Friday, June 30, 2006

Very funny!

OK, it seems to me that God has quite the sense of humor where I'm concerned lately.

Last night, while trying to get settled in for bed, I decided to talk to God for a minute, and ask for His direction with our school plans.

Today my husband lets me know that he received a small bonus, and though he wants to buy something baseball related for Austin's fall season, the rest I can do with as I wish. Right here I'll insert that I had pushed My Father's World out of my mind because of a lack of funds to purchase it, after I had bought the things I did at the convention. Also, I was considering purchasing a reading curriculum like Bob Jones or Abeka for Austin, but again, no funds.

Now I have funds. Unfortunately, He forgot to attach a memo letting me know what I should use the funds towards. MFW? Bob Jones reading? Abeka reading? Reece's RDI evaluation deposit?

Yeah, very funny! Thanks a bunch! ;) More decisions!

Only 7 more days?!

Actually, it's less than that! This time next week, I will probably still be sleeping since I will have gotten home from the midnight showing of POTC 2!! I can't wait! I have been trying so hard not to have the storyline spoiled for me, but it's hard with all the publicity this movie is getting!

I can't wait to see my Captain again on the BIG SCREEN!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's still crunch time!

OK, today is the 28th of June, and that means there are 2 days until my self-imposed deadline to have all the homeschooling curricula decisions made so I can begin planning. I have to admit I haven't even thought about homeschooling curriculum this week. I've been consumed with worry over Austin's possibly scolosis, since the autism specialist noted it at his evaluation last week. We found out at the orthopedist yesterday that he doesn't have scoliosis, rather he has one leg that is shorter than the other which makes it appear that he has scoliosis. We just have to keep an eye on it. The relief is unbelievable, and I crashed on the bed yesterday afternoon.

Little did I know, I was going to wake up this morning coughing, sneezing, and with a sore throat. And not just me, but Austin and Reece as well. Russ confirmed with a phone call that he, too, has the crud. I think Riley had it over the weekend (she was sneezing alot) and is now over it. I cancelled our plans for today and we'll just hang out and try to get better! But that means that any serious decision-making is just NOT going to happen right now.

We only have another week of summer school! After that the kids will be busy for the following 2 weeks, and that's mid-July and I have got to get planning! ACK!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's crunch time!

OK, there are 6 more days of June. I had decided that I would not place any further curriculum orders until July 1st, because I knew I was struggling with my final decision on history (which my husband points out to me frequently is really not a very important decision for a 2nd and 4th grader! LOL). But it seems the way I approach history basically determines everything else!

So now, it's time to do some real thinking and decide where my priorities lie. Everything else is decided upon, as posted earlier, except I did go ahead and place Riley back in Calvert Math. I'm not sure why I thought I had to switch her out, too. I like Calvert Math! :) I just have to determine if I want to do the one-year of World History using CHOW, or if I want to continue on with Story of the World. Either way we're cool... maybe I'll just flip a coin! ;)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blog Prompt from Two Peas (via Jan's Blog)

1. FIRST NAME? Jennifer
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Jennifer O'Neil, the actress
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last night
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Boars Head Honey Roast Turkey Breast
6. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? yes
7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? LOL I don't know, I'm annoying sometimes! ;)
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Just with my husband and dad
10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? yes
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? NO WAY!
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No.
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not a bit!
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Turtle Tracks
16. SHOE SIZE? 8
17. RED OR PINK? Red
18. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I eat my feelings!
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Not anyone really
20. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? early 70s, Illinois
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? denim shorts, barefoot in the house
22. WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Stouffers French Bread Pizza (real healthy LOL)
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Reece crying
24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? green
25. FAVORITE SMELL? Yankee Candles in the fall
26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED WITH ON THE PHONE? my husband
27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MEET? their eyes
28. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? nope!
29. FAVORITE DRINK? Mr. Pibb
30. FAVORITE SPORT? baseball
31. HAIR COLOR? whatever I'm in the mood for, currently brown with blonde highlights
32. EYE COLOR? blue-green
33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no
34. FAVORITE FOOD? Fried Mozzarella from TGIFridays
35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? happy ending
36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Cars at the theater, The Pink Panther at home
37. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? turquoise
38. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter
39. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
41. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome
42. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Crazy Church (from our old church)
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? music
44. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? beatles
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME California
46. IF YOU COULD PICK ANY TWO PEOPLE TO HAVE DINNER WITH, WHO WOULD
THEY BE? Johnny Depp (or rather, Captain Jack) and Dr. Gutstein (the RDI guy), though probably not at the same time! ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Three cheers for marketing!



