Monday, May 31, 2010

Small Lutheran World

Last night we attended the installation of Rev. Joel Koepp. One of our churches in the tri-parish had supported him while he was at the seminary (prayers and a little financial help too). His ordination was about an hour away from us, but it was at 1:30pm. We couldn't make that after Trinity Sunday (3 services all with communion and reciting the Athanasian creed), plus we were tired after our vacation. So we came home and took naps after lunch and attempted to make it to the 6:30 installation. We turned a little early and had to try again to get to this country church 1 1/2 hours away. We got there just as the bell was ringing so Ram didn't robe and participate in the service. I appreciated his help in the pew with the Lambs during their second long service of the day. Since Ram didn't participate, I didn't take any pictures.
Afterwards when we sat down to eat cake and punch, the man that sat next to me said his son was an LCMS pastor. Out of curiosity I asked a few more questions. I was surprised that his son was The Mama's husband! We had a nice chat about how we had just visited their family while we were at pastor's conference a few weeks ago. We also saw a few other pastors that we knew and chatted briefly with them.
The church was a large, beautiful LCMS country church. I enjoyed the evening-especially singing with a full congregation. Lamb 2 made a mess of his cake and they said they have several children at their church and they understand messes. It amazes me that we can drive 1 1/2 hours away and have friends there and "feel at home" at their church.
Rev. Koepp grew up a short distance away from the church the installation was at. (We drove through his home town to get to the church.) Their family is blessed to be placed at a church so close to his family.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We're home after a 5 day vacation to CA to visit Ram's grandma. The Lambs are exhausted. Hopefully we can get up for church in the morning so Ram can preach, I can play my flute, and the Lambs can sing with their Sunday School class. Photos and trip report to follow next week. Most of our bags are unpacked, next week I'll get to the laundry and we'll resume homeschool.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cool school site

Recently a Looper shared this site with us. I thought it was a very neat site and I will use some things on it.

I read through the site and the author of this site was the artist for the Musical Instruments coloring book and another coloring book about fish that the Lambs have. We used the musical instruments book when we first studied musical instruments. That is where Lamb 1 saw a cabaca and decided he wanted one. She said she doesn't get any royalties on those Dover coloring books. She said the San Francisco Orchestra bought 18,000 copies of the music coloring book and she didn't get anything. I just thought this was all interesting-you never know what you will discover on the web!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

7 years

May 25 was the 7th anniversary of Ram's ordination and installation as pastor here. Sometimes it is hard to believe that was only 7 years ago and other times it seems like it was longer than 7 years ago. We didn't have a digital camera yet so I can't show you any photos from that day. Maybe some day I will get organized and put some of our old photos on the computer.

In those 7 years we have had 3 Lambs and sent 3 other Lambs to heaven. Ram's younger brother, both of my grandmas, both of Ram's grandpas, and one of Ram's grandmas went to heaven. Several other family and friends have also gone to heaven. We sold the vehicle that we drove here and have bought 3 other vehicles and sold one of those. We got a new computer and 3 digital cameras (one broke). As pastor, Ram has done about 45 funerals, 1 wedding, and 5 baptisms (including our Lambs and I'm only counting members that regularly attend church, not baptisms for grandchildren that wanted to be baptized at our church).

I recently watched a video that we made when we first moved here, giving a little house tour. I was amazed how little stuff we had then as compared to now. We didn't have any baby, toddler, or children's toys, clothing, games, or furniture. We had a lot less books. We had a lot less furniture. Everything was clean and organized in that video.

I'm so thankful for the Lambs and the other good changes that have happened these last 7 years!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Youth Fishing Day

Last Saturday, there was a youth fishing day at the wildlife refuge near our town. I wasn't brave enough to take the 3 Lambs by myself and Ram had a meeting all day. I was so thankful our babysitter was willing to come with us. It was stormy in the morning and I thought they might cancel it. It was very windy and around 60 degrees but at least it stopped raining.

Our babysitter was so good working with Lamb 1. We borrowed fishing poles for the day because we didn't own any. By the end of the morning, Lamb 1 was starting to catch on a little bit. Hopefully we can take him fishing a few more times this summer and let him practice some more. Lamb 1 was frustrated that you don't catch a fish every time you go fishing and that you can't catch a fish instantly. It was very good for him to learn this about fishing on Saturday.

Lamb 2 was really too young for fishing. He just didn't have the coordination or a big enough hand. He enjoyed watching everyone else along with Lamb 3. They had a good time just being outside.

They served a delicious lunch of fish, hot dogs, chips, and pop. Lamb 1 only ate fish, no hot dog. Lamb 2 had both. Lamb 3 ate a whole bag of Cheetos and a little fish. Lamb 1 and 2 were so happy to have their own can of orange pop.

We didn't even get close to catching a fish so we weren't in that contest, but they had drawings for those that preregistered. Lamb 2 got a tackle box and Lamb 1 got a nice box of fishing supplies. Our babysitter helped the Lambs organize Lamb 1's prize in the tackle box.
Lamb 1 and 2 were also each given a nice backpack full of fishing supplies and treats. If we get them some fishing poles and bait, they are completely set to go fishing between what was in the backpack and what they got for prizes.
I know they advertised the local company that paid for the pop and water for lunch, but I'm not sure who paid for the rest. I imagine it's a combination of our tax dollars and companies that sell fishing supplies and donations. It was so nice that they do this for our local youth. Everything was well planned from registering, getting backpacks, other things to do besides fishing (look under microscopes etc.), providing bait, serving lunch, and giving out prizes.
City Girl Disclaimer: I went fishing a few times when I was little, but my parents never took me fishing and I never went fishing in a boat. I knew how to put a worm on a hook and that was about the extent of my fishing knowledge. I felt like a terrible mom when we arrived there today. I had worked out the logistics of getting to the fishing, (not going to a bridal shower at church, getting Ram to his meeting on time, etc.) but until we arrived at the water today, I never thought about needing to help the Lambs fish! I should have made Lamb 3 wear a life jacket, but I was worried about him by the water and couldn't help much nor did I know how to help much. I was so thankful that our babysitter was with us and could help them. There were a few others there that helped us when our line got tangled on branches too and I was thankful for their help. I'm slowly learning to be a better "boy mom"!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lamb 2!

