Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

We recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and thoroughly enjoyed it. After watching the new movie, my curiousity was piqued to find out which movie adaptation was closer to the book. The movie featuring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka was much closer to the book than the old movie with Gene Wilder in that part. There were some slight differences, but they did a pretty good job of staying faithful to the story line. I found Willy Wonka even more rough around the edges in the book - but my daughter didn't think so. The Oompa Loompa songs were a bit different in the book and the one that they sang after Mike Teavee gets shrunk is really good. I read it on another blog before we read the book and was going to link to it, but now I can't find it. I guess I will just have to post it here. You can read my daughter's review of the movie on her blog here.
Here is the poem. I found it on the Roald Dahl Fans website.

"Mike Teavee..."
(from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
"The most important thing we've learned,

So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set–
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all the shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink–
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!
'We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?
'Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic takes
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy–Winkle and–
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole–
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks–
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start–oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts.
They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
P.S. Regarding Mike Teavee,
We very much regret that we
Shall simply have to wait and see
If we can get him back his height.
But if we can't–it serves him right."

The Olympics - my take

Like many other people from all over the world, our family watched many hours of the recent Winter Olympics. There are many things that I enjoyed from the coverage that I saw, such as the Japanese figure skater's expression when she realized that she won the gold metal and the Chinese ski jumper's expression when he won the gold. I truly enjoyed seeing people who worked so hard receive a reward for their efforts. There were also the things that bothered me, such as the ice skating commentators, it is one thing to point out technical errors that we might not see or understand, it is another thing to make rude comments. The costumes or lack of with some of the skaters was another negative. Although, it is just a sign of our times and how loose the standards have become. Certain athletes attitudes in interviews also showed a certain egotism that was very unappealing. One common thread that I heard over and over that disturbed me greatly was the sacrifice that families made for their children to become star athletes. The eleven year old boy who moves away from home so that he can train for the Olympics, the father that gives up his livelyhood so that his daughter can move to another country to train as a figure skater. I know we all make sacrifices for our children and they in turn should work hard at their life's work. It just seems interesting to me that athletics and entertainment should be put on such a pedestal and the sacrifice of family and childhood should be the cost. I guess I just don't get it. I wonder what God thinks of these priorities.

Pride and Prejudice

Merry over at Beth Spera in Domino has posted a comparison of the different movie adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and how they have portrayed Mr. Darcy. I really enjoyed reading her article and decided, as a result, to pick up the book and read it. I have watched many of the adaptations but had not yet read the book. I am only about 6 chapters into the book, but am enjoying it very much. I am including a quote that I found very interesting. This is from a conversation between Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley. Mr. Darcy mentioned to Miss Bingley that he admired Elizabeth Bennet's fine eyes to which she inquired as to when she should wish him joy. His reply is what struck me.

"That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy."

It seems to me that this quote very aptly describes the difference between men and women. I have known very many young men who thought that they were just being a friend and yet the young lady was definately taking it as more than friendship. Although warned, the young men just couldn't believe that girls could think that way. Not that this is always the case, but I have observed this to happen in more than one instance.

Livingroom declutter update

This picture is looking down into our livingroom from our stairway. We have very high ceilings in this room and there is a large window above the fireplace. You can't see the pictures very well, but I have two copies of Renoir paintings with girls/ladies at a piano. This is our front door. My husband's grandmother's treadle sewing machine and his great grandparents' family picture are there on the right.
These are our new recliners and one of our end tables. The chairs are very comfy!

