Monthly Archives: October 2007

In Everything, Give Thanks

Today, while helping me do coin-op laundry, Anna dropped a quarter between 2 dryers. At first I gave up and considered the quarter lost, but then I decided to try pushing one of the dryers over to see if the quarter could be reached. It worked, and Anna was able to use her thinner arms to get it out for me. I continued doing laundry and thought nothing else of it.

Later, as went to put my clothes in the dryer, someone else had clothes in the only available dryer. I set to work folding their clothes (because I don’t like to have my fresh-dried clothes stuffed in a basket in an “I don’t care” manner). While I was folding, I discovered that some of her clothes did not get very dry. About half way through my folding, an Asian woman walked in and motioned that she owned the not-so-dry clothes. I showed her that some of her clothes were still damp and stepped back to let her take over.

As I began removing my clothes from the washing machine, she just stood there staring at her clothes like she didn’t know what to do. You can’t just put a quarter in these dryers and have 6 minutes of dry time. You have to put the whole $1.75 in and get a full 62 minutes. All I knew to do was tell her I was sorry this was happening to her, and follow her suggestion not to use that dryer for my load.

When I went to pull my final load, her clothes were still sitting there waiting to finish drying. My load was dry and still had 7 minutes left on the timer. These dryers will let you add extra quarters once you have begun the cycle, but she wasn’t there, and I didn’t have a single quarter with me. I put her clothes in anyway, thinking 7 minutes was better than nothing.

Then I remembered my earlier experience with dropping a quarter between the dryers and almost giving up. Maybe someone else had dropped a quarter back there and left it. I went over to the washers and pulled one over a bit, and sure enough there was one single quarter laying on the floor. I grabbed it and stuck it in her dryer, bringing her minutes up to 14! I think that was probably enough to finish drying her clothes! I was so excited to be able to help and, oddly enough, thankful for dropping a quarter between 2 dryers!

Harvest Party 2007

Last Sunday, our church got together for a harvest party. We had a cookout, roasted marshmallows, a pinata, and pie baking contest. One very exciting thing is that I WON THE PIE BAKING CONTEST (thanks Mom & Rebekah for the recipe), and my friend Christy got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places! Go Christy!!

There were 2 pinatas. Anna was in the older group, and Peter, Phillip, and Bethany were in the younger group. I didn’t figure Bethany would get much candy, but I gave her a bag anyway. I was shocked to see her picking it up by the hand full! It was so funny! She got more candy than the boys did!!

At one point I walked in the kitchen to find our pastor’s 11 year old daughter standing in the kitchen licking a mounded plate of whipped cream. Luke walked up and said, “I’ve wanted to do this to someone all my life,” and hit the bottom of the plate right into her face. She laughed and turned bright red. It was hilarious! By the way, this is the same girl Anna partnered with in a 3 legged race at the party. They made an interesting pair because there is about a foot and a half difference in their heights. Amazingly, they won! Anna tells me they practiced by walking around the house together. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had fun at the Harvest party and came home with fuller stomachs than we probably should have! Wish you could have been there!! If you weren’t there, take a look at some pictures.

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Anna Can Type!!

A year or two ago, we began teaching Anna how to type. Actually, we found a free computer program that taught her. We told her that for now, we would like for her to type as fast as her age, with an eventual goal of 20 words per minute. She is finally to the point that she can type without looking at the keys with an average error rate of 17%! And guess what!!! Today she scored 20 words per minute with a 15% error rate!! She is so excited!!!ย  Before long, she’ll be typing papers for college students! ๐Ÿ™‚ Way to go, Anna!!

Phillipโ€™s Phunnies

Phillip tends to not empty his bladder when he goes potty. The other day, after he went, I told him to go again. He said, “It won’t come out, mom!” So he started hitting himself on the backside to make more come out. It kind of resembled a kid pretending to ride a horse, but sure enough he went a little more! Maybe he knows something I don’t? Here are a few other cute/funny things he has said in the last few days:

“There is no ‘yes-yes,’ just no-no.” (As in “no-no Bethany”)

“Mom, will you give me some green beans so I can give them to Peter so he can untangle the necklaces I tangled up for him?” (because green beans make you strong/smart).

One Little Boy

This poem by Helen E. Buckley gave me a new perspective on homeschooling. I knew homeschooling can bring out creativity, but I never thought of public school actually squelching creativity. Maybe that’s what happened to me! ๐Ÿ™‚


Once a little boy went to school.
He was quite a little boy
And it was quite a big school.
But when the little boy
Found that he could go to his room
By walking right in from the door outside
He was happy;
And the school did not seem
Quite so big anymore.

One morning
When the little boy had been in school awhile,
The teacher said:
“Today we are going to make a picture.”
“Good!” thought the little boy.
He liked to make all kinds;
Lions and tigers,
Chickens and cows,
Trains and boats;
And he took out his box of crayons
And began to draw.

