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Friday, November 30, 2007

 

NaBloPoMo NoMo

I made it. It's the last day of NaBloPoMo. In case you hadn't noticed, the challenge was to post at least once each day through the month of November.

I could go for another month! No, not really. Posting daily is easy when you have time to think, research, and write. But it's a real battle when you are homeschooling, and the chores are piling up, and you've got eBay sales going on, and you decide November would be a good time to get going on that basement project.

Like I tell my kids all the time, if you're going to start something, make sure you finish it. And with this post, I made it to the end of NaBloPoMo.

So, Phil, you just completed NaBloPoMo! What are you gonna do now?

I'd love to go to Disneyland, but instead it's down to the basement to continue framing in the walls. We have a 400 sq. ft. unfinished L-shaped basement that nobody likes to use because they say it's dirty and cold. So I watched a framing video (about ten times), then bought myself a framing hammer, a huge pile of lumber, and a big box of nails.



So far it's looking good with two walls complete and three more to go. After the framing will come electrical outlets, drywall, painting, and flooring. I'm doing it all myself. The savings in labor is probably upwards of $10,000. Maybe even more because I'm a real slow worker.

My son has been a big helper these first few weeks. The full extent of his help is to run down the stairs every 20 minutes to say, "Good job, daddy, it looks great!" and then he gives me a thumbs-up. Hey, moral support is a valuable resource.

I'm going to take the weekend off from writing blog posts and get busy building basement walls. I want to have this project finished by summer.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

 

The iTunes Meme

Just a few more days of this NaBloPoMo marathon. Thanks to Dan for giving me this idea.

The iTunes Meme

How many total songs?
37572 songs, 93.5 days worth of listening.

Sort by song title - first and last
First: "A-De-O" - Jon Anderson
Last: "99 Miles From L.A." - Art Garfunkel

Sort by time - shortest and longest
Shortest: "Big Sean Music NY" - Sean Altman (0:04)
Longest: "Appalachian Spring" - Aaron Copland/Cincinnati Pops (25:28)

Sort by Album - first and last
First: A.I. Soundtrack - John Williams
Last: () - Sigur Ros

Sort by Artist - first and last
First: A.C. Newman
Last: The 6ths & Clare Grogan

Top five played songs
"Hi Cheese" - The Oranges
"I'd Do Anything" - Simple Plan
"The Bidding" - Tally Hall
"Must've Done Something Right" - Relient K
"We Are The Sleepyheads" - Belle and Sebastian

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 35
Death: 65
Love: 1468
You: 3162
Home: 302
Boy: 322
Girl: 444

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle

"Dig The Ditch" - Dixie Dregs
"Dreamtime" - Yes
"Ordinary Miracle" - Sarah McLachlan
"Baby Britain" - Elliot Smith
"Christmas Is Going To The Dogs" - Eels


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

 

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

 

Overtoyed

There will be no toys this Christmas!

No, I haven't become the toy-hating Burgermeister Meisterburger.

I have decided that we will not be buying toys for our kids this Christmas. This has nothing to do with all those recalled Chinese toys of recent months. The decision mostly comes because our house is overflowing with toys.

We are overtoyed! Did I just make up a new word?

My kids have toys from last Christmas that they haven't played with since, well, last Christmas. They have toys they don't need, toys that don't work, toys that are too young for them, and toys that we can't even figure out. There are toys in their clothing drawers and toys under their beds.

There's nothing wrong with toys. I like 'em. I have many of my own. But the sheer overwhelming numbers of them in our house have become too much for all of us.

This Christmas, my kids will be receiving books, candy, games, DVDs, clothing, educational gadgets, and many other fun presents. But no toys!


Monday, November 26, 2007

 

Best Kids Songs of 2007

A couple of weeks ago I listed our favorite kids CDs of the year. Now it's time to narrow it down to the best tracks of the past twelve months. After long and careful consideration, and many hits of the repeat button while driving down the highway in the van, my kids and I have compiled a list of our 22 favorite kids songs of 2007.