I thought I should take some time to update on my decluttering progress. I have finished the purge of the livingroom, the first room in my plan. I must confess that this was a great room to start with as I don't usually have much clutter in it. This room started out as our least used room in the house but it has turned into one of my favorite rooms. The living room is decorated with old family pictures, the treadle sewing machine and our old piano. We have a gas fireplace and comfortable furniture and I now keep my book basket in this room next to my chair. This room is where we have our family devotions and our read alouds. It is cozy and comfy. For Christmas, hubby and I didn't purchase gifts for each other because we wanted some new chairs and end tables. We each got a recliner/rocker and just recently added the end tables. We found tables with storage to hold our photo albums and best of all they were on sale at Fred Meyers. I would still like to clean the windows and vacuum the drapes/swags. I also want to start cataloging our book collection on the computer and there is a bookshelf in this room. I was able to get most of the cobwebs by attaching my lambs wool duster to a broom handle and standing on a step ladder. I will check this room off of my declutter list. The dining room is next and it will also be easy too. Once I leave that room things get a bit more difficult.

Growing Deeper in God

Recently a friend asked me, "How do we grow deeper in God?" I have been pondering that and the first scripture that came to my mind was James 4:8,

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.

Psalm 19:7-14 also came to mind.

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous althogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my moutyh and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

I think we sometimes feel like there is some magic feeling or formula in connection with our relationship to God. I really believe it is much simpler than that. An older man once told me that our relationship to the Lord is like a three legged stool, the legs being Prayer, Bible study and Meditation. The stool won't stand if any of the legs are missing - all are important to our walk with the Lord. The Lord doesn't pull away from us, only we can pull away from him. We need to dwell in His word, meditate on it and talk to Him about it and about the events and people in our lives. That is, I believe, how we can grow deeper in HIM.

Homeschool Carnival

The New Homeschool Carnival is up at Why Homeschool. It looks to be a good one. Check it out!

Monday, February 20, 2006

I was tagged by the Headmistress at the Common Room with a new meme that she made up. Here goes.

1. How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? HOw many are in your family?
21 meals; six people. Two of them eat lunches at work and they brown bag it.

2. How many cookbooks do you own?
15 or so.

3. How often do you refer to a cookbook each week?
Just about every day.

4. Do you collect recipes from other sources? If so, what are some of your favorite sources (relatives, friends, magazines, advertisements, packages, the internet, etc)
I collect other recipes from various places - pretty much all of the mentioned. I try to keep the collecting to a minimum because I don't use them very often.

5. How do you store those recipes?
I have a couple of three ring binders for them (one for cake decorating & desserts and another for everything else.)

6. When you cook, do you follow the recipe pretty closely, or do you use recipes primarily to give you ideas?
I follow it pretty closely, making some substitutions where necessary.

7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? If so, what is it?
Eclectic American then Mexican.

8. What's your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation? (eating the finished product does not count)
I don't really like any of it. I sometimes like to prepare a new recipe.

9. What's your least favorite part?
Planning the menu

10. Do you plan menus before you shop?
Yes, mostly.

11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances?
My cutco chefs knife

12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have?
Not sure - maybe a double oven for those special occasions that one isn't quite enough.

13. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next?

14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage?

15. Grocery shop alone or with others?

16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week??
Maybe 1 - it used to be a lot more, but hubby likes the meat.

17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it? Favorite kitchen colors?
Sunflowers - Bright Yellow and green. I don't really have much wall space for decorating.

18. What's the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you?
Hamburger Helper - I was about 13. I also made a pie in Jr. Home Ec.