I will try to post photos of his birthday celebration soon. Soon will probably be next week! Here are some photos of his 3rd birthday last year. This is what I did last year on the day before his birthday. Hopefully I don't have any accidents like that again! Interesting that I received a bill last month for the x-ray for my foot.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Lamb 2 turns 4 tomorrow. His is the last spring birthday for our Lambs. Lamb 1's is in March, Lamb 3's and Ram's are in April. This makes it difficult for Lamb 2 to wait until the end of May for his birthday. Recently there have been a few places that 3 years and under were free and we were glad that Lamb 2 hadn't had his birthday yet. When we went fishing, it was for ages 4-14 and I was glad Lamb 2 was close enough to 4 so he could try to fish and get prizes too.

Last year I posted Lamb 2's birth story here. I also posted some photos of Lamb 2 here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

32nd Week of School

I posted here about school last week. This report is about the last two weeks. Last week we had school Monday-Friday. On Saturday we went fishing and I'll have a post about that soon. We also planted our small garden last week. Here's what we accomplished in school:

Math: We began MUS lesson 21 (more subtracting 9 from a number).
Reading: We read lots. I was interested in a couple of Virginia Lee Burton's books that I never heard of before so we got from the library and read Choo Choo and Calico, the Wonder Horse. The boys liked Choo Choo but Calico was too long and some of the humor was above them. We read Night of the Moonjellies, and Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening-just reading, no FIAR activities. We finished reading When we were Very Young by A.A. Milne and I plan to have them memorize a couple of poems from it soon. We read some more Just So Stories.
Handwriting: I got out some Kumon workbooks and have been working with Lamb 2 on tracing, drawing lines, dot to dot, etc., all pre-writing skills that are very difficult for him. He loves the Kumon workbooks! I have been working with Lamb 2 more than Lamb 1 on handwriting skills right now.
Phonics: Lamb 1 is doing well on the first set of Bob books. I try to have him read one book daily, but it really depends on his mood-one day he is anxious for his turn to read, the next day he doesn't want to read anything. Most days he reads one book sometime during the day, even if it is before bed instead of during school time.
Religion: We completed the 3rd set of Sunday School posters. Stories we did are Miraculous Catch of Fish, Jesus our Shepherd, Jesus Sends 72, Jesus Teaches us to Pray, Ascension, and Pentecost. I plan to review this set of stories one more time and we will go on to the next set. The Lambs are getting ready to sing God loves Me Dearly (Sunday School teacher choice) in church. They know this well so I have to practice my flute, but they don't need to practice singing! I tried to work on memorizing the commandments with them again using the Sing the Faith CD, and they just don't know them as well as I would like them to know them. We continue to work on this daily.
Latin: I am proud that we have reviewed and they know well Prima Latina lessons 1-10 vocabulary. They were so excited to get to learning numbers 1-10 in vocabulary. Lamb 1 tries to use Latin to answer what number prayer he would like us to say at meals, etc. Lamb 1 knows the vocabulary better than Lamb 2 now, which says something because when we started Latin it was the opposite. Lamb 2 is still doing well in Latin, just not as well as Lamb 1.
Music: We have learned about the composers- Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven and listened to some of their music.
Science: We have read some science books and also worked on the garden. On fishing day we looked at some pond life under the microscope. Lamb 2 didn't understand what to do with a microscope, but the Wildlife refuge worker was very patient and a good teacher.
History: We haven't done much history recently. I'll have to get some history organized for this summer. I minored in history and I love it.
Art: Lamb 1 has begun a Kumon drawing book. He is really enjoying it and learning how to draw some basic objects and animals. I have noticed all 3 Lambs are becoming better at drawing recently, just from when we make homemade cards or thank you notes. It has really improved if I notice it, because when I see their work daily, I don't always notice it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Angie wrote a post that caused several comments about her vacation planning. I commented on her blog, but I didn't want to take over her post so I decided to blog about it myself. One of Angie's points was that for most jobs a week vacation includes the weekends before and after the week. This is not true for pastors, their vacation depends on how many Sundays they will miss.

Esther blogged that her husband had a week vacation (as long as there were no funerals) and she had quite the "honey do" list for her husband to get things done around home. I don't know if she wished that they could go somewhere, but I can't imagine being able to use vacation time to stay home without Ram having commitments for a whole week. Thankfully my dad is usually willing to be a handyman when he comes to visit or nothing would get done around here with Ram's schedule as a pastor!

Ram has a tri-parish and it is very difficult to find a substitute to do all 3 services. Plus our churches don't really have the money to pay a substitute stipend or mileage. There are a few retired pastors in the area (if you count a 3 hour drive as in the area) but they are really too old to do all 3 services. A few times Ram has written a sermon and asked the elders to read it. One of the churches doesn't have any elders or members willing to read a sermon. Once one of the elders read the sermon at two churches so Ram could have a Sunday off. One of our friends, his church felt bad they couldn't give him a raise so he was given an extra Sunday off instead. That would never happen here! Sometimes my dad comes and preaches for Ram as a retired LCMS pastor. But last year when he did that, we went to CA to see Ram's mom's side of the family and we weren't even home when my dad came and preached. When we want to take vacation to visit my parents then my dad doesn't want to come here and preach!

So technically Ram gets 3 weeks vacation and I think the churches would be generous and give him extra than that, as long as he didn't miss more than 1 or 2 Sundays. So here's what we have done in the past- a little more than 1 week to IN driving to my parents, usually missing one Sunday; 1 week flying to CA and Ram's parents meet us there, not missing a Sunday; and 1 week driving to a conference like CCA in WI to see friends, not missing a Sunday. Every other year we try to drive to ID, not fly to CA, which takes 2 weeks and we miss a Sunday. On the ID years then we don't get to see friends at something like CCA and we don't get to miss a Sunday to go to IN, we have to make IN a really fast trip. My parents are 15 hours and Ram's parents are 19 hours driving without stops. We can drive to my parents in 2 days and Ram's parents in 3 days if we really push it.

This year Ram went to family and friend funerals in both January and February. He didn't miss any Sundays but he missed Ash Wednesday. He is also going to Synodical Convention and will miss 1 Sunday and be tired for the next Sunday. My parents are coming to help me with the boys while he is gone and my dad will preach while he is gone. We are going to CA for a week without missing a Sunday and we hope to go to IN this fall and possibly miss one Sunday for that trip. I was really worried about our vacation until we got this figured out. We haven't been home to IN since June 2008 and I was homesick for my town and friends there. My parents have come to visit here but it's not the same as going home.

