. Whatever. He sleeps on it sometimes (when we tell him to). Only once or twice have I found him there of his own accord. In fact, I have to take a picture of this, be right back...
We even put his "blankie" on it, and he still hasn't quite warmed up to it yet.


This is what happens when the boys are quiet and sleeping. I revert to my dog-picture-taking days. I have so many pictures of animals from before we had kids. Now the animals are SO neglected.

Not really.
Here is a picture I took of Cleo last week. I actually took about 20 pictures of her, because she was doing all sorts of poses for me. We had quite the photo shoot. Isn't she cute? And she doesn't really "meow"... she squeaks. And she makes REALLY funny noises when she watches the birds out the front window.

I'm off to a kids' clothing blowout/sale/clearance event. Yay!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Occupation: Housewife

This was in Great Grandma's trunk. It is typewritten on an old yellowed piece of paper.

Occupation: Housewife

What am I doing with my life?
Well --- I am only a housewife.
I'm homework-helper, expert on spelling,
The keeper of secrets without telling,
A band-aider, a hurt-feelings mender,
A peanut butter and jelly vendor,
I'm a bed-maker, laundry supervisor,
Child disciplinarian, a chastiser,
A baseball catcher, a Girl Scout leader,
A hamster breeder, an animal feeder.
I'm a rummage-saler, P.T.A. doer,
Children's piano-practicing pursuer,
A thermometer-reader, cookie baker,
A spring planter-weeder, a fall leaf-raker.
I am a table-duster, vacuummer-mopper,
Little League rooter, argument stopper,
A gourmet chef, hamburger fryer,
Food-purchasing agent, clothing buyer.
I'm a romantic lover, chatty talker,
A midnight to 2 a.m. baby-walker.
A business listener, a sock-sewer,
A concert, a big game, recital-goer.
I'm a dog-minder, lost items finder,
Everyone's daily agenda reminder,
A nose-wiper, an aching-neck rubber,
Itching-back scratcher, dirty-head scrubber.
That's what I'm doing with my life:
I'm only a housewife.

There is no author's name recorded, so I don't know who wrote it. It's a fairly accurate description of what I do all day, though! With a few exceptions, of course. I mean, you DO have to have a girl to do Girl Scouts, right?

I love my job! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Letters to Great Grandma

I spent this past weekend at my Grandma's house helping her clean her garage before her big move happens in a week and a half. Christy went too, and although she couldn't lift anything too heavy because of her pregnant state (it's a BOY!!!), she had more energy than I would have thought for someone who is 5 months pregnant. We also loaded up some heavy flowerpots and a birdbath that would have cost a lot to move when you are paying by the pound. and dropped them off at my aunt and uncle's house, close to where Grandma will be moving.

While we were working in the garage at Grandma's, we had the privilege of sorting through an old trunk that belonged to my Great-Grandma Hobbs. In it were pictures of families I am related to but will never get the opportunity to meet in this lifetime, and some pictures of family members I know well, most of them taken when they were children and young adults.

It was fun to see Grandma, Mom, Aunt Susan and Uncle Marty as babies, young people, teens, and young adults. Since I didn't get to know them until they were all adults, it is hard to imagine them being so young, so seeing those pictures was priceless! Grandma will keep most of them, obviously, but I got to bring a few home with me.

Also in the trunk were letters and cards from Great Grandma's grandchildren and great-grandchildren (yes, some from me). Most were thank you cards from birthdays and Christmas. Here is just a sample of the progression of my writing skillz.

I was 6 when I wrote this beauty:

Dear Grandma
we went tothe
fire Department
ihave a loose tooth.
i am having a Birtday
Pretty Soon.

Also from when I was 6:

Dear Grandma
Thank (backwards "k") youfor the
gloves and the
BarBie yougave me
and the nigtgown
i Love you.

I was so much more eloquent when I was 7 years old. Here is a sample:

Dear Grandma Hobbs.
I realy likedthe
letter you gaveme.
did you know that
my tooth came out?

I like you a
hole bunch !

And this is from when I was 8 yrs. old:

Dear Grandma Hobbs,
Thank you for
the $5 bill and thank
youfor the card.
It was very
nice of you.

And then I turned 9 and became VERY grown up. I wrote in my best cursive, and all of the letters slanted to the right at the perfect angle.

Dear Grandma Hobbs,
Thank you for the money. I
liked it very much. (read: I spent it the day after I got it in the mail.) I had a
wonderful birthday. I hope I
will see you sometime.

Then I reverted back to straight up-and-down printing for my Christmas thank-you letter.

Dear Grandma Hobbs,

Thank you for the pajamas, they fit
really well. And I've used the soaps alot.
I hope you had a nice Christmas.
Happy New Year!

Carody (this had a heart around it)
Then I turned 10, and my Grandma complimented me on my cursive, and I swore I would never write in anything but cursive ever again.