19. How did you learn to cook?
I really didn't learn to cook until after I was married - mostly self taught.

20. Tag two other people to play.
I tag Redding Mountain and Javamom

DeCluttering and our livingroom

Recently I have been thinking about how I can manage my household a little better. In this effort, I have been searching online and reading how other people have attempted decluttering and organizing their homes. I found a fellow blogger, Lori Seaburg, who attempted to form a new habit and worked on decluttering a room a day. Go to her blog and see how she went about decluttering each room in her home. On her blog I found a link to another beautiful blog, Mrs. Catherine . Mrs. Catherine has all kinds of helps for keeping a beautiful home. She also has a decluttering list which Lori used in her efforts to declutter her home. One of the first things you are supposed to do is write up a floor plan of the rooms in your house as you come in the front door. List the rooms and what in them will need decluttering, she even has you look at your front porch. I have made up my floor plan and the first room that you see when you come into my house is my livingroom. Our front porch looks fine and does not have any clutter, so I am starting with the livingroom. I am also giving myself a week to declutter each room instead of just a day. In our livingroom we have a coat closet that also has most of our board games, we also have a bookshelf and a couple of baskets with books/magazines in them. We just purchased two new end tables that are also cupboards which house our photo albums. On Saturday, I pulled all of the games out of our closet and went through them to see if they were missing any pieces, I made a list of them and took note of the ages that they were for and how many people could play them. I made note of any that I thought we could use during school. We have about 25 games (not counting cards and the chess/checkers set). My husband had already gone through all of the coats, hats and gloves and so I didn't need to organize those. I also looked through the bookshelf last night and didn't see any that we should get rid of. Most of the books in this shelf are from sets that look nice together, some of the authors are Mark Twain, Robert L. Stevens, Sir Walter Scott, Dickens. It also has our hymn books, books about music history, Shakespeare books, books about art history and our bible reference books, and other reference books such as dictionaries. I still need to look through the baskets, one of which contains my bible study materials, and current reading material. We are actually pretty good at keeping this room up, the biggest struggle I have is that the ceilings are very high and it is difficult for me to get up there to dust the cobwebs that form - I must enlist the help of my husband. I will be posting here as I work through the rooms of our home.

Educational Peer Pressure

I struggle with myself on a regular basis with what I call "educational peer pressure". It is so easy for me to fall to the idea that my children need to complete such and such by the end of the school year - because that is what the curriculum says or that is what my friend's children do. The same struggle happens when I am trying to determine what activities we will partake in during the school year - which determines what our school year will look like. I have this friend who homeschools year round and that neighbor whose children have the summer off. Of course my children want what they consider the benefit of both systems - but not the work of both. It all comes down to deciding with my husband which system both of us feel is the most beneficial to our whole family. Now convincing our children of this is always an interesting challenge. This past week we had the opportunity to serve a family that was preparing to move. They needed help in their "new to them" house. We helped clean carpets and painted. It took away time from our "school" schedule but was an education in serving. We also had a light snow on Tuesday, which is unusual for our area, so I let the children play out until we left for our friends. The schools only had a late start that day. These activities meant that we were a bit behind on what I had planned for school so I decided that we would do school on Friday and today, both of which our local public schools had off. Of course my children forgot that they had a very light week of regular school work and wanted both of these days off so that they could play with the neighbors. Oh well, can't please everyone and while I do want my children to be able to have some play time with their friends, I can't fall prey to their pressure either.

Friday, February 10, 2006

How to Clean House

1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want to delete Housework permanently?"
6. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press the mouse button firmly......
7. Feel better? Works for me!

My hubby sent this to me and I thought it was just too good not to share.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Homeschooling Carnival #7

Homeschooling Carnival #7 will be hosted at About Homeschool next week, click on over and see how to make a submission.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My Home Notebook

In my searching around the blogosphere for homemaking helps - one common thread seems to be have a home control notebook or home organization notebook. I used to keep a notebook and found it very useful, I am not sure why I ever quit using it. Anyway, I now have put together a new notebook. I used a three ring binder that my sister covered with fabric years ago for a photo album. I don't really like three ring binders for scrapbooking, but this one was pretty and now it has a new use. I made dividers for Schedules & Routines, Health, Chores, Movies, Clothing, Storage, Gift Ideas, books, Home Improvement, Spiritual, Goals, Projects, and Food. I will use other posts to talk about what I have behind each divider. I am just starting to use my notebook, so not every category is in use yet. Fly Lady suggests that when you start trying to get organized to start with your bedtime routine because most women don't get enough rest and if you have a good before bed routine you will wake up with certain things ready to go in the morning. She has suggestions on her website as to what you might want to include in your before bed routine. Here is my list:
1. Clean up the House Before Bed
a. Living room/dining room: Pick up and put away things.
b. Kitchen: Clean it up, shine sink, lay out clean cloths/towels.
set up coffee maker
c. Family room: Pick up and put away things.
(note: this is my list, but everyone is expected to help)
2. Think about tomorrow before you go to bed.
a. Check calendar for appointments
b. Correct school work/plan schedule for tomorrow
c. Start a To Do List for tomorrow
d. Gather up items that you need to take with you.
e. Make sure children have their chores done & things put
f. Check menu for next two days. Take food out.
g. Lay out clothes for tomorrow.
h. Computer time: catch up checkbook, blog, read email
3. Focus on yourself before going to bed.
a. Get yourself ready for bed.
b. Brush teeth, clean face, comb hair.
c. Bath time! Bubbles mmmm. . . .
d. Put on jammies
e. Reflect on the days accomplishments
f. Read for fun
g. Pray