I have a friend that the family goes to her parents and then the dad flies home to be pastor and the mom and kids stay at her parents for about a month. I can't imagine the logistics of that as we live 3 or 4 hours away from the airport. Nor do I want to be apart from Ram for a month. I doubt we will ever work out vacation like that.

One of the comments on Angie's blog reminded us pastor's wives that everyone doesn't get to take a vacation every year. I have a couple of points about this-
1. We asked to be sent to any state bordering IN or ID and we got sent to MN. Many (I know not all) jobs, you could pick to live close (one day's drive) to at least one set of parents or family. So unless our parents come here, we never get to spend any holidays with our family. When I was little my dad would do church on holidays and then we would drive the 3 hours to my grandma's. That's not an option here.
2. I realize that this is true for many jobs, but when Ram takes vacation he has a lot of work to do before and after his vacation (writing a sermon for the elders to read, making up shut-in visits for when he was gone, etc.). When his younger brother died he had to have a sermon ready the day after we got back from the funeral.
3. The only job that I can think of that is similar to a pastor is a doctor. They both get phone calls in the middle of the night, sometimes have to spend long hours with a family, and get phone calls during vacation for emergencies. But doctors have someone to cover them while they are on vacation. Doctors can schedule appointments around their vacation. Yes, Ram has an area pastor to cover for EMERGENCIES while he is gone, but not for all the other pastor duties. I know that doctors use all their vacation because sometimes I have a difficult time getting an appointment!
4. The ones I feel sorry for are the cantors and organists and musicians of the church. They can't really miss a Sunday as it is part of their job and even if they aren't volunteer then they don't get paid nearly enough.

I'm glad that Ram is a pastor here and our members are generous and take good care of us. But I hate living so far away from both sides of the family. My way of coping with the distance is vacation. Ram's vacation time is precious to us and we only use it to visit family. Since we moved here, my sister has come to visit us, but we have never gone to see her. SC is just too far. It would be so nice to use some vacation time to go somewhere to see friends (like New Orleans where Ram did his vicarage) or just an educational trip to see something for the Lambs. When my college girlfriends got together a few years ago, they had to work around my not missing a Sunday.

So this post was not nearly as organized thoughts as Angie had, but I just want to say that even with all that goes into planning a vacation, I was truly relieved to figure out our vacation for this year. Just figuring out the vacation makes me a better SAHM and pastor's wife and homeschool mom. I'm also so thankful that Ram has a job as a pastor right now, as there are very few Calls and even the Seminary graduates weren't all placed this year.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Recently I signed Lamb 1 and 2 up for swim lessons for 2 weeks and soccer for 1 week this summer. The Lambs have never done any sports or swim lessons so this might go well or they might not participate at all! Lamb 2 hates to run, but maybe if he has a purpose to the running like soccer, he will like it more. We aren't taking any vacations this summer so I thought it was a good year to get them involved in the community. I didn't want to commit to t-ball for several weeks so I thought this was a good amount of sports for our family this summer.

I had a difficult time filling out the form because it was all this sport is for children that have finished 2nd grade, this sport is for children that have finished 5th grade, etc. Lamb 1 wanted to know how old he had to be to do golf. I had to think to figure out how old he would be to complete each grade for each sport he was interested in. I think that is a difference between homeschoolers and other school children-homeschool parents know how old their children are and school parents know what grade their child has completed, and we each have to think for a minute for the opposite. I talked to a friend last night that her son is 6th grade age, but he has completed 7th grade work in all subjects and work above that in a few subjects. Add in a child like that and we parents have to think even more to answer these questions!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lamb 2's play time

1. Overheard while we were gardening the other day-Lamb 2 was acting out the Little Red Hen story. "I'll help said the mouse, I'll help said the cat, I'll help said the dog...because they wanted to have good bread to they helped plant the wheat." We haven't even read this book recently, but gardening tools in his hands reminded him of this.
2. Overheard while Lamb 2 was playing. "I have miles to go before I sleep!" (Stopping by the Woods on Snowy Evening by Robert Frost) He repeated this several times all day.

This is from the most active and it looks like paying attention the least of the Lambs during homeschool read aloud time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Camcorded Memories

We had a friend tape our wedding and we borrowed a camcorder for Ram's ordination. After Lamb 1 was born we purchased our own camcorder. I had no desire to tape the birth of our Lambs, but I did want their baptisms and Christmas Eve programs recorded.

Recently I have been going through our tapes to decide what to put on DVD. It has been a little bittersweet-even just watching the baptisms of our Lambs showed how many of our church members are no longer visible at the communion rail with us. Many of the people that attended our wedding including all of our grandparents that attended and Ram's younger brother and other family and friends are in heaven too. We taped a little house tour when we first moved here before we had very much furniture, before any Lambs, and a lot less books. That was fun to watch 7 years later!

Even with a very ill child with MSPI, we taped Lamb 1 several times as a baby. Nothing fancy, just him eating in the high chair, playing with his toys, learning to crawl, and learning to walk. We NEVER taped Lamb 2 or 3 doing anything like this. Lamb 1 is only 6 and I had forgotten what he acted like as a baby. It was fun to watch that little bit that we taped. I regret not taping the other Lambs.