Dear Grandma,
I love you. I had a wonderful birthday.
Thank you for the $5.00. I am having
fun at school. I hope I can see you soon.

The summer when I was 10, we (Christy and I) stayed for a week at Great Grandma's house in a teeny tiny town. She had barns, an outhouse, a garden, a forbidden well, and lots of little places in her yard where my sister and I could hide out and play those rhythmic hand-slapping rhyming games. We also took a lot of walks on the old train tracks that went through the town. This is what I wrote after that experience. Also in cursive, on pink Hello Kitty paper.

Dear Grandma,
Thank you for let-
ting us stay at
your house. We
has lots of fun.
Eating ice cream
and smushing
it was fun.
I had fun
when we went
to the stores too.
Thank you for
buying clothes
for us. We liked

Then I turned 11. I was very hung up on being proper in my letter-writing, but I didn't put a lot of thought into what I wrote. Here goes! Yes, still in cursive. I even underlined it all.

Carody _____
my address
the rest of my address
April 14 1991

Dear Grandma,
Thank you for the
$5.00. I had a great
birthday. I hope I
can see you soon!
Sorry it's late!

Carody ____ _____
After my 11-year-old Christmas. My handwriting looks constipated, but it is still in cursive. I also printed this "card" (piece of paper folded into fourths) from our Atari. I was SO mature.

Dear Grandma Hobbs,
Thank you for the
picture book and the
pajamas. I've worn
the pajamas almost
every night. The
picture book is neat.
I had a great Christmas.

When I turned 12, apparently I decided I had had enough of the cursive for a while. My printing was sloppy and pointed in all different directions.

Dear Grandma Hobbs,
(I do remember that when I wrote this letter, I was very annoyed because I ran out of ink after writing "Dear Grandma Hobbs," and had to change pens, and the pen I switched to had a different shade of blue ink than the first line of my letter. Ugh. A pen-lover's nightmare.)

Thankyousoverymuch for the
pajamas & the cross-stitching set.
They are wonderful! The pajamas
fit perfectly. I'm sure I'll start
on the cross-stitching set soon.
Have a very Merry Christmas &
a Happy New Year! I am
having a great school year, &
I hope it continues that
way. I love you very much!

Carody _____
(sometimes I signed my last name, sometimes I didn't)
When I was 13, I enjoyed using "big" words, like "appreciate," and "sometime" (is that a word? I think not). Still writing in print, but very, very neat print.

Dear Great-Grandma Hobbs,

Thank you for the card and the $5.00. I really
appreciate them. I hope you are feeling well.
Maybe we'll get to see you sometime soon.
I had a wonderful birthday!

For some reason, there aren't any letters from when I was 14. Maybe I was rebelling? Poor Great Grandma! But look at this one from when I was 15. I wrote for me and for Wesley, who was 6.

Dear Grandma Hobbs,

This is from Carody and Wesley. We
hope you have a wonderful Labor Day.
We hope we can see you soon. We also
hope (we were very hopeful) you can use this bookmark. It
is a little early, but Wesley couldn't
wait. He says this is enough writing.
He drew a picture for you.

There was a picture of an apple that I drew, and then a very elaborate picture of what I can only assume is Great Grandma. He drew her with big curly hair, a big smile, and some more hair on the side of her face (huh?). The only reason I know this is because I carefully labeled everything. I remember that Wesley was very precise in his drawings, and always wanted everyone to know exactly what everything was in his pictures. He always drew people with their "arms and hands stuck together" and with their "legs and feet stuck together." I wonder what the psychological assessment of his pictures would determine about his personality.

When I was 16, I wrote this letter with a green marker on construction paper. Must have been Wesley's idea! I had gone back to my wonderful cursive handwriting, with just the slightest bit of tilt to the right.

Thank you for letting us join
you for lunch and supper. We
really enjoyed it. "Thank you
for the book," says Wesley. I
say thank you for the note
pad. I can really use it
Hope we can see you again
soon. We love you!
Carody & Wesley

Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane!

Powder Puff

Need I say more? But, yet again, I will.

I swept three times over the course of the day it happened (sweep, wait for it to settle, sweep, wait for it to settle, sweep) and now you'd never know the floor sported a layer of baby powder. And the carpet. And the furniture. And the upstairs. All. Of. It.

But I'm maintaining my sense of humor, because you just have to laugh, right? And put them in time out until they are 5.

I put him (yes, it was Sammy) in time out for the entire time it took me to clean up the mess. Which was basically all morning. Three hours, I think? He was begging for a spanking about half way through my cleaning, and when I was done, I went to the couch to tell him he could get down and this is what I saw.

