Sunday, December 28, 2008

..then we held hands & sang "Kum Ba Yah"

I went to church today with my parents in rural PA.

The pastor of the church spoke of how secular versions of the Christmas Spirit are already packed away for next year. But the true work of Christmas begins after the hub-bub goes away and the reality of God's love takes hold in each of us. God's Spirit stirs us to serve and love one another all year long. Where, instead of just sending Christmas cards, we send notes to one another all year to communicate how much we care. Instead of giving Christmas gifts, we give to one another all year out of the abundance we have received through God's generosity. People don't stop needing us to reach out to them just because Christmas has passed. The year 2008 is essentially over. We stand at the threshold of next will we spend it, how will we celebrate it, how will we join God in telling others that he loves them each dearly?

After the church service, we all went downstairs to the church basement to have a New Year's Party. We got to be the first in York County (or anywhere for that matter) to do a countdown, with hats, noisemakers and all.

As a local-ish tradition (it's actually a Baltimorean tradition) we all ate pickled Herring. It's kinda like German sushi on a toothpick. It was salty and vinegar-y, as I expected, but it had an unexpected sweetness to it.

Just so no one could get out of taking a taste, Pastor Henry had everyone stand in a circle and pass the plate of herring around. Allison was worried she was going to have to taste it. I told her don't worry, even some of the grownups didn't want to try it.
(see pic of my dad, not wanting to try it)

When it was all over, we sang Kum ba yah. Yes, we were standing in a circle, holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah. It's not just a cliche anymore, it's a New Year. Welcome 2009!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Housework can kill you......

Beware of dirty dishes.

Cleaning them can kill you.

Zaap. zzzzaaaap. zzzzzzaaaap.
After feeling an electric shock for the umpteenth time from my kitchen sink, I decided to call an electrician. (the first few times I felt a shock I wasn't sure if I was imagining things, but today, I got a shock off the edge of my microwave.)

I knew there were some....funky.... things about a few of the plugs around the house, and we needed to install ground fault protection in the ones near water sources. But...

Today I learned that I had 120 volts of electricity soaring through me every time I: touched the kitchen sink, the microwave, the garbage disposal, and the stove. A little bit more can stop your heart.

Can I be excused from all kitchen-related housework now since its hazardous to my health?

Luckily the helpful electrician made some modifications to keep me safe short term. Now I can wash all the dishes I want (do I have to say Hooray?). We turned off all the electricity to that part of the kitchen. That means my microwave is plugged into a heavy duty extension cord, and I have no light over the kitchen sink. But I'm alive and well, ready to tackle another chore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Place - It's the "tooth"!

Allison entered the Project Fair at the Homeschool Co-op and won 1st Prize!

Her project, titled "The 'Tooth' About Drink Stains" was about how different drinks stain the teeth. She used hard boiled eggs to simulate the enamel of the teeth and soaked the eggs in various drinks overnight. Afterward, she used a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean each egg to see how brushing removes some stains.

The eggs were soaked in: water, milk, grape juice, red juice, and soda. The most stained egg was the one in grape juice. (I couldn't believe how stained it was).

For the project fair, she had to give a presentation to the group and the judge. It was fun to see all the kids crowd around her and her project wanting to see what it was about.

I'm so proud of her hard work. Congrats, Allison!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

School of Box

How do you unpack a house and still do homeschool at the same time?

You don't.

What's my secret? I started school a month early so I could take time off when we moved. Still, we've needed to return to our school routine recently. I couldn't find all our school stuff (it already takes up more than one box) so we didn't have a flag to say the pledge.

That's ok. Homeschool Mom will save the Day!

I just found a moving box with a flag printed on the side.
We said the pledge to a box.

In my head, my pledge went something like this:

"I pledge allegience to the flag
on the United Van Lines box,
and to the housefull of boxes in which it stands.
One family, under boxes, unpackable, with bubble wrap and tissue paper for all"

That being said, we've made some great strides in school recently, with the addition of a new math curriculum. Here you see the blocks that we used today to learn place value (ones, tens, hundreds). Julia plays too when we play "Math blocks" Before we know it, she'll be learning about the ones, tens and hundreds who live on decimal street.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The (Silverman) History of the Renaissance Festival

Long before we ever considered dating, Eric had invited a group of friends (including me) to go the the Maryland Renaissance Festival on a particular Saturday. Sounded interesting to me, I'd never been so I said I would go.

Turns out, I was the only one who said yes.