I wrote on my calendar that in June we are going to do a little videotaping of all 3 Lambs-sort of an end of the first homeschool year "recital". I plan to have them recite the poems they learned this year, sing a few songs, and perhaps tape a few every day activities like them playing with Lincoln Logs. Hopefully we can do this once or twice a year. I know that in 5 years or so it will be fun to go back and watch these routine activities. I think perhaps this is more important to me because we do homeschool and they don't have school programs.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ewe's Reading

When I was in elementary school I read the Little House on the Prairie books several times. I can still picture the shelf in the public library with those books!
When I was in middle school I refused to read anything that I knew was a classic. I read several teenage romance junk books. I'm so mad I wasted my time on those books now.
I watched a lot of Little House on the Prairie on TV as a child and more after we moved here and had cable. I watched the Anne of Green Gables movies several times in college and after I got the DVDs.
I was required to read a few classics in high school and college. When I taught at a classical Lutheran school, I chose to read a few more classics.
Recently I reread the whole Little House series. It was surprising what jumped out at me reading it as an adult. I was more interested in what they ate and what they grew in their garden and what she taught in the classroom, etc.
I had never read any of the Anne of Green Gables books. I almost read them in college because my first college roommate was a huge Anne fan. Last night I stayed up too late and finished volume 3.
First I have to say that Ram was very romantic when we were dating. One of our first dates he showed up in a suit and top hat with flowers. His proposal was very romantic too.
I thought I knew what was going to happen in the Anne books after watching the movies. But the movies left out so much! I have to say that Gilbert is so romantic in the books! I went to bed last night so happy that the story was turning out the way that I wanted to (happily ever after). I know that I'm not even half way through the series and a lot can happen in the rest of the series. Today I began volume 4 and it begins like the movie with her teaching the Pringles.
I own some more Montgomery for when I finish the Anne series and then I'm going to read Austen.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekly School Report

We had a lot of field trips this week and we read a lot of books in between those field trips. But we didn't do a lot of math or Latin so I'm not going to count this as a school week. It's a good thing we do school year around when we have weeks like this. Then I think of some of the crazy weeks we had in the classroom and I don't feel so bad!
Last Sunday the Lambs sang I am Jesus Little Lamb at church. After all 3 services we went to a Mother's Day buffet at a restaurant on the lake over the border in SD. Afterwards we walked out to the lake and the Lambs played by the lake for a little while.
Monday and Tuesday we went along to Pastor's conference with Ram. The Lambs made new friends and I was able to talk a little school with the two other homeschool moms. It was good for the Lambs to have some socialization with other homeschooled kids. Lamb 1 asked if he could put his new friends in his address book.
Wednesday we went to a health fair. There was a huge "colon" tunnel to walk through. I thought it was a blood vessel to show cholesterol. I laughed when I found out it was a colon to show polyps! The Lambs walked through the whole fair and got lots of "treats" (pens, pencils, paper, dark chocolate, etc.).
Thursday another author came to this area. We listened to Douglas Wood play guitar, sing, and talk about his books. It got a little long for the Lambs, but it was a good experience for them. We only owned one of his books and I was very cautious because so many of his books are Native American folktales-or that kind of book (god is the tree, god is the water, etc.). He was short on time and the program was not as well run as when we went to see Nancy Carlson, so we didn't purchase any books. I'll try to post more about seeing both authors soon.
Friday the Lambs woke up with a cold so we went to the chiropractor and then I went to the Mommapoloza. Saturday we took it easy as they recovered from their colds. Ram had an all day meeting out of town for the Synodical convention. The Lambs were happy one of our friends came to babysit while I went to a baby shower. We stopped and bought some plants and flowers on the way home. I'm wondering if Lamb 1 has allergies after this latest round of colds in our house. His eyes were so red and he had the worst cold.
Today one of our churches had a ham dinner that is usually held in March but it was rescheduled because of mud. We had Sunday School, church and the ham dinner. This afternoon we went out and planted some flowers and our pepper plants. I can only take so long of watching 3 Lambs and trying to get something planted and trying to keep eager to plant Lamb 1 busy. We still have tomatoes and a few more things to plant. Hopefully the weather is nice so we can finish planting everything this week. I still haven't settled on where to plant everything so I need to think some more before we go outside again! Hopefully we can get a good week of school in this week too.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mommapooloza 2010

I was only able to go to the Mommapooloza from about 4-10pm yesterday. I wish I could have stayed the whole weekend but it didn't work out that way. First the Lambs have colds so we decided to take them to the chiropractor yesterday morning. I got a later start than I wanted. The drive was slow with school buses, construction on some bridges, and farm equipment on the back roads where you can't pass. Without all that it took a little more than 1 1/2 hours. I was the one that asked people to come early and most were there when I got there. Kristi came the same time as I did, Glenda, Wendi, and Angie came after me.
I'm one of the strange ones that doesn't have a fancy phone (in fact I don't have any cell phone) nor do I have a laptop nor do I do Facebook, so I had to wait until I was home to post this!
I knew almost everyone from last year's Mommapooloza, but I had never met Wendi or Angie or Michelle. Wendi and Angie came from WY. They had a long drive but they made good time and were able to join us for supper.
Melanie made supper for the first night. We had potato leek soup, homemade bread, and wine. This is some of the wine that was brought. We tried several of these last night! Melanie made tiramisu too. She claimed it wasn't the best she had made, but it was delicious. There were jokes about the difference between college and a Mommapooloza is now we're legal and we have much better liquor for this slumber party!
It's difficult to get photos when everyone is talking. I think it is funny how many of these photos someone is talking with their hands! I took these photos so I wasn't in these.
Wendi, Kristi, Michelle, Charity, Glenda.

I forgot to take a photo of Melanie the host and cook!
This photo was taken last year of Chick 5 and Lamb 1. They were both still nursing so they both attended the Mommapooloza last year.

Chick 5 still needs a little Mama's milk so she attended this year. I had a difficult time getting her photo because she is so busy. She played with dolls for a long time.

Wendi, Gina, Angie

Glenda, Suzanne, Kristi

Melanie, Michelle, Charity, Glenda
I came home with some treats. Wendi gave us some beans (with the motive that we will buy some from her after we try them!). Kristi sold me some meat. I got home a little after midnight.

A few will need to leave today and a few may pop in today, but there were 10 of us last night. Ram has a meeting all day today that he couldn't miss so I had to come home. I was glad I went last night even though my time was short.
Today's plans (that I have to miss) include staying in their pjs most of the day and cooking a meal for tonight from from Julia Child including boeuf bourguignon and TWO desserts-creme brulee and chocolate almond cake. I know they are having a great time!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mama's break

In the past 24 hours I discovered Lamb 1 did these 3 things.
1. Got into the sprinkles and hid them in the living room and they got spilled all over. Goodbye Easter sprinkles. I find it hard to believe that Lamb 1 did this without any help from the other Lambs, but he claims he did. He had to vacuum the living room after this, although he likes to vacuum and I'm not sure it was the best punishment.
2. On Sunday he stole a silk flower out of the church cemetery and brought it home. He had to write an apology to the trustee and he'll have to deliver it on Sunday.
3. During rest time he cut threads out of my sofa. Threads all over the floor and sofa more ruined than just being old. I have no idea what kind of punishment to give for this!

