Well, it’s been two weeks since our last report, so I’m feeling a little rusty in the writing department.ย  So here goes…. Last week we visited family in Mississippi and had a great time. After putzing around on Tuesday, we headed to the Jackson Zoo on Wednesday (gotta make use of our zoo membership, you know). The elephants got very close, the flamingos were friendly, and the lemonade was expensive. A good time was had by all.

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On Thursday we headed to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (gotta make use of our science museum membership, you know). AZ got to pet a snake. The museum lady had given the “two-finger” petting rule, so he had his two fingers ready while he waited in line. He kept losing his “two-finger” position while he waited, so Daddy had to keep helping him get it back. EG didn’t even hesitate to pass on the snake-petting. (One night on the way home she had a meltdown over a mosquito in the van, if that tells you anything. It took her a half hour to recover). The museum was very nice. Most of it was “taxidermified” (maybe that’s typical of natural science museums), but it was very well done. Although there was this one shelf that I guess was just the “dead animal” shelf. I didn’t quite get the point of that one. Everything was belly-up and not gussied up. Hmmm. The fossil/dinosaur room was quite nice. They also had a nice outdoor trail.

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That night we headed to a catfish house for supper. This is always a non-negotiable event for me when we go to MS. I’m a catfish snob. (I’m also a sweet tea snob. Whenever we travel north of West Virginia, if I’m fortunate enough to find a place that has iced tea, I always ask if it is brewed. When you’re not in “iced tea” country anymore, you never know when they’re just gonna mix a powder in some water and call it a “refreshing summer-time beverage”. They just don’t know any better, so you really have to be careful about things like that. I’ve had some of my husband’s family ask me about sun tea. Sun tea? Not one person I’ve ever known in the South has the patience to wait hours for a pitcher of tea. I mean, who wants to drink water?) That was a rabbit trail. Back to the catfish. Catfish are raised in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Along with not drinking mixed tea, I make it a rule to not eat catfish unless I’m in one of those three states. In MS we have “catfish houses” that specialize in fried catfish. The one we went to that night only serves catfish and chicken. Sides include pickled onions, hush puppies, cole slaw, some sort of greens (turnips, I think), french fries, corn bread, and last, but certainly not least, fried dill pickles. And sweet tea. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Friday, we spent the day with my grandmother. She doesn’t get out much, so a trip to Cracker Barrel and Walgreens was a real treat for her. Later that day I went and bought a new guitar. More about this later in the “me” section. (Big smile ๐Ÿ™‚ ) We went out to eat that night with my dad (I wonder why I always gain 5 pounds when I go home to MS? Hmmm?), and then finished out the night tinkering with my new guitar (another big smile ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

On saturday we went to a crawfish boil (they also had fried catfish for people (like me) who have an aversion to eating anything that has an alias that includes the word “bug”.) My hubby got a crawfish-eating lesson from my dad. There was also plenty of good banana pudding. I’m also a banana pudding snob.ย  But I digress…..

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Saturday afternoon was party time!! SA is now one year old, so we had his first birthday party with our family! We had it at the city park, which is my old stomping ground. At first he was traumatized by his own little birthday cake. Daddy had to hold him while he ate his cake. We all left the park a little sticky.

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We finished out our visit on Sunday by going to church, putzing around some more, and more eating out. I wonder why I gain….oh, wait a minute….I’ve already asked that.

So that was our trip to Mississippi. Beautiful weather, low drama, great trip.

We traveled back on Monday of this week. Thursday was a play day with some friends. So, this week we crammed five days of school into three. I think we got something accomplished. I think. Oh, and just so you know, all of the pictures below are still from our trip. I used up all of my batteries last week.

EG (4 yrs old):

277 We completed week 33 of Sonlight’s p4/5. Lots of fun stories. We’re still loving Uncle Wiggily, and Milly Molly Mandy just gives her this giddy smile. We’re winding down in Explode the Code book 3 and A Reason for Handwriting K. I think she’s ready for a workbook break. We didn’t do any crafty stuff this week, although she told me she wants to do a lapbook on birds.

She memorized two catechism questions this week, “What are the reasons added to the second commandment?” and “Which is the third commandment?”. She already knew half of the second one starting out, and they both had short answers. She also finished memorizing Proverbs 21:2, which says “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” and Proverbs 27:2, which says “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” I think she has memorization in the bag.