Several friends had other plans, or just didn't want to go for whatever reason, so it just ended up being the two of us. This wasn't so weird to us, we were good friends. We hung out regularly at "the guys" apartment. No biggie. Hangin out with my pal, my bro, my bud Eric. Off to the Renaissance Festival.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is in Crownsville, Maryland. It's about an hour drive (which we did together) from Baltimore.

Soon after we arrived, we strolled past a vendor selling flower crowns. We stopped to browse, and Eric pointed to the crowns saying "I think either this one or that one would look beautiful on you".

I was surprised by his use of the word BEAUTIFUL in a sentence concerning me. After all, I was just "one of the guys". He offered to buy it for me but that was more of a gesture than I was willing to accept at the time....this NEW time.

So, faster than a wink I whipped out my cash a bought the flower crown that would look BEAUTIFUL on me.

When I got home, I told my roommate, Wendy "I think I like him, like him."

We started dating about a month later.

The following year, we were quite serious in our dating relationship. Eric suggested we go the RenFest. Fun times. I said yes.

All my over-zealous co-workers had me convinced that he was going to propose to me there. I knew we'd eventually get engaged, but I wasn't ready yet. I have to get used to an idea for awhile before I commit.

So our whole visit the the RenFest I was a little....nervous. Is he going to do it now? How about now? I kept thinking he was going to propose. Finally I started to get annoyed that he wasn't doing it. This was the perfect place to propose, wasn't it? Perhaps that was his strategy.

We got engaged about a month later.

Several months later, during our first wedding, I wore the flower crown he had picked out for me.

Fast forward 10 years to present day. We took our two girls to visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival with some friends. Here are the pics.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Discovered a new beach

We live on a peninsula, surrounded on 3 sides by water. I knew intellectually that the easternmost side was ocean, but it never occurred to me that there would be a BEACH there. Duh.

I just kept thinking I had to drive an hour south to Virginia beach to see waves and sand. It is true that if I want the whole beach, boardwalk, t-shirt shop experience, VABeach is the way to go.

But just 15 minutes away is Buckroe Beach, with a wonderful playground on the sand and lots of waves. We visted there recently with Eric's Dad and Roberta. There was a rough storm a day or so before we visited, so there were some larger items washed up on the beach. Allison found a red seasponge (or maybe it's coral), a horseshoe crab shell, and lots of large seashells. Julia did her usual...she picked up fistfulls of sand and dumped it in the water over and over.

Recent pics

Here are some pics of Allison on her first day of Kindergarten at the co-op. Julia, who also attends the co-op is also ready for learning too. The squinty face is what she does when I say "smile".

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lollipops for breakfast

It's 9:30 am and my kids are eating lollipops shaped like a baby bottle nipple and dipping it inside the "bottle" full of powdered pixie dust candy.

Yep, you guessed it...there are grandparents in town.

Each of the girls has another pile of candy, more colorful hairbands, little pet shop puppies, bubble wands, and almost a complete set of wizard of oz dolls from McDonalds happy meals (ok, many of those dolls are my fault).

I made the mistake of allowing Julia to eat the giant tootsie roll at her own pace, when in a confused and sticky state she came to me with her mouth almost stuck shut. I had to pry layers of tootsie roll from her teeth until I could see any white. After today, we should probably get her a new toothbrush.

In spite of all the new toys, the girls are presently outside playing with a broom and a stick. In their defense, they ARE using one of the new hair loops to decorate the broom. After all, it is a horse, I guess it needs a ponytail.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our new house...

Here are just a couple pics of our new house (still with the current owner's stuff). We just had our inspection on Friday, and our closing date is less than 2 weeks. We will move in mid October, as the current owners need a little time to vacate. Once we get moved in, I 'll put more pics up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today I learned in school....

We've been doing homeschool for almost a month now, so it was bound to happen...our first meltdown day. Surprisingly, though, the meltdown was mine.

Allison has been learning about money and I was putting various coins down, asking their name and worth. She couldn't remember over and over and I got more and more insistent. I just kept answering for her and finally she said "Mom, you're talking like you're mad at me or something." I AM MAD, I thought, I just said this is a penny a second ago and you can't remember it!

I proposed we set the timer for a 15 minute break.

I retreated for some "space" in my room. Allison found me and said "Mom, you're not SCHOOL. You're my MOM. I said we should take a break from SCHOOL, not from YOU. I don't ever want to take a break from you". (yes, she is only 5) Then she brought me a plate of carrots and watermelon.

After that, we decided to move our school attempt to Starbucks. Every brain works better with a grande mocha frappachino or some organic chocolate milk in a box. We had a fabulous school day at Starbucks, including learning about a bank vault. The Starbucks used to be a bank, and they left the vault door and turned the vault into a quiet nook for hanging out. I counted it as an extension of our lesson on money. They just kept spinning the vault handle and pretending they were steering a boat.