In no particular order:
Danny Elfman - "To the Future!"
Of Montreal - "I Want To Have Fun"
Roger Day - "Hello Sunshine"
Hullabaloo - "Blah, Blah, Blah"
The Hipwaders - "Educated Kid"
Recess Monkey - "Down Down Down"
Gustafer Yellowgold - "The Mustard Slugs"
Eric Herman - "Scat Cat"
Peter Himmelman - "Feet"
Asylum Street Spankers - "Be Like You"
The BummKinn Band - "Unusual Day"
Buck Howdy with BB - "Are You Havin' Any Fun?"
Joe McDermott - "Roller Coaster"
Barenaked Ladies - "The Other Day I Met A Bear"
The Terrible Twos - "We Can All Get Along With Dinosaurs"
The Format - "Does Your Cat Have A Mustache?"
Father Goose - "Bam Bam"
They Might Be Giants - "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"
Rosie Thomas with Damien Jurado - "Small As Me"
Lucy Kaplansky - "Goodnight, My Angel"
Dougie MacLean - "Goodnight And Joy"
Danny Elfman - "Charlotte's Web (Main Title)"

To the artists, thanks for the tunes and the memories. You are all awesome!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

 

The Lost Tooth

My daughter lost a tooth last week. This time she didn't want to put it under her pillow because, apparently, the secretary at her school gives out better prizes than the tooth fairy.

So she put it in a plastic bag for safe-keeping over the holidays. Tonight, she decided to get the tooth ready for presentation to the school secretary. She filled her bathroom sink with water, put in a little soap, then used an old toothbrush to scrub the tooth until it was sparkling.

When she pulled the stopper up and watched the water swirl around, she lost hold of her tooth and dropped it down the drain.

She was heartbroken. As I consoled her, I said, "Well, you'll lose more teeth soon. You can wait until then to get a prize."

She sniffled and whimpered, but then turned her head up to me and said, "But Daddy, what about my other tooth?"

"What other tooth?"

"The one in the envelope in the box way up high on your shelf. I put it under my pillow but then I saw it later in the box and I know you and Mommy are the tooth fairy. Can I use that tooth and say it's a new one?"

Well, at least she's clever. I'm not even going to think about why she was climbing up those shelves. Probably looking for candy. She has quite the sweet tooth. If she can just hold on to it.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

 

Bleak Friday

Yesterday, on the so-called Black Friday, my kids and I spent the entire day in our pajamas. While others were madly rushing through stores, knocking down fellow shoppers, trying to grab a good deal on items they don't even need, we just lounged around the house. We read, played games, watched some old movies, cleaned house, and ate leftover turkey.

I have never shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Not in my entire life. I don't understand how a day of mindless consumption has become a part of what is supposed to be a time of giving thanks. Thanks for family, friends, home, security and comfort. Most especially, it should be a time to appreciate all that we already have. Not what we can get for 30% off down at Kmart.

Hey, I like to give gifts as much as the next guy. But I don't need a day of madness at the mall to get everyone crossed off my list.

So I say, "Bah Humbug!" to Black Friday. And "Welcome Christmas!" to the next four weeks.


Friday, November 23, 2007

 

Holiday Reruns



Thursday, November 22, 2007

 

Thankful

It's Thanksgiving Day and time to give thanks for all that we have in our lives.

Only, I'm always thankful. Not a day goes by when I do not stop to appreciate my family, my friends, and all my many blessings.

So it's really just another day for me. Just with better food.

My kids are learning to be thankful. My son told me "Thanks for not having school this week!" And my daughter said, "Thanks for stacking up all the furniture in the living room so we could make secret tunnels and hiding places."

I'm wondering at what age they start being thankful for the things that really matter.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I'll be spending most of my time off in the basement, framing and drywalling. This explains the mound of furniture in the living room.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

 

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

Playing With Your Food



My daughter's handiwork.

Sometimes it's okay to play with your food.


Monday, November 19, 2007

 

Memory Error

Sometimes I get frustrated with my kids because they can't seem to remember the simplest little things, like putting their dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor. Or where they took off their shoes the night before.

Then I realize I'm no better. In fact, I'm worse.

Today we had a power outage for about an hour. When it came back on, I went to restart our two computers. The one the kids use is password-protected, to keep them from the temptation of Neopets and Yahoo Games. I typed in the password and it came back as incorrect.