Ram is generous enough to let me go to the Mommapooloza today. Unfortunately I have to come home even if it is late tonight because Ram has a meeting all day tomorrow. I am looking forward to the car ride ALONE both ways and to get an afternoon/evening away from the mischievous Lambs. I'll try to post photos from my fun evening soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The U.S. Census

Last Thursday even though it was raining, we went to the town 15 miles away for a little beginning of summer party. It was ironic that it was cold and rainy but at least it wasn't snowing. The Lambs had a good time and got lots of treats. The Lambs planted flowers and I won a gift certificate for the meat market. We ate brats there for supper.

On Friday when we opened up our door there was a note from the Census that they had tried to talk to us but we weren't home. There was no date or time on it and we rarely use our front door so we had no idea when they had come. It said we could call from 8am-11pm so we called them Friday night. Yes, they had come on Thursday night. When would we like to meet with them?

We went along with Ram to the pastor's conference so we made the appointment for Wednesday morning at 9. That was a mistake after getting home late on Tuesday. Ram and I got up and dressed and the Lambs were still sleeping when he came.

I was not impressed with the way our census taker dressed. Jeans with holes, an old t-shirt and a sweatshirt. We had the short form to answer for him.

The note that we received in our door said his office was in Shakopee (by the Twin Cities). We had visions of this man getting up at 5am to come out here and meet with us. He told us he was from a town about 20 miles away and he has to try 5 times before they send someone from Shakopee. He said most people in our small town were helpful and one on the city council really helped him a lot. There are very few street signs in our town and very few people have house numbers on their houses. He said just one person from our town refused to talk to him. I thought his job would be easy after that man came last fall with his GPS device and entered everything about our small town in his computer!

We told him we would have gladly mailed the form in if we would have received it. We figured we didn't get a form because we have a P.O. Box. He thinks it is because they were doing work on our sewers in town. But that doesn't make any sense because the sewer work makes it more difficult for the census taker to come to our house instead of just letting us mail it in. Ram's parents said they haven't heard anything from the Census yet this year.

We talked to the Lambs about the Census even though they were sleeping when he came. Lamb 1 was mad that he missed him and refused to listen to me talk about it. The interesting thing was the Census asks about your family on April 1, and Lamb 3's birthday is on April 2! I had to think for a minute since Ram has also had a birthday since then.

I'm looking forward to the census being completed to know how many people are in our town. I'm hoping our town has increased instead of decreased. It is always interesting to tell people that your town has 113 people though!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A little socialization for our Lambs

(This photo was taken with our old camera so it's not the best, but you get the idea.)
L-R Sweet Pea (6), Christopher (6), Lamb 2 (3 1/2), Emma (4), Little Bird (3), Ewe, Lamb 3 (2), The Mama, Baby Moose (2 months) with Lamb 1 (6) not in the blank spot in line, having a tantrum on the floor in front of us instead because he didn't want to have his photo taken.

Our 3 homeschool families got together at the MN N Pastor Conference this week. We only went for Monday and Tuesday but we had a great time in that short time. The others stayed for Wednesday too.

Jenny (not pictured from Loopers) has Christopher and Emma. Her husband is one of Lamb 3's godparents.

The Mama has Sweet Pea, Little Bird, and Baby Moose. Little Bird is so cuddly and likes to snuggle on anyone's lap to listen to stories. I loved holding a GIRL with big brown eyes. Baby Moose is big for a 2 month old and content to nurse often and be held by anyone when he's not nursing. I never held Baby Moose but he is adorable.

The Mama is part of 2 blogs that I read regularly and it took me awhile to figure out that she was in my part of the U.S. We had never met before this week.

The Lambs and Ewe had a great time with our new and old friends. My friend Leah from college was also there. She was a great help with all our little ones. Ram and the other dads/husbands also had a good time chatting. I say this even though we were all interrupted several times during conversations to take care of our little ones.

You can tell from Lamb 1 in this photo, that the Lambs loved their friends, but were grouchy and in need of a nap on the second day. I can't imagine if Lamb 1 was in school that we would have this problem more often because every school day he wouldn't be able to sleep in as long as he needs.

I will post a little more about seeing our friends later this week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Our church is now the middle service for our tri-parish. Lamb 1 was tired and in a bad mood for Sunday School. He had a lay on the floor tantrum because he couldn't find his offering money. He refused to stand up or sing when they practiced singing in Sunday School. I didn't know what was going to happen at church.
I played my flute and the Lambs sang with the other two Sunday School children, "I am Jesus Little Lamb". Lamb 1 stood up and sang well! The other two children sang well. Lamb 3 stood with the boys for the hymn. Lamb 2 sat down, played with the railing, and sang off to the side so no one could hear him. He usually sings the loudest. For our first time singing in church it wasn't that bad.
Ram had to go to the next service so the Lambs shook hands by themselves. I knew better than to try to get a picture of the boys without Ram there to help.
When Ram got home we headed over to a restaurant across the border in SD for a buffet. It was more crowded than ever. Even though we had a reservation we had to wait awhile. We finally got seated. Lamb 1 had several plates of food plus so many desserts that I lost count. Lamb 2 worked on one plate of food and two desserts. Lamb 3 ate a waffle, mini muffin, and some ice cream. Lamb 3 got some of that ice cream on my dress. 3 and under were free so that meant that Lamb 2 and 3 were both free. Then we attempted a photo and this is the best we could do.
The Lambs gave me flowers with their reward from our local bank and Ram helped them add a couple of roses to the vase. They picked this one because there was a bird and bird nest in it. This was the best photo I could get of this. Sigh.
Ram's parents gave me chocolate, tea, and permission to buy something I need or want. I have had my eye on a cute camera strap since MckMama shared which one she had. Maybe that is what I will buy.
It was a good Mother's Day. I'm so thankful to have Ram and my Lambs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