He was all tuckered out from working so hard! I mean, it must have taken him a long time to cover so much ground (pun intended). He started very early, because it was that way when I woke up at 7am.
No more sleeping in for Mommy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When I Grow Up

At bathtime tonight, as the boys sat soaking in a tub full of warm bubbles, Griffin and I had this conversation.

G: When Sammy and I grow up, we're going to get married.

M: Yeah... but not to each other.

G: No, I'm going to marry you!

M: Well, that's very nice, but I'm already married to Daddy, and we can only marry one person.

G: Oh.

M: You will meet a very nice girl when you get older, and you will want to marry her!

G: And then we'll have a baby.

M: And then you can have your baby!

(background: Griffin has been talking quite a bit lately about having a baby when he gets older. He can't wait to be a Daddy!)

G: I want a boy baby.

M: You do, huh?

G: Yeah. And then I'll have to buy a crib!

M: You will need a crib. And a stroller. And a carseat. And lots of diapers. And baby food. And maybe a swing...

G: Mommy?

M: Yes, sweetie?

G: Did you see the Lego tower I made? It was so tall, it went all the way up to my neck!

And that was that.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

We have a Wii

Oh my. Do wii ever. I mean we. Have a Wii, that is. So many jokes, so little time.

Mike got a Wii with some of his hard-earned spendin' money, and we have been enjoying the fruits of his labor ever since! For anyone who isn't familiar with the Wii (pronounced "we"), it is a game system made by Nintendo. The system has SO many available games, all priced between about $20 and $50.

When you buy the Wii system, it comes with the Sports CD, which has tennis, golf, bowling, baseball and boxing. You have a handheld device that senses your every movement, and in bowling, for instance, you press a button on the device, act like it is your bowling ball, hold it up under your chin, then swing back and release the button when you want to release your bowling ball. Did you get all of that?

It is very realistic... except you don't have to actually hold the 12-pound ball, and you don't have to wait for the pins to reset themselves after you're done with your first ball. (Unless you are Mike, and can actually get a strike!)

Mike thought it would be nice to get an arcade-type game, so he took us all with him to Best Buy (big mistake). One hundred and forty dollars later, I am a very happy woman.

Okay, well, my stuff was only about $110. So there.

He bought me the Wii Fit. If you have heard anything bad about the Wii Fit, I'd like to know. I am personally head-over-heels in love with this system. The Fit system includes a white board that is about 2 1/2 feet by 1 1/2 feet, and about 2 inches off the ground. It senses your every movement, just like the handheld device. It has a CD with it that includes balance games, aerobic exercises, strength training exercises and yoga. Everything has music and it feels like you are playing games rather than exercising! With the possible exception of yoga. Because I don't know of any games where you hold the Tree pose for as long as possible. I'm working my way up to yoga. Right now I am finding my center of balance.

My favorite "games" or exercises are the balance boards where you have to try to get all of the balls to fall through the holes on the balance board without them falling off the sides of the board (you control the board's movements with your feet), the hula hoops (please don't try to picture ME doing hula hoops, your brain might fall out), the step exercises, the soccer hit-the-balls-flying-at-you-with-your-head game, and the ski jump. Sounds like fun, no? I usually last 17 minutes before my ankles are killing me and I have to sit down. That's my hour of exercise per week! And it's fun. What more could I ask for?

Have I mentioned that I love my husband? He's the best!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Coat Closet: Before and After



I know, I know... how much fun is it to look at someone else's closet??? But I am totally inspired by before and afters, so I thought I would start posting some of my own. Not all at once, of course, because who wants to clean out all of their closets at one time!? Not me!!!! No, I am taking this one space at a time, and I'm sure that by the time I am finished the first space will need to be changed again.
And you know how it goes. When you reorganize one space, the junk from that space starts to invade the rest of the house. So now I need to find homes for everything that was living in my coat closet without my permission. Wish me luck!

From the Mouths of Babes...

Babes or 4-year-olds, take your pick.

I ran out of my ultra-wonderful super-hold my-favorite-in-the-world but not-for-sensitive-scalps hairspray last weekend. This stuff is so powerful that it's the only thing I need to use in my hair to make it do what I want it to do, and it stays all day. But enough commercials.

The following conversation ensued after 3 days of no-hairspray-for-Mommy.


G: Mommy, your hair is yucky.

M: Wh.... what did you just say?

G: Your hair is yucky!

M: Um... okay?

G: no response

M: So. Does my hair look yucky or smell yucky? (Don't ask me why I asked him that, it was a heat-of-the-moment thing.)

G: BOTH. {no hesitation at all}

And that was the end of that conversation. I still don't have any of my uber-wonderful hairspray yet, but I'm planning to remedy that situation with a night off tomorrow night. Or maybe if Mike works from home today I'll go out during naptime, because, oh yeah, our family pictures are ready and waiting for us at Wally World's picture studio. I can't wait to see them!