Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I hadn't realized that it had been so long since I posted!

We are in the middle of yet another change in schedule. Paul was informed by the manager at the market he works at overnight that they are eliminating the produce position overnight so he would be switched to days. The guy tried to just schedule him during the day without saying anything but was reminded, again, that Paul has a day job. Back and forth they went until the manager scheduled him overnight this week. When Paul thanked him the manager preceded to tell him that he will be on days next week. I'm not sure what he doesn't understand about the statement, "I have a day job and cannot work during the day." So Paul went on a job hunt over the last few days.

On Monday he starts working at McDonald's. Certainly not the most glorious or highest paying position but they need someone to work nights. The biggest benefit of all, in my mind, is that he will be able to get more sleep. Also, no more union dues!!! Even though the rate of pay is less, the lack of union dues will more than make up the difference when the new minimum wage takes effect Jan 1st.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mona Lisa Smile

When I originally looked at this movie all the reviews I saw said it was a feminist movie. I finally broke down and ordered it from Netflix because I really like the actresses in the film, I was pleasantly surprised. We all really enjoyed the movie for several reasons.

First, having it set in the early 50's was interesting. I was fascinated by the clothes and such.

Second, the views of the time were almost the complete opposite of what we see now in society. The movie focuses on a woman's place, whether it's in the home or not. Those that chose something other than getting married and being a full-time homemaker are the misfits.

Last, the message wasn't what I expected. The message seemed to be to think for yourself. The idea of being a homemaker wasn't condemned and in fact one of the main characters struggles with whether she wants to further her studies to become a lawyer or get married. Although the character played by Julia Roberts tells her she doesn't have to make a choice this character explains that she does if she's not wiling to sacrifice her (possible) family.

The special features on the disk were also really good. It gave us some interesting topics for discussion.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Lorna just finished her first show with the local Gymkhana club. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and looks forward to making this a monthly ritual. She rode the horse she's been taking lessons on for the last few months. We are hoping to eventually get her out there on her own horse after they start lessons together in a few months.

For those that don't want to wade through the link above, Gymkhana is a timed event kind of thing. Each month the local club gets together to go through 7 different events, there are a total of 13 events that alternate each month. The events involve going around poles, barrels, and over small jumps. You can go as fast or slow as you want. This particular club has a very wide age range and is very relaxed.

Lorna did great and the other members cheered her on, which made her day. She placed 2nd in 2 events, 3rd in one event, and we are awaiting the results for 2 others (technical difficulties). Not bad for her first try!

Thinking Blogger Award

Elizabeth at Muddy Boots has named this as one of the blogs that makes her think. It's kinda scary since mostly I just like to whine and now the pressure is going to make me whine more.

The rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

My brain is fried from preparing for and cheering at Lorna's first horse event so I'm going to have to ponder more before listing 5 blogs that make me think. I know, I'm already breaking the rules...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was tagged by Glenda so here it goes...

The rules of this are:

1. Link the person who has tagged you.
2. Tell seven true things about yourself.
3. Tag seven new people.
4. Leave a message with the person you have tagged so they know about it.

Seven true things...
1. I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi, but if I'm really desperate I'll drink Diet Coke.

2. I love to read, I always have.

3. I like to sew but not enough to make time to do it on a regular basis, I'd rather read.

4. I love dogs, as shown by the 5 we currently have. I can't visit animal shelter websites because I'm too tempted to go adopt more!

5. Sleeping is one of my hobbies, it's right up there with reading.

6. I hate shopping for clothes and shoes.

7. I'm blond and I have a BA in math which most people don't think go together :)

Everyone I would have tagged has already done this or has been tagged so if you are reading this and have been overlooked consider yourself tagged.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Why is it that employers love to guilt their employees into giving to whatever charity they are sponsoring?

Paul received a United Way packet from his employer last week. Honestly after I considered writing a note to human resources saying we would love to help but since we don't get enough from his job to afford the necessities we can't participate, I just threw it away. Today he got both a voicemail and email from his region manager saying he wants 100% participation in this campaign. I want Paul to make enough money so he isn't working an additional 25-35 hours a week at another job but we don't all get what we want!

This comes on the heels of being told that he couldn't get the motorcycle he was considering, not only would it save on gas but we figured it would save on the tire eating problem. His employer requires a 4-door vehicle, which is news to us since there is nothing in his contract about this! I'm getting really tired of employers who have control over the vehicles we buy, where we live, and requiring things like high-speed internet and fax services without allowing us to expense these things. Now we have to consider whether or not the lack of participation in a "voluntary" giving campaign is going to affect his yearly review. I know they can't legally do anything but we've seen too much at other companies not to realize they can find other ways to punish you for not complying with their whims...

Feeling guilty

I've spent a lot of time recently feeling guilty that I have so much extra time. Most of that time has come at the expense of housework, I just can't seem to make myself want to clean. I'm still battling the feeling that we should be getting ready for another move.

I've been feeling guilty for how much sleep I get too. Kind of a weird thing to feel guilty about but since Paul gets so few hours of sleep it just seems wrong that I get so much.