31st Week of School

We were able to have school every day this week. Our babysitter came on Tuesday. We went with Ram to the last Released Time for the year on Wednesday. We went to a local "party" in a nearby town on Thursday. On Saturday we planted some herbs and flowers in pots that we can easily move outside or inside in case of frost. We were able to accomplish a lot of school this week.
Math: We finished MUS lesson 19 and began lesson 20. Lamb 1 was overheard "playing" with his math blocks after school time one day. "Mama, did you know 6+4 is the same as 4+6?" MUS has worked on this a lot! He was also heard saying, "If you have 6 blocks and you vacuum up 2 blocks, then you have 4 blocks!" We got a new vacuum for the Lambs to use recently so vacuum has been on his mind. MUS uses the vacuum vocabulary a little bit but I haven't used it a lot with Lamb 1. It just shows they pick up a lot even when you don't think they are. Lamb 1 began a dot to dot (to 100) book. Lamb 2 began a dot to dot (to 10) book.
Reading: We began reading Just So Stories. Lamb 1 enjoys it, Lamb 2 not so much. We have read quite a bit of A.A. Milne's When we were Very Young. We read Katy and the Big Snow but we didn't do any FIAR activities with it.
Phonics: Ram's mom gave us some easy readers from A Beka, I don't know the title of what they are. Lamb 1 has enjoyed reading them this week. Lamb 1 also started reading the Bob books but he doesn't like them as much as those little A Beka books. We are still taking a little break from The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.
Music: We finished studying the instruments in The Story of the Orchestra and we began reading some of the introduction to the orchestra, conductor, etc. Then we started the second part of the book studying composers. We studied Vivaldi and listened to a lot of Vivaldi this week.
Latin: After Spanish in April, we went back and reviewed well the vocabulary in the first 3 lessons of Prima Latina. I'm trying to make sure they know it well before going on.
Religion: We resumed our learning the Bible stories with the posters. We did a few lessons this week, Jesus Heals 10 Men with Leprosy, Jesus is Anointed, The Lord's Supper, and Jesus Appears to Thomas. We have been near the same point as the stories they do in Sunday School so I've either heard, "We just did that in Sunday School." or "I told our Sunday School teacher that we just did that in school". Sunday School takes a break in the summer so hopefully we can work ahead of Sunday School! We memorized Mark 5:19 for Sunday School. The Lambs sang I am Jesus Little Lamb in church so we practiced that a lot. The pastors asked the students (3rd and 4th grade) questions for a game at Released Time. Lamb 1 was able to get a few of the questions right by himself. Then Ram gave some hints to both Lambs for some other questions and they got those questions right too. The Lambs were thrilled to win Pringles at this game-I don't think they had ever had Pringles before! We reviewed the first 3 commandments to make sure they knew them well.
Science: We read a few books about plants and systems of the body.
History: We read a few books about American landmarks (Liberty Bell, White House).
Art: Lamb 1 began a Kumon basic drawing book. He has been really excited about drawing since we went to see an author in April that showed how she illustrates and draws animals in her books. He learned how to draw a few things like some fruits and a baseball and a balloon. He is looking forward to learning how to draw a mushroom this week because he doesn't have any mushrooms in his play kitchen. He often draws or spends time working on his crafty projects. He made a tablecloth out of paper for his table by his play kitchen but it ended up not being big enough so he plans to make another one. The babysitter also let them do play doh when she was here.
Handwriting: I got out some of the Kumon alphabet (Lamb 1) and number (Lamb 2) cards that are erasable with marker. Our Lambs have rarely used markers and when they do they use washable ones. The first time Lamb 1 had it all over his clothes and himself. The second time I made them take off their shirts and that meant he had it all over himself more. Lamb 1 has worked pretty independently on this which is not what I intended because I wanted to make sure he was making all his letters correctly. But I can only do so much when I have 2 with markers in their hands and one that wants to have a marker in his hand! Lamb 1 has been helping to teach Lamb 2 how to make numbers. Lamb 2 did very well on making his numbers on these cards. Lamb 2 also worked on a Kumon tracing book. He is doing well holding a pencil correctly and doing this-we've come a long way in a couple of months!
Ram's mom picked up the Kumon books and cards at Costco a few months ago and I procrastinated getting them out especially because I didn't want to mess with the markers. I have seen these books at Walmart and Barnes and Noble too. I'm going to have to check out what other books are offered. I don't want to workbook the Lambs to death, but they have enjoyed these. I think some of these skills are just what the Lambs need right now. Lamb 2 said, "My favorite things are planting plants and doing cards with markers." If they can learn something while they are having fun, it's even better!
This is a busy week so some of our school may need to be done in the car.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Ram and the Lambs have a few surprises for me today that I'm sure I'll have to post about soon.

Happy Mother's Day to:
- my mom
-Ram's mom
-Ram's grandma P.
-to my godmother, Aunt Lorene
-to Lamb 1's godmother, Ruth G.
-to Aunt Hannah, the godmother for all 3 Lambs
-to the grandmothers of our tri-parish who have adopted our Lambs as special grandchildren

In our prayers today:
-mothers with someone in the military that can't be home to celebrate today
-mothers who are waiting on adoption to be finalized for a child
-mothers who aborted a baby
-women that want to be mothers with fertility problems
-mothers who have a child or children in heaven now
-single mothers that are raising children alone
-all mothers to be guided in all they do to raise their children

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ideas wanted

I am invited to a bridal shower where I don't know the bride at all. I need an idea for a present. I don't want to mess with a registry, because we live so far from stores and I don't want to pay shipping for online. I'm wanting to get her something that won't just be given to Goodwill eventually. I'm extra cautious about this because when a relative got married, they were not excited about registering for their wedding like I was. They didn't plan to cook a lot but they were "expected" to register for a lot of kitchen stuff. She didn't know what they were going to do with all that kitchen stuff. I don't know this bride at all and I wonder if it is the same way. Once I gave a pizza stone because I figured even if they didn't make homemade pizza on it, they could put frozen pizza on it! Please leave a comment with any ideas-I don't have time to sew something or do something crafty.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Our family meal plan