That's odd, I thought. How could it not work? I checked the Caps Lock button, but that wasn't it. Maybe I typed it wrong, so I carefully tapped the keys. Nope.

It had been a week since either of my kids had been on that computer. How could I have forgotten the password in just a week? I tried every password I could possibly think of, then spent about an hour looking up "Forgot Windows Password" on Google. One site had step-by-step instructions to get around the password via the XP reinstallation disc. But that didn't work for me.

Finally, after 90 minutes of panic, I read a suggestion on some blog, "In the future, if you continue to have trouble remembering your password, maybe you should just set Windows to not have one."

An 800 million candle power Carbon Arc searchlight went off in my head.

I suddenly remembered turning off the password about a month ago as a way to show my son that I trusted him not to abuse his computer privileges. In the day-to-day blur of activities, I had completely forgotten doing this. When the computer was restarted and the Windows box popped up asking for a password, my brain just switched to automatic and wanted to do what it's done for the past four years.

So I left the password field blank, hit the enter key, and all was well. What I'd like to know is why that box even came up. It's like the computer was playing a trick on me.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

 

Watching My Figures

My son was looking around my office the other day and he said, "Daddy, I think it's cool that you still collect action figures even though you're really old."

Thanks, I think.

Do any other dads out there still collect action figures?

Here are a few that populate my office shelves:



Saturday, November 17, 2007

 

Hey Dad!

Like Mr. Rogers says, "There are many ways to say I love you."

There's a new community center being built in my town. Just after construction began last month, the coordinator of the project was sent to England for two months of training and education. Sounds like fun, right? Not when you have to leave your wife and three kids at home.

This dad keeps in touch with his family through email, videos, and pictures, of course. He also checks daily on the progress of the community center through a live webcam.

Last week his kids sent him a special message through that webcam for the whole world to see. Imagine his surprise and elation when he saw this amidst the construction...



Friday, November 16, 2007

 

Best Kids CDs of 2007

I've been selected to be a judge for the 2007 Fids and Kamily Awards, which recognizes the year's best kids and family music. The winners will be announced this Saturday, Nov. 17, on the Spare The Rock, Spoil The Child radio show.

How will the final list compare with mine? Here are the CDs that my kids and I voted for:

Phil's Top Ten Kids CDs of 2007

1. Gustafer Yellowgold - Have You Never Been Mellow (my review)
2. Roger Day - Dream Big (my review)
3. The Hipwaders - Educated Kid (my review)
4. Eric Herman - Snail's Pace (my review)
5. Various Artists - For The Kids Three (my review)
6. The BummKinn Band - Starry Skies and Lullabies (my review)
7. Hullabaloo - Hey Everybody! (my review)
8. D. Jay - Buggy Baloo
9. Ira Marlowe - All The Colors
10. Maria Sangiolo - Under The Mystic Sea

In a few weeks I'll bring you a list of our favorite kids songs of the past year.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

 

All That Jazz

My alma mater will be receiving a unique honor from President George W. Bush today. The University of Idaho is the first public university to be awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s most prestigious arts award. The prize is for the school's Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.

For forty years, the Festival has been providing opportunities for professional musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall, and Wynton Marsalis to mentor young musicians and singers through workshops and performances. Each February, up to 14,000 elementary to college-aged students flock to Moscow, Idaho, for four days of jazz education and appreciation.

My son is about to start piano lessons, and I hope some day he's interested in taking part in this amazing annual event here in the panhandle of North Idaho.

While I'm on the subject of jazz, I received this incredibly fun CD called Baby Loves Jazz, Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2. It's a double-disc collection of classic children's songs done in a bebop style of jazz. Songs like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and "Hey Diddle Diddle" are given new life by a talented group of jazz musicians, including Aaron Goldberg and Sharon Jones. It's perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

This CD was just named a gold medal winner for Best Children's Recording of 2007 by the National Association of Parenting Publications, the most prestigious award in children's music! Another CD that I reviewed last month, Siente, also won a NAPPA Gold Medal.

GIVEAWAY! Since everybody seems to be getting some kind of prize or another, I might as well join in the fun. If you'd like to have the Baby Loves Jazz CD, leave a comment with a blog or email link and I'll pick a winner this weekend.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

 

I'm Full

I guess I don't understand enough about the human metabolic process.