Today I learned in school that my daughter doesn't see me as just her teacher. I'm her MOM.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tourist in my new home

Tuesday we saw Virginia Beach, Wednesday was the "Virginia Living Museum" and Thursday we jetted off to the "Air and Space Museum". I'm officially a tourist in my own new town.

Virginia Beach was traditional beachy fun (see earlier post). The Virginia Living Museum offered a mix of natural earth science and mini zoo. Everything there is native to my new home, Virginia. We pet spider crabs, horseshoe crabs, and saw all the native waterfoul, fish, snakes, etc.

The Air and Space Museum (see my profile photo)had every kind of flying machine, including a large Delta plane where Allison spent most of our time. We (my parents and I) sat in the first class seats, buckled in and listened to Allison talk into the mic as a flight attendant. My favorite moment is when she stormed into the cockpit and exclaimed "Excuse me, could you please fly to Paris because that's where everyone wants to go"

We also took in an IMAX version of the 3-d "Fly Me to the Moon", an adaptation of the apollo flight where 3 houseflies accompany the flight crew to the moon. I have told Allison the story about Neil Armstrong and the trip he took to the moon so it was neat for her to get to see the story in a movie. When the movie finished, we passed by the space capsule in the museum and talked about how it was the same kind as in the movie, and my dad reminisced about staying up until 4:00am that day to watch the moon walk live on tv. When we got home, Eric asked Allison what she had learned at the museum. "Nothing really" was her response. Dang. I guess I can't count that as a homeschool fieldtrip day.

Phase II of the "Grandparent Parade" has finished. (Phase I - Eric's mom here last weekend, Phase II - my parents here during the week, Phase III - Eric's dad coming this weekend). It's 9 straight days of people we love, and so far its going well. I don't know what else there is to see in town, but I imagine my tourist week isn't finished until the last grandparent leaves.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Faye" joined us at Virginia Beach

We visited Virginia Beach today with my parents. Hurricane "Faye" is showing herself strong in high winds and rough surf. No rain, just clouds. Despite the windy day we still managed to have fun together. We rented a giant surry (family bike) that seated the four adults, and the kids sat up front in the basket. Because the surf was so rough, the lifeguards had red flags out, meaning no one could swim. We found a kite and flew it instead. Another fun day at the beach.

Watch Out, Rookie blogger ahead!

So I decided to start blogging since everyone told me to. I don't make a practice of reading blogs. In fact, the 3 I read tonight represent my whole research on the subject. As a rookieblogger, I'll just do my best and you can feel free to "guide" me as you see fit. Please don't print out my post, mark it up with red pen and send it to me for corrections. On second thought, please do that because I need some good mail.

I miss being around familiar things. The area of the country we live in is breathtaking. Every once in awhile Eric and I look at each other and say "Where do we live?" because it's so pretty. Last week, we went to a festival for a regatta race where the bridge was closed off, and the festival took place right on the bridge. It was soooo cool sipping Bud Light Lime (our new fav) and listening to a band whilst surrounded by water on a summer night. But, it's still not home. Everything is new, nothing is familar, no one is my pal yet.

We have continued to look for a house. We have bid on 3 or 4 now (i lose count after awhile) and are signing papers for another bid on Wednesday. This house is an old one in a historic district 2 blocks from the water. It needs a good deal of work, but it will be spectacular when we finish (in 20 yrs). Hopefully we'll have success with this bid.

We are settled into our apartment for now. My parents are visiting, Eric's mom was here last weekend, and his dad comes this coming weekend....we have 9 straight days of grandparents visiting. How spoiled will my girls be at the end of this grandparent parade?

Eric just started teaching yesterday, but has been working for the last two weeks in orientations and meetings. He is very impressed with the university and his office is really nice.

Allison has started kindergarten. We are doing homeschool with her this year since we're moving 2 times and don't want to have to change schools during the year. We've already done 3 weeks of school and she's already started to read some words. She gets mad on the weekend because we don't do school.

Julia's new favorite phrase is "no, I do it", her favorite pastimes include pretending to be a kitty, and doing everything Allison does.

I'm holding down the fort, spending way too much time on the computer looking for house listings, and teaching Allison. I already nanny'd for some of last week for a neighbor. I turned down 2 more weeks of nanny work since then, but I don't want to get distracted from homeschooling and helping our family get settled.

I look forward to starting up at a women's Bible Study in a few weeks, hoping that it will help me meet some other women, moms, homeschoolers...i'm not picky.

well, that's enough of my story for now, send me mail, call my phone these are my love languages.