This time around, it seems that no stone has been left unturned, no treasure left unhunted... the marketers are pushing POTC hard and fast! And I am buying! :)

I bought The Game of Life POTC edition tonight at Target! I just couldn't resist! They had another game set that included checkers, chess, and a dice game "as seen in the movie". I will wait on that, but I want it as well! There were little chapter books, and coloring books, and all sorts of wonderful stuff! I want it all!!

I am SO excited about seeing the movie! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Holland Schmolland

I'm not sure if I've put this up here before, or if I've just meant to put it up and forgot!

Holland Schmolland

About once a month on one of my autism groups, someone asks for the "Holland" article. It's about having a child with special needs. How you've planned during the pregnancy to go to Italy, and you end up in Holland. And Holland is lovely, and has it's own rewards, etc.

And then someone will always post "Holland Schmolland"! At first, I didn't know what to make of it. But something about it is appealing to me. I mean, after all, if we weren't in Schmolland, we wouldn't have conversations like this one at church on Sunday:

Austin: I have to go potty, again! (for the 2nd time during the service, so he gets up and leaves)

Mom, after Austin's back: Are you feeling OK, honey?

Austin: Yes, mom. I thought I had to go, but then I got there and I didn't have to go. Maybe I have an enlarging prostate?

Mom tries to stiffle extreme giggles and the tears rolling from her eyes!

(For the record, the "enlarging prostate" refers to a commercial on TV advertising a treatment for bladder problems caused by an enlarging prostate! Austin has always loved to repeat commercials!)


Here is the article so you don't have to click if you don't want to:

Holland Schmolland
by Laura Kreuger Crawford

If you have a special needs child, which I do, and if you troll the Internet for information, which I have done, you will come across a certain inspirational analogy. It goes like this:

Imagine that you are planning a trip to Italy. You read all the latest travel books, you consult with friends about what to pack, and you develop an elaborate itinerary for your glorious trip. The day arrives.
You board the plane and settle in with your in-flight magazine, dreaming of trattorias, gondola rides, and gelato. However when the plane lands you discover, much to your surprise, you are not in Italy -- you are in Holland. You are greatly dismayed at this abrupt and unexpected change in plans.
You rant and rave to the travel agency, but it does no good. You are stuck. After awhile, you tire of fighting and begin to look at what Holland has to offer. You notice the beautiful tulips, the kindly people in the wooden shoes, the french fries with mayonnaise, and you think, "This isn't exactly what I had planned, but it's not so bad. It's just different."

Having a child with special needs is supposed to be like this -- not any worse than having a typical child -- just different.

When I read this my son was almost 3, completely non-verbal and was hitting me over 100 times a day. While I appreciated the intention of the story, I couldn't help but think, "Are they kidding? We're not in some peaceful country dotted with windmills. We are in a country under siege -- dodging bombs, boarding overloaded helicopters, bribing officials -- all the while thinking, "What happened to our beautiful life?"

That was five years ago.

My son is now 8 and though we have come to accept that he will always have autism, we no longer feel like citizens of a battle-torn nation. With the help of countless dedicated therapists and teachers, biological interventions, and an enormously supportive family, my son has become a fun-loving, affectionate boy with many endearing qualities and skills. In the process we've created . . . well . . . our own country, with its own unique traditions and customs.

It's not a war zone, but it's still not Holland. Let's call it Schmolland. In Schmolland, it's perfectly customary to lick walls, rub cold pieces of metal across your mouth and line up all your toys end-to-end. You can show affection by giving a "pointy chin." A "pointy chin" is when you act like you are going to hug someone and just when you are really close, you jam your chin into the other person's shoulder. For the person giving the "pointy chin" this feels really good, for the receiver, not so much -- but you get used to it.

For citizens of Schmolland, it is quite normal to repeat lines from videos to express emotion. If you are sad, you can look downcast and say, "Oh, Pongo." When mad or anxious, you might shout, "Snow can't stop me!" or "Duchess, kittens, come on!" Sometimes, "And now our feature presentation" says it all.

In Schmolland, there's not a lot to do, so our citizens find amusement wherever they can. Bouncing on the couch for hours, methodically pulling feathers out of down pillows, and laughing hysterically in bed at 4:00 a.m. are all traditional Schmutch pastimes.