How can my kids tell me "I'm full," then clear their plates, walk to the living room, plop down on the couch, and ask, "What's for dessert?!"


Monday, November 12, 2007

 

Calling All Girls

There are certain things that every girl should learn in her young life, like how to press flowers, what games to play at a slumber party, and how to put her hair up with a pencil. You know, girly things. But they also need to know things like salary negotiation, self defense with karate, and how to change a tire.

She'll get that and more in The Daring Book For Girls, by authors Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. This wonderful collection of projects, primers, and practical advice is so compelling and fun to read that I found myself browsing through it for hours after my daughter went to bed.

The letters of Abigail Adams, the history of women in the Olympics, making a lemon-powered clock... The book is packed with stimulating knowledge and activities. It's sure to stir my daughter's imagination for years to come. The authors have wisely designed the book to appeal to a wide range of ages, from 8 to 18. I'm well beyond those years, and NOT a girl, and even I'm envious of the new worlds of information that will be introduced to my daughter through these pages.

If you're the parent, or grandparent, of a girl, think twice before you spend your holiday money on some new toy or electronic gadget. The Daring Book For Girls will be the gift that gets the most attention this year.

Oh, and if you are buying something for a boy, look no further than last spring's equally fascinating The Dangerous Book For Boys.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

 

Let There Be Lights

For the first time ever, I got my Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving. I took advantage of a windless, sunny day, with the temperature near 50, to climb around on the roof.

First, though, I had to go to the store for new lights. Grrrr. 3 out of 5 of last year's lights wouldn't work when I pulled them out of the Christmas boxes. Why do I even bother storing them? At $5 or $6, I could just toss them each January and buy all new ones the next holiday for less than $50.

I'm supposed to be encouraging my kids to recycle and re-use. We live in such a throwaway society that it pains me to buy products that aren't designed to last more than a couple of months.

What do I do, not put up lights? It just wouldn't be Christmas if I couldn't be the Clark W. Griswold of my neighborhood. I love the festive aspect of the holidays, as nature hibernates and our surroundings turn gray. A little bit of color gets me through the winter months a little easier.

Besides, my house likes to party in December. It demands to be lit up, all twinkly with blues, greens, and reds, fake icicles and snowflakes dangling from the eaves. It wants the inflatable snowman out front. Well, actually, I think it really wants the inflatable Santa on a Harley, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

 

The Bad Dream

I had that dream again, where I'm outside our house, playing in the driveway. The black station wagon pulls up to the curb across the street and two men in dark suits get out and look at me. They hesitate to come closer. Suddenly my father walks up beside me, grips my shoulder, and says quietly, "Go in the house."

I'm inside the house now, sitting down on the couch. My sister sits on the floor watching an old episode of The Avengers. On the television, Patrick Macnee is walking through a cemetery.

Then I hear my father come into the house and call to my sister and me. In the hallway he grabs us and holds us tight and says simply, "He's gone."

The bad dream ends there, and I wake up with the cruel memories of lemon cake and limousines. And my brother's empty room.


Friday, November 09, 2007

 

Weekend Whatnot

Imagine you have just settled into your hospital room, preparing for the imminent arrival of your second child, when there's a knock on the door and in walks a famous celebrity with a camera crew! That's what happened to L.A. Daddy and his wife last week. They'll be featured this Monday on a certain daytime TV talk show.

Where do washed-up rockers go? I like to think they all end up as either bankers or carnies. That thought is not nearly as funny as what Kristi, at the Here In Idaho blog, has to say about a few unknown entertainers from the 70's. Prepare to laugh.

One of the best, and most informative, dad blogs around is Dad Talk. Brett is celebrating his 1000th post!

Turning her life completely around wasn't easy, but Kendra, at the Soul Doubt blog, still marvels at how far she's come in the past few years to become a loving wife and mother. It's an amazing and inspirational story.

NaBloPoMo is here again. That's one post every day for the entire month. Last year I made it to the last week before the holidays messed me up. I'm determined to make it all the way to the end of November.

