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10 December 2010 @ 08:08 pm
I am officially moving blogs. 

You can find my new blog here: http://annafirtree.blogspot.com/

I'm switching from livejournal to blogspot because it's easier to post photos and videos. To post on LJ, I have to upload photos to Photobucket, upload videos to Youtube, and then go through a tedious set of copy-and-pastes to get them into a post. I briefly played around with Wordpress; I could upload photos directly to Wordpress, but then had to go through a slightly-less tedious process of moving them from the "Library" into the post.  Videos still had to be uploaded to Youtube before being copy-and-pasted over.  With Blogspot, I can upload photos and videos and insert them directly into the post. It's awesome.

09 December 2010 @ 04:25 pm
 So now I'm thinking about switching to using my blogspot blog instead of LJ or Wordpress, because I can upload photos and videos directly and very easily there.  (And have more customizability of the look than in Wordpress.  Any opinions?
09 December 2010 @ 11:25 am
So normally I make the kids do a page of math everyday.  I've been printing off worksheets from http://www.math-drills.com/.  However, this week I ran out of pages for Elijah.  When I went to print some more, the printer informed me that we were out of ink.  (The printer's idea of being "out of ink" is a little bit dubious; Ken printed off four high-quality color photos after that without the printer saying anything more than that the ink was low.  But my black-and-white worksheets?  It refused to print those at all.  Even though there are icons for *two* black ink sources, and only one of them was out.  Go figure.  Oh, and Ken has recently replaced pretty much all the ink cartridges.  We go through ink too fast.  I think ink cartridges might be a great Christmas present.  Too bad I didn't include them on the list.)

Anyhow, since I couldn't print any more mathsheets off for Elijah, I looked for some online math games he could play.  I found http://www.aplusmath.com/ which has some flashcard and other games.  He did flashcards yesterday; today he did the "Hidden Picture" game.  He liked the games a lot.  In the meantime, though, Kyrie is a little jealous since she still has ordinary math pages to work through.  I told her she could play online when she had finished all her printed pages.  Yesterday I told her she could work on the math pages outside of schooltime, if she wanted to.  Today she informed me that she was going to finish them all this afternoon.  Ah, the motivation of a game.  :)  But we'll see if she carries through on this.  Her four-digit-addition math pages are pretty time-consuming for her.  (She also has two's-times-table, which doesn't take her quite so long.)
07 December 2010 @ 12:51 pm
 I was looking at this map of Portland politics, and I noticed that I live right in the area where blue meets red.  It seems fitting, if possibly disturbing, in a Big Sort sort of way, given that I find myself pulled in both directions.
06 December 2010 @ 10:32 am
1.  Ken heard noises under the bathroom sink a few days ago, so I cleared it out and he put mouse traps in.  We've caught 10 mice in the last two or three days.  I think the neighborhood cats are all being kept inside more often with the cold, rainy weather, so that may be a part of it.

2. Speaking of cold, rainy weather.  I'm doing a lesson on astronomy this week for the kids.  I was thinking of taking them out to see some constellations.  It gets dark so early that it seems like the perfect time of year for it; I can show them stars and still have them in bed on time.  The problem with that is that this is December in Oregon.  The least amount of cloud cover predicted for the evenings this week is 87%.  So much for stargazing.

3. I started a Wordpress blog to see if it was easier to post photos up there.  It is rather easier to post photos, but there are still pointlessly unnecessary steps, and I still have to post video clips up on Youtube first, unless I want to pay $50 or $60 per year. Which I emphatically don't.  So I don't know if I will make the move there or not.
05 December 2010 @ 02:56 pm
 This is how it is with us.  We live in a small, two-bedroom apartment.  The kids' room is all of, what? five feet from the living room?  And yet Savi (and the other kids are the same way) doesn't want to go into the bedroom by herself to find her gloves and come back out.  She "needs someone to be in there with me".  Ken asked, and I wonder this a lot too - "What will they be like in a big house?"
02 December 2010 @ 06:35 pm
 Savi, pointing at a photo in a book: "I know what this one is.  It's a .... um... a.... "
<long pause>
Me: "It's a killer whale."
Savi: "I know what this one is.  It's a killer whale."
01 December 2010 @ 06:46 pm
Today, just before lunch, I gave Kyrie a copy of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to read.  It's just after dinnertime now, and her bookmark is about 2/3 of the way into it.   This, from a 7 year old!  
30 November 2010 @ 03:18 pm
 I am officially going on a diet.  Specifically, the No-S Diet.  The rules are simple and surprisingly obvious.

1. No Sweets
2. No Snacks
3. No Seconds

Except on "S" Days.  (Saturday, Sunday, and Special Days.)

God has definitely been urging me to exercise more self-discipline in what I eat, and I think this is what he has in mind for me.  So I trust he will give me the grace I need to make it work (for a change).
30 November 2010 @ 01:04 pm
I tried out a 100% whole wheat homemade bread recipe today; it's yummy!  I like that it's whole wheat instead of white bread like the Pan de Mie recipe I tried before.  And it's a lot quicker; the Pan de Mie basically takes me the whole day, whereas this loaf was done in time for lunch.  (Which was good, because we are seriously low on groceries at the moment, including being out of bread.)  I used this recipe, except that I didn't have wheat bran, and I only had almost exactly 3 cups of whole wheat flour, so for that extra 3/4 cup, I mixed wheat germ in with the whole wheat flour, because that's all I had.  (And then ended up with part of a cup of leftover flour anyhow, into which I sort of randomly mixed an egg and some peanut oil and baking powder and dried blueberries to make something vaguely resembling a hard muffin.)  Oh, and I used peanut oil instead of olive oil, because I like peanut oil.

For the kids, I served it with butter and honey.  Kyrie appears to have liked it very well. Elijah ate about half his piece and declared himself full.  (Which could explain his skinniness, you know.)  Savi only took a bite or two; she said she didn't like it. (Although she did like the blueberry things; she ate both her and Elijah's pieces).  Gabe ate about half his slice of bread before wandering off to play.  

For myself, I toasted two slices and made a cheese sandwich with them.  It was delicious!  It seemed heartier than normal store-bought whole wheat bread, with a bit more of a grainy flavor, I guess, which definitely appeals to me, at least when going with cheese.  I will probably try it with peanut butter tomorrow and see how that goes.  But this might be a keeper of a recipe.