The hard part of living in our country is dealing with people from other countries. We try to assimilate ourselves and mimic their customs, but we aren't always successful. It's perfectly understandable that an 8 year-old from Schmolland would steal a train from a toddler at the Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table at Barnes and Noble. But this is clearly not understandable or acceptable in other countries, and so we must drag our 8 year-old out of the store kicking and screaming, all the customers looking on with stark, pitying stares. But we ignore these looks and focus on the exit sign because we are a proud people.

Where we live it is not surprising when an 8 year-old boy reaches for the fleshy part of a woman's upper torso and says, "Do we touch boodoo?" We simply say, "No, we do not touch boodoo," and go on about our business. It's a bit more startling in other countries, however, and can cause all sorts of cross-cultural misunderstandings.

And, though most foreigners can get a drop of water on their pants and still carry on, this is intolerable to certain citizens in Schmolland, who insist that the pants must come off no matter where they are and regardless of whether another pair of pants is present. (ROFL This is Austin!!)

Other families who have special needs children are familiar and comforting to us, yet are still separate entities. Together we make up a federation of countries, kind of like Scandinavia. Like a person from Denmark talking to a person from Norway (or in our case, someone from Schmenmark talking to someone from Schmorway.), we share enough similarities in our language and customs to understand each other, but conversations inevitably highlight the diversity of our traditions. "My child eats paper. Yesterday he ate a whole video box." "My daughter only eats four foods, all of them white." "We finally had to lock up the VCR because my child was obsessed with the rewind button." "My son wants to blow on everyone."

There is one thing we all agree on. We are a growing population. Ten years ago, 1 in 10,000 children had autism. Today the rate is approximately 1 in 250. Something is dreadfully wrong. Though the causes of the increase are still being hotly debated, a number of parents and professionals believe genetic predisposition has collided with too many environmental insults -- toxins, chemicals, antibiotics, vaccines -- to create immunological chaos in the nervous system of developing children. One medical journalist speculated these children are the proverbial "canary in the coal mine", here to alert us to the growing dangers in our environment.

While this is certainly not a view shared by all in the autism community, it feels true to me.

I hope that researchers discover the magic bullet we all so desperately crave. And I will never stop investigating new treatments and therapies that might help my son. But more and more my priorities are shifting from what "could be" to "what is." I look around this country my family has created, with all its unique customs, and it feels like home. For us, any time spent "nation building" is time well spent.
-- The End --

Monday, June 19, 2006

Just skip this!

I'm just blogging this because it came to me just a second ago and I'm afraid I'll forget. So feel free to just pass this by! :)

OK, history... continue with SOTW 3? Use the sample narrations from the AG as 'fill in the blank' activities for Austin. Wow, lots of typing for me but I think it would be helpful for him. This would be after he has already narrated orally to me. Could keep traditional narrating and possibly copying for Riley. Introduce CHOW and the accompanying workbook to Austin when we hit 'logic' stage which for him will be 6th grade, I suspect. Have him do the workbook outline in the place of the WTM recommended outlining. So that will be some extra reading, but it wouldn't be too much because he'd use it over several years instead of in one year. It would also help with the outlining because the premade outline would help him fill in the blanks without having to choose the important parts on his own just yet. Riley would outline and do additional reading more in line with the WTM, possibly the Kingfisher Encyclopedia, or outlining SOTW itself (once she hits logic stage, but that's a few years away... I know, not supposed to be thinking that far ahead, it's hard.).

Hmmmm... OK, my brain works hard when I'm decluttering! ;)

Friday, June 16, 2006

IEW: 3rd lesson

This afternoon, I gave Austin the model paragraph and asked him to underline the keywords himself! I knew this would be a good exersize for both him and me, because he was going to have to do it alone, and I was going to have to be accepting of his choices for key words. I also felt like this would be a good lesson for the purpose of a keyword outline, because if he didn't choose helpful words, when it was time to 'test' the outline by reading it back, it would be harder.

This time I also let him type the keyword outline and he was very excited about that! I think he typed pretty fast, and I'm thinking we may start the typing program I bought him sooner rather than later!

Anyway, all went well, I think! I'm pleased with the way it's forcing him to find the important parts of the sentences!