3 days, 22,000 cards, and a lot of patience:



Thursday, November 08, 2007

 

Vets

At the dinner table tonight with my 6-year-old daughter:

Daughter: "I don't have school on Friday!"
Me: "Why?"
Daughter: "It's Veterinarian's Day."
Me (smiling): "Do you know what a veterinarian is?"
Daughter: "A person who doesn't eat meat?"

We all burst out laughing at that.

Which made her start crying.

I explained to her that we weren't laughing at her, but at the mixed up meanings of three words that sound alike. I told her she could be a comedian and make lots of money telling jokes. She cheered up quickly, especially when a slice of blueberry pie was served for dessert.

Anyway, Happy Veterinarian's Day!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

 

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, November 06, 2007

 

The BummKinn Band

Country music is the most popular radio format in America, so it's surprising that there aren't more children's artists playing in that style.

Last summer I reviewed an excellent CD by the band Hullabaloo. It's been awhile, but I've finally heard another kids' country CD, and it was worth the wait.

Starry Skies and Lullabies by The BummKinn Band features twangy hand-clapping songs geared toward the under-10 set. Singer-songwriter Kimber Breaux has a huge voice, reminiscent of Mary Chapin-Carpenter, and her nursery rhyme lyrics are filled with colorful characters and positive lessons.

The Bummkinn Band also features vocalists Ryan Bueter and Sam Nickell, plus a guest appearance by Peter Tork (of Monkees fame) on banjo. The production is pristine, and the mix of songs ranges from toe-tapping sing-along to lovely, lilting lullaby.

I've said before that I'm not a big fan of country music, but these guys are such a treat to play for the kids that I'm slowly coming around. The BummKinn Band gets the highest recommendation from my family.

Listen: The BummKinn Band - "Snowman In My Freezer"

Hear more songs, and buy the CD, at CD Baby.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

 

Humpty Dumpty

I had a great fall yesterday.

I took the kids on a spur-of-the-moment road trip to see a college football game. At one point during the game the cheerleaders started throwing t-shirts into the crowd. I just had to be a hero and catch one of these for my kids.

And there it came, in a high arc, right toward my waiting hands. Only it was a bit high, so I had to reach way up, then back, back, back... and just past my fingers. But I stopped caring because I was in freefall.

I fell straight backwards, slamming my back onto the empty bench behind me. I'm pretty sure I blacked out for 3/4 of a second, right after I heard a hideous crack from my spine. Next thing I know I've jumped forward back onto my own bench and am now doubled over in pain, thinking I've probably just shattered several vertebrae.

Guess what both my kids were doing? Laughing! They thought it was pretty funny watching Daddy make a fool of himself for a free t-shirt.

The people around us were looking at me like I was an idiot, so I took a deep breath and did what every manly man does. I acted like nothing happened. I sat there for five minutes with teeth clenched tight, sweat on my forehead, watching the action on the field as if I wasn't suffering intense burning pain in the middle of my back.

At halftime we went to get pizza and to let me walk around a little and stretch my back out. Eventually the pain subsided. What's weird is that today my back actually feels better than it has in a long time.

I must've been out of alignment. Maybe I'll go to chiropractor school.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

 

Bifocal

This book was sent to me for review. Since it was written for pre-teens, I turned it over to my 9-year-old son. Here is his review:

The title of this book is Bifocal. The authors are Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters. Bifocal is a tale about people who are different from each other.

The book is about two boys, Jay and Haroon. Jay is a boy who plays football and is the new kid at school. Haroon is a school quiz show contestant who is accidentally arrested for being a terrorist. Bifocal tells how these two very different boys meet and become friends.

I liked this book because it was exciting and thought-provoking. One of the most exciting parts is when Jay and his friends throw eggs, tomatoes, and toilet paper at some houses. The thought-provoking part of this book is how the two boys have different religions and are different in many other ways.

I recommend this book because I’m sure you’ll love it. The reason I like Bifocal is because it has action all the way through it. It teaches a good lesson that even though people are different, they can still be friends. The book is good for ages 10 to 14.

Click here to buy the book at Amazon.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

 

Speak With Conviction

I saw this at the Why Homeschool blog and just had to post it myself. Taylor Mali's description of today's youth as "aggressively inarticulate" is brilliant.



Friday, November 02, 2007

 

Pumpkin Juice

I love it when this kind of thing happens.

