Monday, 31 October 2011


There's a saying going around Facebook that says something like: The best thing about getting old in a small town is that if I forget what I'm doing, somebody else will know.

I'm not old yet, but I understand about other people knowing our business. We are blessed to live on a "through" road, so there is a bit of traffic past our house every day. A lot of that is from people we know, and even more is from people who know us. At least three families from our church live down our road, past our house. Another three families (or more) can get to their house from our road, and are related to people on our road. Next door is Bob's uncle; his cousin keeps hay in the barn adjoining our field.

I'm not good with faces, so I frequently run into people I've never seen before who ask about our children, or chickens, or some project we're working on. Today as I was walking the dog, a man 3 houses down was leaving in his car, and he backed up to ask me about our "little blue car" (the Mini). Really? If he walked past our house I wouldn't know from whence he came.

The Mennonites know who we are, though I can only distinguish a couple of them so far. Bob was identified as "the bucket guy" by the lady who works at the cake store, because he occasionally goes in to buy a food bucket. Surely other people do, too? Maybe we're just the only ones who don't buy a cake when we go in.

Anyway, I don't really have a point to all this, just a reminder to my self that people are watching all the time (and people aren't as forgiving as God) so I better be good.

Friday, 28 October 2011

giveaway on the other "olive" blog

Once upon a time I searched for Mama Olive or Oliveplants or some such derivative to see if Google knew about me, and I ended up on a blog called "Raising Olives." Guess what - they are another large, homeschooling family. We don't share all convictions, but I support 99% of what I read there.
Anyway, she is a lot bigger deal than I am and doesn't need my hat tip, but today she's hosting a giveaway of a study guide for Proverbs, by Kevin Swanson. You probably haven't heard of him, either, but he was the host of the Family Camp we went to in New Mexico back when Cedwryck was the baby. He also has a radio show.
So I want to win this book, and a blog post gets me 3 entries.

Raising Olives is here

Kevin Swanson's page, where you can buy the books, is here.

Monday, 24 October 2011


I loved this skit! My American friends should know that Orange is a network, like Verizon, and a dongle is a little hardware thing that plugs into a computer.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


A few days ago, Riah was not hearing anything. He would "Huh?" almost every statement, if he answered at all. We've had his hearing checked before, and the mechanics are all fine. After a day or two of this, I got off my procrastinator and looked in his ears.



They were so full of hard, thick wax that it looked like he'd broken off the tip of a crayon in there! I started digging, carefully but persistently. I worked out a couple of chunks, then poured in the peroxide and let it work awhile. And the next day I did it all again. I finally made some headway, and thought I'd got to the bottom of the problem one evening.

The next morning, Riah knocked on my bedroom door (it was 7am and we'd just got up) and said, "My ear hurts." I was immediately awash with guilt - what if I'd gone too far and poked something that isn't meant to be touched? So I answered that we HAD been doing a lot of poking around in there... When we got up we learned it wasn't my fault at all.

He had a small cut on the top of his ear, and the whole top half was a big ugly bruise! Ella said she heard Riah yell in the middle of the night, but Riah didn't remember doing so. We still don't know what happened, but the clues so far are: Riah was sharing Cedwryck's bed (maybe they were fighting in their sleep?),
There was a wind-up flashlight in the bed (the handle folds down, and he could have pinched his ear in there),
There was a "Bobby" hat in the bed (that Bob bought when he was in London for his sleep study) and it has a crack that could have pinched the ear.

The cut is heeled now, but the ear is still bruised and therefore I cannot dig any more. His hearing has improved somewhat, but is not back 100% yet.


Monday, 10 October 2011

A tale of two cakes

Riah's birthday was in late September, and William's was today.

Riah invited everyone he knew to come over for his party, and had me cook a feast for them, including a "castle" cake. He's had castles before, most notably the "Robin Hood" themed one in 2008, but this year he made it easy - he wanted one like Taryn had when she was 6. THAT castle is my Mom's fault - she made one for me at least 2 years when I was growing up, and she even made Taryn's that year, because it was just 2 weeks after Cedwryck was born. So I agreed to give it my best shot.

I started off with 2 9x13" chocolate cakes. Except the first one was cooling on the counter, minding its own business, when apparently someone walked over and sat on it. That was bad, but not a total loss, since one cake had to be cut up anyway. The second cake was therefore invested with all my hopes for perfection. It stuck to the pan. Completely torn in half. So what did I do? Left it there and went out to the flea markets in town with my parents, who were down for the party. Yes, the same mom who made the original and perfect castle cake that I was trying to emulate.

Anyway, time and frosting heal most wounds, and we ended up with this:

William's wants were a little different. His main goal for the day was to get to play Wii. He wanted to be home, with just us, and for his cake he wanted a car. He's had cars before, that being his main love in life - right next to puzzles. When he was little, he'd go to sleep with a Hot Wheels car instead of a stuffed animal. He had a pickup one year, and a car last year (not sure of the other year; it's written down in my cake book that's still packed in a box, in the building). Anyway, I wanted to do a "3D" car, not just a picture of one. Taryn and Naysha made the batter - a peanut butter cake, which turned out to be the perfect consistency for making a shaped cake - and Bob came up with the basic design of the cake. All I had to do was frost it.
It turned out looking way better than this; I know Bob's camera did something to make it look all smudged like that! I was so proud...

The writing was supposed to be purple, but looked pretty pinkish in real life. William didn't seem to mind.

a whole week!

I have a nice post planned, but I'm waiting on the pictures. ahem!

So anyway... Bob has just finished 2 weeks of online college. He's not a reader, so I've been helping him with that quite a bit. Taryn is helping teach the younger ones their math lessons.

College has proven to be stressful in many unexpected ways, and amusing in others. One assignment was to make a realistic calendar (homeschoolers call it a schedule) and post it to the class. One student had this to say: "don't know how to do the calendar thing this is bad and no help don't make it easy but my calendar would have easy to read and you coud fine it easy to and would show you how to make yours if you need one." huh.

Either way, it takes up a lot of time, and I'm learning things about Design that I hope I never have to use. We are also learning about each others learning styles, and natural intelegences and other psychological stuff. Apparently Bob learns best by looking at pictures in a group setting, with no music. I learn best alone, by reading, with music. So it is challenging for us to do the class together, but I think it's good for us. Also, he's a "global" learner, and I'm sequential. So when I help read the texts, I have to control the mouse - he's all over the page and it makes me dizzy!

Otherwise, we are raising the chickens, walking the dog, and finally harvesting some tomatoes. (Tomatoes are usually harvested around June/July, but mine are a little behind schedule.)

I see pictures in my future! Thanks, Bob.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

oh well

Was going to do a very clever diatribe about the death penalty and the media...

But the chocolate oat bars got done first, and chocolate trumps politics.


(I guess now we all know why my blog isn't famous already.)