IEW: 2nd lesson

Austin and I did the 2nd lesson from SWI-A yesterday. We were supposed to do it on Wednesday, but it was too busy with the start of therapy. He did a really good job with the keyword outline! I was proud of him! Some of the sentences were harder to sum up in 3 words, because they were compound sentences. But I talked him through those! He finished the outline and told me back the information in the paragraph from the outline!

Today we're doing the 3rd lesson, which is just another practice in the keyword outlines! I'll update later on once we're finished!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kids' Reading Lists 2006-2007

This is the starting point for reading this coming school year. This is just assigned reading, and they will have to choose their own free reading daily in addition. I realize I may need to add some books for Riley, depending on how she takes to these books. Also, this list may be too extensive for Austin, so some may not get read this year! It's all flexible! :)

Riley - 2nd grade:

Riding the Pony Express
The Secret Valley
The Littles
Viking Adventure
The House on Walenska Street
A Question of Yams
The Last Little Cat
Ellen Tebbits
McBroom's Wonderful One Acre Farm
Socks
Emily's Runaway Imagination



Austin - 4th grade:

Calvert 4th grade readers:
Mighty Men
Famous Legends
Robinson Crusoe

Shadrach
Otis Spofford
Lumber Camp Library
A Llama in the Family
Farmer Boy
Frindle
Along Came a Dog
The Toothpaste Millionaire

First IEW lesson

Austin and I did the first lesson from the Student Writing Intensive A (from the Institute for Excellence in Writing) last night. This lesson involved watching the DVD, and I sat with him, watching and pausing the DVD to give him time to write things down and to clarify the expectations!

The first lesson was in key word outlines, which I am familiar with from the seminar that I took about IEW a couple of years ago. This is going to be a really good exersize for Austin, because he struggles with comprehension, and pulling important things (i.e. key words) from what he reads! I enjoyed having the DVDs and Mr. Pudewa emphasized that the expectation is not perfection! He also said that he doesn't want the children to spend alot of time on being so neat that they lose the flow of their ideas. In fact, he wants them to use a pen so they aren't tempted to erase! This is huge for Austin, as he has been known to erase a word a number of times because it isn't 'right'!

The first lesson took about an hour. I did end up taking dictation for Austin when it was time to re-write the paragraph from the keyword outline since it was after 9 PM. The next few weeks will be spent practicing keyword outlines, so I will be shooting for him to complete the process on his own by the end of that time (well, at least doing the writing himself, he may still need help with the act of doing a keyword outline).

The lessons that come with the SWI-A are supposed to take 15 weeks, but we're doing them at half-speed so it will take all of the school year. I would rather go slow and steady with Austin and allow him the time he needs to get used to this approach to writing!

I'll continue to update about our writing lessons as we continue through the program!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gymnastics

Today was Reece's 2nd day of her gymnastics class! There were only 3 children today, instead of the 5 who were there last week! I still cannot believe I found this class (one hour of creative movement/gymnastics/social play), taught by these teachers (a physical therapist and an occupational therapist), for this price ($100 for 8 classes). If if didn't take me nearly an hour to get there, it would be perfect!

Reece really enjoys this class, and the teacher has alot of nice things to say about her! Apparently she was pretty wound up today, which is good and bad! She was running around a little too much! But she comes back when the teacher asks her to. We just have to get her to work on sitting still, and staying there, without so many reminders. She did pretty good with talking to the other children, and it helped that there were only the two there today.

Austin and Riley played on the playground outside. Oh gosh, I forgot to mention! This gymnastics class is being held at a church... on their INDOOR playground! Have you ever heard of a church with an indoor playground? It's like a miniature Chuck E Cheese right smack dab in the middle of the church! LOL Anyway, the big kids got permission to play on the outdoor playground and they had a nice time running around! I got to speak with the mom of the other autistic child in the group. We compared doctors, therapies, supplements! It was sort of fun! Sort of like finding someone who can talk about homeschooling! LOL

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Planning

There was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth last night, but some progress was made on the curriculum front! I have decided to not try to plan out the next 15 years of homeschooling, and instead just focus on what I want to do for next year, with an idea of where I would like to head after that! This is mostly for history/science and the like, as the skill areas are more of a 'follow this curriculum unless it just doesn't work for someone.'