But the teacher said, “Wait!”
“It is not time to begin!”
And she waited until everyone looked ready.
“Now,” said the teacher,
“We are going to make flowers.”
“Good!” thought the little boy,
He liked to make beautiful ones
With his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said “Wait!”
“And I will show you how.”
And it was red, with a green stem.
“There,” said the teacher,
“Now you may begin.”

The little boy looked at his teacher’s flower
Then he looked at his own flower.
He liked his flower better than the teacher’s
But he did not say this.
He just turned his paper over,
And made a flower like the teacher’s.
It was red, with a green stem.

On another day
When the little boy had opened
The door from the outside all by himself,
The teacher said:
“Today we are going to make something with clay.”
“Good!” thought the little boy;
He liked clay.
He could make all kinds of things with clay:
Snakes and snowmen,
Elephants and mice,
Cars and trucks
And he began to pull and pinch
His ball of clay.

But the teacher said, “Wait!”
“It is not time to begin!”
And she waited until everyone looked ready.
“Now,” said the teacher,
“We are going to make a dish.”
“Good!” thought the little boy,
He liked to make dishes.
And he began to make some
That were all shapes and sizes.

But the teacher said “Wait!”
“And I will show you how.”
And she showed everyone how to make
One deep dish.
“There,” said the teacher,
“Now you may begin.”

The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish;
Then he looked at his own.
He liked his better than the teacher’s
But he did not say this.
He just rolled his clay into a big ball again
And made a dish like the teacher’s.
It was a deep dish.

And pretty soon
The little boy learned to wait,
And to watch
And to make things just like the teacher.
And pretty soon
He didn’t make things of his own anymore.

Then it happened
That the little boy and his family
Moved to another house,
In another city,
And the little boy
Had to go to another school.
This school was even bigger
Than the other one.
And there was no door from the outside
Into his room.
He had to go up some big steps
And walk down a long hall
To get to his room.
And the very first day
He was there,
The teacher said:
“Today we are going to make a picture.”
“Good!” thought the little boy.
And he waited for the teacher
To tell what to do.
But the teacher didn’t say anything.
She just walked around the room.

When she came to the little boy
She asked, “Don’t you want to make a picture?”
“Yes,” said the lttle boy.
“What are we going to make?”
“I don’t know until you make it,” said the teacher.
“How shall I make it?” asked the little boy.
“Why, anyway you like,” said the teacher.
“And any color?” asked the little boy.
“Any color,” said the teacher.
“If everyone made the same picture,
And used the same colors,
How would I know who made what,
And which was which?”
“I don’t know,” said the little boy.
And he began to make a red flower with a green stem.

-Helen E. Buckley

The Best Pancake Recipe

This is the 3rd pancake recipe I have posted , but this is the recipe. I got this recipe from Luke’s mom, and it is the best! I actually have this recipe memorized and no longer have the recipe card. I want to post it here so I don’t forget it, and so maybe Anna can make pancakes without me telling her all the ingredients.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 c milk or water
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  1. Beat eggs and oil together with wire whisk
  2. Add sugar and cinnamon and beat again
  3. Add milk or water and beat
  4. Slowly add flour

I use water, and I think the pancakes taste just as good as with milk. I also tend to use a little less flour than this recipe calls for because we prefer thinner pancakes. For a special treat, add chocolate chips to the batter or put chocolate chips on top as each pancake comes out of the pan (and maybe top with cool whip). Delicious!


I have been fighting a battle with Phillip for over a year now, trying to get him potty trained. He was almost completely trained and then suddenly started wetting his pants at least once a day. I tried giving him a sticker when he stayed dry. I tried praising him for staying dry and telling him what a big boy he was, and even tried disciplinary actions, but nothing seemed to work.

Finally after reading a book about strong-willed children, we started giving him the idea that he was in control by saying, “Phillip, you need to go potty” (stating a fact) instead of “Phillip, go potty” (giving an order). I thought it sounded crazy, but I was desperate and decided to try it. I was absolutely amazed! When I just stated a simple fact (you need to go potty), he stopped what he was doing immediately, and went! This seems to work with him on just about anything I want him to do.

I am extremely glad to say that not only has Phillip stayed dry almost every day this week, but he has stayed dry overnight the last 3 nights! To be fair, I can’t give all the credit to reading a book. Maybe he just decided he wanted to be a big boy and was tired of having his legs break out (eczema) from sleeping in a diaper (plus realizing that little sister is about ready to begin potty training). ๐Ÿ™‚ He seemed to suddenly make up his mind to stay dry and then went for it! Regardless of the reason or motivation, I am SO glad to see this finally happening!

Phillip, Youโ€™re Pretty Cool!

Almost every morning, Phillip wakes me up with something I don’t mind being woken up to hear. He says, “Mommy, you are pretty.” Then he is very likely to walk over to the other side of the bed and say, “Daddy, you are cool.” Don’t you think he will make a great husband some day? (Of course that’s a long, looooooong time from now!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Until then I will enjoy the praise he seeks to give others and try to praise him as much as I possibly can…and hope that his future wife does the same! ๐Ÿ™‚