The biggest thing I feel guilty about is our inability to settle on a church. I feel like I'm failing the kids. I don't feel like our basic requirements are all that much. We want a church that is liturgical, doesn't have women lay leaders/readers/communion assistants, practices closed communion, and has a pastor that preaches law and gospel. We've spent the last few weeks attending the last 2 churches in the area on our list. Nothing fits within the parameters we set up, and yes I am well aware that no church is perfect! The one that comes closest falls short in the preaching, and the communion practices are such that we don't feel comfortable communing at this time. *Sigh*, I keep telling myself that at least we hear the Word in this particular church each Sunday. The preaching just leads me further into despair though because I know I'm not doing enough. Both times we attended I feel crushed under the weight of sin and I've spent the week just miserable. I know I'm forgiven but not hearing it during the sermon after being shown my sin is so hard to deal with.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tire mystery solved

So we got some good and bad news about the truck. There isn't anything wrong with it, I think that's good news. The bad news is that this is just what this truck does to tires. It seems we noticed it sooner than most others because Paul drives so much for work. We got the truck in May '06 and we have 63,000 miles on it. The front end mechanic at the dealer we took it to has the same type of truck, although a few years older, and he is on his third set of tires in about 60,000 miles. His wear pattern is the same as ours and he said this is normal. This puts us in a bad position since it means we would need to replace the tires about twice a year. The only suggestion is that we try going down to 17 inch wheels and tires. We may try it next time we need tires but the idea of buying new wheels AND tires doesn't make me very happy. If we do decide to try it there is no guarantee it's going to make any difference. I wish an older used car was an option but I don't think anything in our price range can handle the amount of driving Paul does.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Remaking our school

In my increasing effort to remake our homeschool I had Paul pick up Beyond Survival by Diane Waring last time he was at the library. I’m still trying to figure out if this was a good idea. I’m bogged down in the section on teaching/learning styles. I can see myself fitting into a number of the types listed. I’ve also come to the realization that I’ve changed a great deal over the last 7 years.

I started out this school year with a year’s worth of plans already drawn up because my biggest failing was getting the planning done each Sunday. I used to be a very scheduled person but now I find myself rebelling against the weekly plans.

Contrary to everything I’ve read about homeschooling my kids don’t like to be read to very much. They both would much prefer to do their own thing. Lorna wants to read it herself because she gets more out of it. Malachi just tunes me out while he daydreams. They will both listen intently as Paul reads fun books to them but when it comes to anything else they would rather do chores then sit and listen to me read. I continue making them sit there even though none of us enjoys the experience (I hate reading aloud) and I’m now questioning why I’m insisting on this torture. I know there are benefits to making them process thing in this manner but I think we would all be a lot happier and retain more by throwing out the daily history and science read aloud.

I’m still trying to figure out whether we need to approach everything a bit differently or if this is just a phase. I dislike being a slave to our school plans. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to throw out some of those plans and let the kids’ interests determine where we head for a while. I think we will attempt it with science and then go from there. We usually order school books in November and our order this year will probably reflect our new approach to things. I’m expecting we will be ordering a whole bunch of literature and only a few workbook types of things.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Another dress completed

I love the feeling of getting a sewing project completed, especially one with a new pattern. This pattern came from the same place as the chemise I finished a few weeks ago. It was relatively easy and went quickly once I traced the pieces. Lorna picked out the fabric and the color looks great on her.

Here is the front.

This is the back. It closes with 5 buttons which are difficult to see since they are clear.

Wood cutting

This was our last trip into the forest for the year. Once we got up there we were surprised to see snow all over the place including the road. We only go about 7 miles up the road from our house and we didn't get any snow.

Since there was enough snow to play in the kids spent lots of time throwing snow at each other. Malachi got the better of his sister a number of times.

Malachi also spent some time climbing the rocks next to the side of the road.

Of course it's not all fun we had to work too. Paul cut the trees down.

Lorna and Malachi brought the pieces to the wagon.

I loaded the truck.

It went really well and we ended up bringing out about 3/4 of a cord. The wagon was a last minute thought since we sometimes have a hard time carrying the wood to the truck. It worked superbly so we will use it again next year when we go back into the forest.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More tire problems

We've had our current tires for about 11,000 miles and they are wearing funny just like the last set and need to be replaced. We had the truck aligned so we know that's not the problem. The salesman at the tire store today asked Paul if he drove the canyon frequently. He drives that particular road to work and back 5 days a week. According to this guy the problem is the road and all the curves. The tires we have on the truck have a 50,000 miles warranty so at least we have the option of getting another set, but what good will that do if we have to replace them every 10-12,000 miles?

This whole thing is becoming more frustrating by the minute. Our first set of tires lasted 35,000 miles and would have lasted longer if the dealership who did our oil change hadn't messed up the alignment. Those tires weren't the best considering the type of driving we do, they slipped around corners and on the sandy roads we live on. This last set was supposed to be wonderful and solve all our problems but now it seems they won't work on curvy mountain roads. We are running out of options since the truck came with 20 inch wheels, stupid for a 4x4 I know.

Does anyone have any recommendations for great tires that will work on curvy mountain roads?


I've spent the last week or so hiding in books by Tanya Huff. They remind me a lot of the stuff by Anne Bishop but not nearly as deep. Since I felt the need to hide I have read 5 of her books and I'm almost done with the 6th. No time for cleaning or sewing or much of anything because I'm busy hiding. If you are easily offended by homosexuality or bad language don't try them. There isn't anything explicit but some of the characters are homosexual and they flirt a bit. I find her books amusing and distracting which is what I need right now. Off to see how the romance writing vampire saves the day...