HISTORY
For history, we're going to use Hillyer's Child's History of the World, for a one-year overview of World History. Our history study has been so disjointed and confusing the last 4 years. We've started one thing, stopped and started something else, stopped and went back to the first thing, stopped and did something completely different. I really want the children to get a sense of the flow and story of history, and I do like the Hillyer book. It also has the benefit of being recommended by most of the popular homeschooling folk, including the Charlotte Mason-y folks. And I already own it, which is also very good! ;) I had hesistated to use it because of the lack of hands-on activities, but I forgot that I purchased the workbook from Calvert that goes with it, and it does include some hands-on stuff, along with the workbook pages. Not a TON, but a good way to gently ease myself into it.

I do not know what I will use next year for history. ::GASP!!:: Yes, I know. It's kind of weird to read that on something I'm writing. It's kind of weird for me to be typing it, to be honest! I even went into my spreadsheet last night and deleted all the history 'plan'. Right now, I'm going to work THIS coming year, and this time next year, we'll see where that leads us.


SCIENCE
This year for science we're going to use one of the plans from
My World Science . I have been looking at it for months, because it's written by a mom who posts on the WTM board, but it has a Charlotte Mason appeal to it. It differs from the WTM approach, in that there are a number of areas of science covered in each year of MWS. I had ruled it out initially, because I was going to have to purchase two plans in order to cover all of the physics I wanted to cover under the WTM method. But then it dawned on me, that I don't have to do that! ;) So I will order one plan and we'll study those topics this year. There are many activities that I know the children will enjoy! We will be using the plan that studies the Savanna, Sound & Light, Electricity & Magnetism, and Ponds.

If we enjoy ourselves, we'll get a different plan next year and use it. But there again, that's next year! We're talking about this year!


OTHER

Read-alouds: We'll pick some of the books we never got to in the earlier Sonlight Cores. Many of them I can find at the library, and even on audio book so I don't have to read it myself!

Reading Lists: Based on the Sonlight lists that have worked so well for us in the past. They won't be reading the same selections, and I've added a couple of alternates by the same author for books they have already read (thinking here of Henry Huggins and Betsy-Tacy).

Art: Picture study using the Come Look with Me books I already own; Get around to teaching from the Evan-Moor book on teaching art to children

Music: Composer study using the CDs I already own, and Classical Kids CDs from the library

Latin: Prima Latina (every other week)

Vocabulary for Austin: Wordly Wise 3000 A &B for sure (every other week)

Math: MUS for Austin, Singapore for Riley (though this I do wonder if I should just keep Riley in Calvert Math since it's all she's ever used, and I do like it)

Grammar: Rod and Staff for Austin, Riley will finish FLL

Spelling: Sequential Spelling for Austin, Riley will finish Explode the Code

Writing: IEW for Austin, Dictation for Riley

Bible: The Awesome Book of Bible Facts (there is a schedule for this in the Sonlight IG I dug out last night! Since I already have it, and Austin is so fond of 'facts', I think we'll start there), Window on the World (also in the SL IG... praying and learning about different people groups in the world)

Geography: Naturally occuring part of History and Bible; Geography Songs that I've already got; also I purchased the next levels of Maps, Globes, and Graphs workbooks that I'll add in here and there

So there we go! A plan for next year that doesn't require the spending of hundreds of additional dollars, or the total revamping of what I've already purchased. And heaven knows that if this doesn't work out well this year, I know what my options are for the following year! LOL

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A sign?

Ok, 3 times now in the last month, the children have pulled little bits from our history study out of their heads and inserted it into our present day lives. The most recent example was Austin. He was rambling on about cars and engines and I was half-listening like I usually do (please don't tell him I said that! lol). But then he announced that when he grows up and has his own car company it will be called "Mideyoshi". OK, that got my attention! ;) I asked him where they name came from. He said "It's like Hideyoshi, you know, that Japanese emperor that we learned about in history?" Ahh, yes, of course!

There have been other things as well, but I just can't recall them off the top of my head right now! But it's something I've been wanting... a sign that they are really understanding what we're talking about in history! A sign that this way of doing history is, in fact, productive and worth seeing though! A way of knowing that I'm on the right track!

Can you picture 35 year old Austin, announcing his new car company: "Yes, I came up with the name while I was in the 3rd grade. We were homeschooled by my saint of a mother, and that year we learned about Japan in the 1400s! The name stuck in my head!"? Hee hee! Well, you never know!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tickets please!

I have my tickets for the POTC 2 premiere!! WOOHOOO!!!!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Only one more month!

I really cannot believe there is only a month until POTC 2 comes out! It's always seemed so far away, that I dared not even dream about it!

But a month? That is going to FLY by!!