When we ate dairy free for Lamb 1's sake, I made up a menu plan for our family. We had visited some friends that had many allergies in their family and she gave me the idea to try to vary the proteins in our meals. Eating dairy free didn't seem so difficult when we had a whole list of possible meals!
Because we often eat leftovers for lunch the next day and sometimes for supper the next day too, I don't plan a new meal for each day. We just eat leftovers until they are gone and then we make something new. Living in a rural area, we have most of the ingredients on hand most of the time. So the way this works is we make something from the BEEF category and when that is gone then we make something from the CHICKEN category and when that is gone we make something from the PORK/MEATLESS until we cycle through all the categories and then we begin again.
Our list started dairy free but recently many recipes from my blogging friends have been added to the list and they are not always dairy free. You will notice that there aren't many really heavy dairy recipes here. I rarely make casseroles/hotdishes because they are usually so heavy on dairy. It's easy for our family to choose something from one category instead of saying, "What should we have tonight?" thinking of all the recipes that we regularly cook. Obviously when we have much produce from the garden or something is on sale then we cook that even if it is out of rotation for our meal plan.

steak (a treat once or twice a year!)
roast with veggies
sloppy joes
cottage pie (shepherd's pie)

baked chicken with quinoa
barbecue chicken
stir fry
turkey with stuffing
groundnut stew
chicken a la king

applesauce pork
baked beans
pork chops
brats with sauerkraut
bean burritos
bubble and squeak
egg roll guts

tuna noodle casserole
baked fish with french fries
fish with coleslaw
spaghetti with clam sauce
pasta with salmon

SOUP in winter/SALAD in summer
chicken noodle soup
chili with cornbread
vegetable soup
lentil or bean soup

egg salad
chicken salad
tuna salad (both tuna melts and MckMama's tuna salad with pasta)
garden salad
taco salad
Texas caviar

BREAKFAST (usually made on weekends for brunch)
french toast
fried eggs
Huevos Rancheros
egg sandwiches
sausage gravy and biscuits
baked oatmeal (crockpot night before)
possible sides: fruit salad, hashbrowns, muffins

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My physical

Have you had your annual exam recently? I remember talking to someone with 4 children that finally went for her physical when she sent the last one to kindergarten. She had gone when she was pregnant, but not since then. I was single at the time and I couldn't imagine that. I mentioned that to Ram once, I'm not even sure if we had any children when I told him this, and he told me he wanted my exams to be ANNUAL. I think we often spend so much time making appointments for our children (dentist, eye doctor, well child visits etc.) and we forget about ourselves. If you are overdue for your appointment, please schedule one today. Let's take care of ourselves so we are better able to take care of our families!

I went for my exam on Tuesday. I love our new doctor. She is about my age and she has two boys close in age to our boys. Since she is a relatively new doctor when she doesn't know the answer to something she isn't afraid to ask one of the more experienced doctors. I had my cholesterol and everything tested while I was there. I hadn't had all that tested since Lamb 1 was born. Plus I had been having my exams with my midwife and I think the doctor was a little more thorough than the midwife.

Everything came back normal except for my vitamin D. It is supposed to be over 50 and mine was only 16. I am to take a prescription vitamin D for a few weeks and be retested. Usually the prescription builds your vitamin D back up and then you are fine. I haven't been too good about taking my vitamins recently, so this was another reminder to me. It has been so cloudy and rainy here that we haven't been outside as much as we were in April. Lamb 1 and 2 still try to go outside, but I don't when the weather is yucky. I'll have to make more of an effort to go outside even if it is for a short time. I'm wondering if this vitamin D deficiency is part of the reason we were sick so much this fall.

I am also going to see my thyroid doctor in June and hoping to get my levels for that back to normal.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Roald Dahl's Television Poem

Carole Joy Seid read this poem at the seminar last Saturday. My home did not have TV from when I was about 4 years old until about 6th grade. My parents also forbid me to watch Dukes of Hazard when I went over to my friend's house. Sometimes I still feel out of it when I talk to people and I didn't watch TV during those years. Ram's family had a TV, but during much of Ram's childhood, his mom kept it in the closet for use during special news times etc.

When we moved here 7 years ago, the Dish Network guy came to our house to install it. He was surprised that we owned ONE "small" TV. He said he usually installed 3 TVs as an average in one home and usually one of those was very large. We have friends that had a similar story about a surprised cable installer and they owned 2 TVs.

After a couple years of Dish Network, we got tired of paying the high price, so we disconnected it. Soon they called and wanted to know which satellite or cable we had transferred to. They were expecting to give us a deal and hoping that we transfer back. I will never forget the lady that called and her questions, she just couldn't fathom that we would completely give up TV. We were able to get one station out of Sioux Falls not too bad if the weather was good. If the weather was good we still watched the news. This was before TV went digital.

A few years after that the phone company installed fiber optics in our town. For $10/month we could get about 12 TV stations. We decided that was worth it to us for just $10/month. About a year after we started TV through the phone company, they raised the price to $12/month. We knew they would just keep raising prices. In February 2009, we disconnected TV through the phone company. We had "cheap" TV compared to cable and we are still saving a ton of money each year we don't have TV.

I'll admit there have been a few times that I really wished we had TV-during the Olympics, for the Super Bowl, and when Butler was doing so well in basketball. Ram teased me that I was a TV addict during those times. We still watched the Super Bowl commercials on the internet. I survived without watching TV the other times. Plus there were still many good TV shows in the 80s and TV today just doesn't compare so I feel like I miss even less.

We could watch a lot more TV on the internet for free and/or get a Netflix subscription. But we haven't. I am so busy that now that we've been without TV for a little more than a year, I can't imagine when I would find time to sit down and watch TV on the internet or Netflix. I don't read as much news as Ram does on the internet, but I still know more news now than I did when we had TV-just from the small amount of news and blogs that I read daily.

We haven't given away our VCR or our DVD player and we own quite a few movies. Many days the Lambs watch a movie during rest time. Ram and I occasionally sit down and watch a movie together. But we have many unopened movies that we have never got around to watching.

The only "problem" with no TV has been when our Lambs are offered stickers at the doctor they usually don't know who the characters on the stickers are. Since they rarely watched TV before we gave it up, that wouldn't be solved by getting TV. I've been surprised the characters that they did know from reading books too!