I have not succeeded at doing everything on this list, nor will everything on it need to be done every night. I do enlist others help on the housework portion.

I want to end this post with some sites that I have found helpful in this endeavor. Mrs. Catherine of Making it Home Magazine. Genuine Profit of Home Sweet Home and Large Family Logistics all of helps on making home notebooks plus many other helpful ideas on getting your homes under control.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Homeschooling Carnival #6 is Up

The sixth homeschooling Carnival is up at Why Homeschool. It looks to be full of wonderful articles. Go check it out!


I am constantly struggling with keeping on top of school schedules, housekeeping and outside activities. I have a time trying to keep things in balance. Once again I am working to find the schedule that will help me and form the habits that will bring peace. I have been surfing the blog world and different websites to pick up tips that might help me get a handle on things. I have had friends say that I am a clean fanatic and that I don't know what a struggling housewife is. What they don't see is the pink in the bathroom (in the tub, not painted on the walls). What they do see is that I am pretty successful at keeping the rooms picked up that would be seen by stop in guests. What they don't seem to notice is that the kitchen floor hasn't been mopped in, hmmm, I am not sure how long. I plan to share a few posts and websites that are proving helpful to me. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

Field Trip

We are studying Washington State History this year at the same time as our friends and we get together once a week for some related activity. One of the requirements that we gave the older boys, 8th and 9th graders, was to do a report. They could pick from a whole huge list of topics as they relate to Washington State. Our son chose the Navy and our friends' son chose the Coast Guard. At the end of January we went to tour the Coast Guard Museum in Seattle. It was a small museum, but our host made it a most worthwhile trip. He was a retired Coast Guardsman and he knew just about everything there was to know about the Guard. The museum was one large room that contained many interesting items. There were several model ships and he knew how long they were, how many men worked on them, when they were used etc. They had actual items off of some of the old ships and even the original warning light from Alki Point, before there was ever a lighthouse there. I think we all learned a lot. We didn't take pictures inside but have this picture of us all in front of the building. After we got inside, he told us that we weren't allowed to take pictures on the base - the funny thing was that a young guardsman took the picture for us.


My sister got our children some origami paper and a book for Christmas and they have been busy creating. Here are some of their creations.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Amazing Jesus

The song that we have been singing in family devotionals this week is I Stand Amazed by Chas H. Gabriel. The interesting thing about this is that in our Wednesday night bible class we have been studying the gospel of Mark and the topic of our class was Amazing Jesus. The teacher had us notice how many people were astonished, amazed and astounded at Jesus teaching. Here are a few of the scriptures we noticed, Mark 1:21-22, Mark 1:23-27, Mark 5:41-42, Mark 15:5. Take some time and check them out.

I Stand Amazed

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! how wonderful
Is my Savior's love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed, "Not my will, but Thine"
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat-drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my sould that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv'ry,
And suffered, and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
Twill be my joy thro' the ages
To sing of His love for me.

You can go listen to it at cyberhymnal here.

Cloudy Day

Here is our word cloud. Hat tip to Common Room. You can get yours here
Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 13.
What is your score? Get it here.

Hat tip to Firefly at Bioluminescence.