I can't wait!! Captain Jack, I've missed you so! :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

End of the School Year reflections

This was quite a school year, emotionally. I would like to thank Calvert for getting us through! I appreciate the expensive, yet, thorough education my children got thanks to you. Well, Austin anyway... Riley pretty much breezed through it! LOL You were there when I needed you and for that, I will be grateful! (OK, now I'm cracking up!)

Here are some end-of-the-school-year thoughts:

1. I'm glad this school year is over. I am anxious to start fresh in August.

2. I am going to start forcing Austin to get some independence going. He is going to have to be taught a lesson, and then work the assignment on his own without input from me. I think it's time, and with advance preparation, he can see it as a sign of growing up.

3. I think this has been the hardest year of my life. I thought nursing was hard. That was a cake-walk.

4. I need to challenge Riley more. She is smart and capable, but extremely lazy when it comes to school! But by challenge, I don't mean just to keep advancing her to harder work. I mean to have her think about things, and talk to me about things, and start writing things down. Academics come easy to her... so I have more time to go deeper with her.

5. I need to come to the realization once and for all that there is no guarantee that everything will be OK. There is no magic curriculum that will ensure my childrens' success in life. There is nothing that I can do that will guarantee that they will be prepared for life. I can just do my best. I can just pick what I think will work, and what I like, and what I can afford. I can pray that God will guide me and bless my efforts. But I've got to stop trying to be perfect in this. My perfectionism has frozen me before many times in my life. I need to move beyond it for once.

I think that's about all for now. Can you tell I was in the car alone today and able to think deep thoughts? :)

Movie Review: DaVinci Code

I was very interested in seeing this movie, even though I've never read the book. Throughout my area, many churches are doing sermon series on "Busting the Code" or "DaVinci Code Myths". There was even a sign on a church board that I pass that says "Remember: The DaVinci Code is a work of Fiction!" Yes, I know that! But it seems that the church is giving this book/movie alot more attention than it deserves. I'm not sure why everyone is so afraid of it.

This movie reminded me SO much of National Treasure! There was a scene where Tom Hanks' character is looking at words to figure a code, and the letters highlight just like they do in the scene in NT where the kid is getting the code from the Silence Dogood letters! Then it also reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade because of the 'grail'. (One character says they need a grail expert and I immediately thought "You need Dr. Jones!")

Pros: I love a good mystery! And Gandalf, I mean, Ian McKellan is always enjoyable to watch! I do like Tom Hanks' acting... but he's not much of a character actor. I always see Tom Hanks in his movie characters. The storyline was very interesting, too! (Just like there being an invisible map on the Declaration of Independence! ::wink wink::). It moved fairly quickly, too... didn't realize that it was 2+ hours long! It didn't feel like it anyway! OH, and this movie has the distinction of being one of the few that startled me so much that I jumped up in my seat and screamed out loud! Terribly embarrasing!

Cons: Too much looking at the dead body... too violent, overall. And whose bright idea was it to cast Jean Reno as the antagonostic French cop when he JUST played the French cop in The Pink Panther! That was hard on the brain! He's a good actor though... like him! I also think I would have liked it more without Tom Hanks as the lead. He's a great actor, don't get me wrong. But I couldn't get into Robert Langdon... kept thinking Tom Hanks. In NT, I was able to get into the character of Ben Gates without thinking over and over "Nicholas Cage".

So that's about it... not going to discuss any theology because I don't really believe that's what this movie was about. At least not to me. To me, it's an adventure story where they took a real event or person and gave it a twist. It doesn't rock my faith, or make me question anything about Jesus. :)

2.5 on the Savvy Scale.

Friday, June 02, 2006

10 simple pleasures

10 simple pleasures I got tagged by Lisa.

Name ten of life's simple pleasures that you like most, and then pick ten people to do the same. Try to be original and creative and not to use things that someone else has already used.

1. Spreadsheets!

2. Ghiradelli Caramel/Chocolate Squares

3. The Sonlight Curriculum catalog

4. Sitting poolside with a friend, talking while the children splash in the water

5. Singing the songs from Wicked the Musical with my daughters

6. Watching Captain Jack come in to port on the little sinking ship

7. Listening to my husband learn a new song

8. A sunset at St. George Island

9. Sitting in front of a fire in the fireplace when it's cold

10. Overhearing the children are being kind and loving to one another.

I don't know 10 people online to tag, so if you're reading, comment with your 10 simple pleasures!