I just wanted to share that our family is basically a second generation no TV family. No TV is not right for every family. But it has worked well for our family. I can't see in the future that we will get TV again. As the end of the poem says, Thank you mom and dad for no TV for most of my childhood. Thank you for baking with me and playing board and card games with me and for encouraging me to play outside and for reading with me. I expect that our Lambs will grow up to say thank you for no TV too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lutherans could learn a few things from other Christians

Before I start posting about some of what I learned at the Carole Joy Seid seminar on Saturday, I had a few thoughts about the seminar itself that I wanted to share here. I know that many of my friends that read this are not LCMS and these comments may not apply to you or they may surprise you. Hopefully I can begin talking about what I learned at the seminar soon which will apply to you more. I think sometimes we get sheltered in our LCMS part of the United States and some of what I learned on Saturday had nothing to do with the homeschool topic.
1. I don't know if you can tell in this photo, but nearly every car in the parking lot was a family car like a minivan with only a few exceptions (including the car that I drove since I didn't have my family along). This struck me because this was in the Twin Cities where they don't "need" to drive bigger cars like we do out in our rural area. Most of the participants (but not all) were from the Twin Cities area. Most people drive a pick up truck or a minivan or a bigger car or truck in our area even if their kids are grown-this is because of the winter weather here AND they need larger cars to haul things home 1 1/2-3 hours from a big city. Anyway, most of the cars were minivan type at this conference. That tells me that they have larger families and probably much less contraception use than Lutherans.
2. Before the speaker started each session she asked a volunteer to pray. I listened very closely because I was determined to find something "wrong" with the prayers. You know what, their prayers were great. In fact the last prayer of the day blew me away. The prayers were for the speaker to do a good job, thanking God for our blessings, for us to be good listeners and gain something from the day to teach our children, for the speaker and her family including her son's family, etc. The prayer that really impressed me was the last prayer. The person praying asked God to bless fathers (especially the fathers of the homeschoolers that were there on Saturday) that even in this bad economy their wives would be able to stay at home with the children! Maybe if we Lutherans started praying like that we would receive that. As Lutherans, the pastor usually prays before meetings, but we should pray before each "session" of the day. Yes, the prayers were volunteers making them up on the spot. But what they were praying for-for parents, families, etc.-similar prayers are in our hymnal and prayer books-so you wouldn't have to make it up on the spot.
3. The speaker announced that the church they held this seminar at had a cry room. She made a point to say that if she lived in the area of the seminar she would go to this church because having a cry room is a good sign. Maybe it is a sign of rural churches, but I know that not all the LCMS churches in our circuit have a cry room. The speaker said having a cry room shows that children are welcome which shows that families are welcome and also that mothers are able to still hear the church service during fussy baby times. Now granted, cry rooms can be used the wrong way when the members want the mothers to stay in the cry room the entire church service, but I agree with the speaker that cry rooms at churches are a good sign.
4. The speaker encouraged reading biographies of Christian missionaries. She also reminded us to pray for our missionaries and pray for our government to make good decisions so we don't lose our Christian rights and our homeschool rights. I don't think Lutherans do this nearly enough!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

30th Week of School

We had school all 6 days this week. I think that is a record for us. We had Ram's birthday celebration on Tuesday and we had an all afternoon of haircuts and errands on Thursday afternoon. Ram was the teacher on Saturday while Ewe went to the seminar. Here's what we accomplished this week.
Math: We finished lesson 18 and began lesson 19. Ram used pennies for subtraction instead of the MUS blocks when he worked with Lamb 1 on Saturday. Lamb 1 was happy to keep the pennies they used!
Reading: We finished My Book House volume 3. We have now read volume 1 twice and volume 2 and 3 once. We are going to take a break from My Book House and read some Just So Stories and other classics this summer. We'll resume My Book House in the fall.
We didn't learn any new poems, but the Lambs recited The Little Turtle at the bank.
We read The Very Last First Time. I was talking to Looper Cathy about it at the seminar on Saturday. It is so exciting when your children have both read the same book and you can discuss it. I had no idea that they got mussels under the ice before I read this book. It was a very cool FIAR book. Lamb 1 asked to read it more than 5 days in a row-he's never asked to read a FIAR book more than 5 days before this. We also started reading The Glorious Flight. We have just been reading the FIAR books for 5 days, we haven't been doing activities with them.
Lamb 3 has been taking books one at a time, getting comfy with them, and then turning the pages and "reading" the book. Ram figures he's probably really telling the story, we just can't understand him! It is so cute!
Much of the seminar on Saturday was on classic literature and I gained a few ideas that I can use right now with the Lambs. She has another seminar in September that is for the younger students and I really hope that I'm able to go.
Science: We've been reading books about animal life cycles and parts of a plant.
Handwriting, Phonics, Religion, History: We're still taking a break from these. I have a few ideas after the seminar to start doing. I plan to get organized for these subjects this week and get back to at least some of this after our break.
Spanish: We had our last Spanish class last week. We learned the alphabet, colors, numbers, a few parts of the body, and a few names of animals. Unfortunately we missed the 3rd week so we were a little behind the class, especially on knowing the names of animals. Their ECFE teacher knew Spanish (from either high school or college?) and she made me feel really behind when she helped her daughter in the class. I suggested they have Spanish class at least twice a year instead of just in the spring. The babysitter offered to continue to work with them so they don't forget what they learned in Spanish this month. We will resume Latin this month now that Spanish class is done. I've missed Latin!
This week we should be able to get a lot done in school again. On Wednesday we will go to the school for Papa's last Released Time class. We'll have a difficult decision-should we make cupcakes or cookies for the kids? We have a few things on the calendar, but it's not nearly as busy of a week as the rest of May is!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Long day

I left the house at 6am and returned home about 10pm. Ram was so nice to watch the boys ALL day to allow me to go to hear this speaker at a seminar. It was wonderful! I agreed with 90% of what she said, only had problems with some of her theology. I am bursting with ideas and topics to "discuss" on my blog after attending this seminar. Be prepared for many blog posts in May about homeschooling classically! If you ever have a chance to go to one of her seminars, it is worth the $45 fee. I will say that I didn't actually learn very much at this seminar, but it was presented in a way to tie together many of my thoughts after teaching at a classical Lutheran school AND from Ram being homeschooled AND after almost 1 year of "formal" homeschooling of Lamb 1. It was nice to "confirm" that we are doing a lot of things right-homeschooling, no TV, reading lots of good classic books, etc. The topic today was "Begin with the End in Mind". I wish that I would have gone to her first seminar for young children first, but it was nice to see what direction we are headed for homeschooling high school instead of getting to high school age and regretting never thinking through some of the topics she discussed today. Ram was also so nice to listen to me talk and talk about my day when I got home.