I have this little keyboard that she is always asking to play. She wants me to sing while she “plays”. She wants to do her “piano lesson” like I have my guitar lesson. Well, I went to the music store last night and bought her Bastien’s Piano for the Young Beginner Primer A and the theory workbook that goes with it. I’m not really sure which piano series I’d like for her to use, but I thought I could swing 11 bucks for these two books regardless. I gave her her first piano lesson today at her insistence. The first page in the book is about sitting correctly at the piano. We stacked up some phone books, but she still need another few inches to be at just the right height. Daddy’s Systematic Theology book gave her the extra boost to make it just right! Now I just hope the keyboard doesn’t go on the blink. I just bought a new guitar, you know (big smile ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

AZ (2 yrs old):

276 Well, even the Z-man did some school this week. We completed a D page for his alphabet notebook. No pictures. Sorry. I cut out a little strip of D’s that he was supposed toย  trace over to glue on his D page. He got so excited because it looked like his sister’s handwriting stuff. He played with dominoes (one of his D words) this week. He has one page left in his “walla” book (Kumon Easy Maze book with the Koala on the cover). He’s still working on memorizing Isaiah 30:15 which says “In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

We really need to put the potty training thing in high gear. I think he needs some sort of external motivation.ย  At the same time, I need an alarm that goes off every hour to remind me to take him to the bathroom. Pullups are expensive. Really, having him just wear underwear would probably be the best thing for his motivation. He does get upset when he wets the living room floor. Of course, I get upset, too. The only time he doesn’t care is when he’s playing starfall. Once, I found him standing in a puddle while he was playing starfall. He was oblivious.

And here is an AZ freebie for the week:

“Daddy, does that taste like crawberries or verms?” (that’s “worms” for those who need a translation)

SA (1 yr old):

Happy Birthday!! Wow. Where has this year gone? They grow up way too fast. He went for his checkup on thursday and weighed in at a mere 19 lbs 2 oz. This is my first kid where I couldn’t legally turn the car seat around on their 1st birthday. The doctor said he’s very healthy and easy to tote around. I usually take all three kids to doctor appointments. It’s usually not that big of deal and they usually behave well. So, the nurse comes in and I strip the baby down to his diaper so he can be weighed. We’re walking down the hall and she stops at the scale. The kind that you stand on. She says, “Can he stand on the scale?”. Uhhh. The first thing out of my mouth before I even thought about it was “This appointment is for the baby”, and I had this look on my face that my friends know all too well.ย  And then a split second later, I thought “the baby is the one with no clothes on. She has to know the appointment is for him.” I don’t know if she thought I was rude or if I was an idiot. It just seemed like a completely absurd question to me. I mean, I know many 12 month olds can walk, but do they actually stand still on a scale? Anyways, she then said something about some 1 year old’s being able to stand on a scale. The kid just started pulling up (easily) 2 days before!! (Ten minutes after we arrived home from our trip, I turn around and he’s pulled up on his feet. I guess he was tired of sitting in the car for 13 hours.) As I was filling out the questionnaire about my child’s development, I contemplated writing “My child can’t stand on a scale at 12 months. Should I be concerned?” Our doctor explained that the nurses had a meeting a few weeks ago because some parents complained about their 1 yr olds being put on the “baby” scale. So now they’re giving parents the option. Good grief. (It reminded me of the time I went to a restaurant with my daughter when she was 3 months old and the hostess gave her a pack of crayons.) Outside the lab, there was a woman there with her 12 month old son. He looked huge next to SA. I heard her talking about some of the words that her son says. SA just babbles and sniffs at me (kinda like a puppy….it’s quite funny). I told SA he’d better get his act together. Then I thought better of it….they just grow up too fast. I’ll happily tote my babbling, sniffing, 19 lb 1 yr old around while I still have the opportunity. It won’t be long and he’ll be peeing on my living room floor.

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Woohoo! I bought a new guitar! I got a Martin DCX1E. My dad helped me pick it out. Well, actually I had already been looking before and it was the guitar that I really liked. My dad just checked it out for me and confirmed my choice. It has a nice, warm sound and it’s simple and beautiful and most importantly, I could afford it. We had Guitar Center do a price check at Mississippi Music and, as a result, we got $70 off the price. I bought the most 2-yr old resistant case they had and I got a strap for it. Not that I can play with a strap yet. But anyways…. My plan is to have some 10’s put on it tomorrow. It came with 11’s, and they’re a little tough on my fingers. I was all ready to show it off to my guitar teacher yesterday, but he was sick and had to cancel my lesson. He mentioned that he wants to videotape us playing one of the duets at the end of my Mel Bay book. Hmmm. I hope he has an “edit” feature. I’d probably do best with a hidden camera!! I bought the 2nd Mel Bay book last week (when you’re spending several hundred on a guitar, what’s another $20?) This book comes with a CD of the songs in the book. I popped that puppy in the CD player and about had a coronary. And that was just the review lessons. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

I read a couple books while on vacation. Well, I finished one I had already started and then read another one. I finished Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman and read I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler. I really enjoyed reading the latter book, except for Norman Geisler’s soteriology (branch of theology that deals with salvation). Let’s just say that I won’t be reading any systematic theology from Geisler.

And just to kinda round out the edges on this report….. I scrubbed some of those hidden places in my kitchen today. I need to work off that extra five pounds I mysteriously gained last week. ๐Ÿ™‚