Tuesday night we cleared off the kitchen table and brought in the four large pumpkins we'd picked for carving.

The kids were ready. Knives, scrapers, and bowls were at hand.

Then my wife said, "Don't you go carving those pumpkins without some paper underneath them."

Uh-oh. We don't subscribe to a newspaper, our grocery bags are plastic, and the kids recently used up all of their large-sized drawing paper.

I'm standing there, trying to think of something we can use to protect the table, when the doorbell rings.

It was like something from a movie script, for there at our door was a teenager hawking subscriptions to our local newspaper.

He says, "Would you like to subscribe to the Coeur d'Alene Press? We have a really good deal this month."

I tell him no thanks, and then he says, "Okay, well, here's a free copy of today's paper for you to enjoy."

He probably wondered why I had such a huge smile on my face.

The newspaper did a great job soaking up all the pumpkin juice! Not worth a subscription, though.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

 

A Day In The Life

People have asked me what a typical day of homeschooling is like for my fourth-grade son. Here's what we did today.

9am We start school with something easy, spelling. Today's lesson was a unit assessment, where I dictate the words that he's been studying over the past four lessons. My son is a good speller, and he aces this as usual.

A few of the words are: interrupting, underneath, calendar, erode, subscribe

9:20am We move on to vocabulary, which also happened to have a scheduled unit assessment. This is a four-page printed test, covering meanings, word usage, synonyms, and antonyms.

A few of the words are: gallant, trudge, lukewarm, smolder, reserve, weary

9:40am Now that my son's brain is suitably warmed up, we move on to something that he has to think more about - math. Today's lesson is a continuation of a unit on solving multi-step word problems using addition and subtraction. The lesson is built around the concept of the student being the manager of a hardware store.

My son knows this stuff, but sometimes works too quickly and makes little mistakes. He complains sometimes about repetition, but I always tell him that the best way to learn it is to do it over and over until it's automatic.

10:30am The day is going by quickly, so there's extra time to read. My son spends the next half hour finishing the book A Wrinkle In Time. He'll write a report on it tomorrow. I empty the dishwasher and fill it back up again while he's reading.

11am Instead of taking a break or having recess, my son wants to watch another chapter of the PBS documentary Liberty! The American Revolution, a fascinating six-hour exploration of the build-up to the Declaration of Independence and the resulting war with Great Britain.

12noon Lunchtime. PB&J for my son, reheated Kung Pao chicken for me. It's a beautiful sunny day, with temps around 50, so we throw a frisbee in the backyard before doing some garden clean-up.

1pm Time for more of my son's favorite subject, history. We start with our continuing study of Idaho's history, looking at what drives our state economy. Idaho is dependent on agriculture, tourism, natural resources, and technology companies. My son knew all of this, so we move on to world history.

1:15pm The last few weeks we studied the American Revolution and the French Revolution. My son was most intrigued by "The Terror" and Robespierre's liberal use of the Guillotine. Why are boys fascinated by stuff like that? Anyway, today we move on to the spread of democracy, first to the French colony of Haiti, where Toussaint L'Ouverture led the slaves in revolt to help form the first black republic. We spent a good five minutes trying to properly pronounce L'Ouverture's name, but gave up without success.

Next we read about Father Miguel Hidalgo, the Spanish priest who led the natives of Mexico against the tyranny of Spain. Again, my son was most fascinated by the fact that Hidalgo was decapitated and his head was displayed for ten years in the city of Guanajuato, in Mexico. Hmmm... Must be some residual effects of Halloween.

2:15pm A brief review of weather and climate around the world. My son remembered all of the climate zones and weather terms from one of last year's science units, so we didn't spend much time on it today.

2:25pm Last lesson of the day, science. Today I introduced the subject of mixtures and solutions. We went over terminology, then jumped right into the fun stuff: experiments! These were done in the kitchen, mixing various materials to see the difference between a mixture and a solution. We used sand, water, oil, sugar, cocoa, food coloring, and salt. And made a huge mess.

3:00pm End of school. My son grabs a treat from his overflowing Halloween basket, then asks to play NeoPets for an hour. I realize I have a ton of things to do in the house, not to mention having to plan dinner.

Tomorrow we'll do it all again.

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