Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nice to See You!

Hi, welcome back to my blog! I haven't seen you all round these parts for a month and a half!! Where have you been?

Oh, well, I am just glad you have returned.

today is the last day of Deecember, which means tomorrow i s the first dday of January.
We usually do J-TERM at school here, for the whole month of January. Our foreign exchange student (Yes, he is still here) doesn't return to school until January 10, so we are taking off the same dys s him.

Except he starts back to school on a Tuesday.
I can not start anything on a TUESDAY. That is just insane! I think II am doing pretty well to start the 2nd week. It goes against every fib err in my being to NOT start in the very beginning. The first Monday of the first month of the year.

I told all 3 boys they will be continuing their science studies for J-Term. So one of their 2 classes is science.
Gavin will be working on learning Blender for his Choice Class.
Ki will be doing Culinary Studies

Some of my online gals want to start a fitness countability thing, so i am joining in. My focus will be just general health, eating right, destressing, exercise.... weight loss is not my focus. (But it'd be a nice fringe benefit I bet- it iis not a goal or anything though.

I think I will call my "Better Heath and Fitness" regimen my "Off to a Better Start"
Or, maybe just BHF.
Maybe I will call it BHF and call January's Installment
"Off to a Better Start."I think I like that.....
So, here is my plan for "Better Health & Fitness: Off to a Better Start, Day 1".. or "BHF:Off to a Better Start-1"
January 1 - I will fill my Vitamin Daily pill holder thing. I will make sure I have plenty of Bubbly Water available to drink. I will pick some lemons to have to add to my bubbly water this week. I will make a menu for the week. And a game plan for exercise.

Tomorrow I will report in if I do what was planned, along with what I plan to do the rest of the week.

thhe basic plans are:
Free Computer/Xbox time until lunch (with chores donee by 10)
Then Quiet Time/Reading from 1-2
then I will be shipping all 4 boys off the the youth center. They will ride their bikes,
2:30-6:00 will be my Destressing Routine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Truth Is......

Truth Is...I am posting this blog so that no one thinks that I was abductd by aliens or have fallen down a cliff.

Truth Is... I am typing this post all on the little pop up, on-screen touch keyboard, because I am too lazy to turn on the blue tooth keyboard and make sure it is synced with Ivan.

Truth Is... It is good , for someone, to have only gotten a day or two to agree to an exchange student.

Truth Is... I will have to think very long and very hard about every doing a full school year exchange student again.

Truth Is... I don't mail Christmas Cards. Maybe a homemade one to grandparents sometimes, but that's usually it. I let go of that stress years ago.

Truth Is... I think I am ready to move back to Ohio.

Truth Is... I have had th boys reciting scripture before computer time. It makes mmfel a little better about their too much time spent on the computer. They have 3 different passage/vexes eah week (just 2 on the first week). [1] a verse they already memorized in the past. [2] 'last week's verse. [3] a new verse for the week.

The 'past' verse is one they know well, the 'new this week' they write out and read to me on Monday, can read or recite Tuesday through Thursday, but have to recite by Friday.

Truth Is... Dashnyam can say some of the verse with the boys.

Truth Is... I think it is time for a Paid Jobs week.

Truth Is... I made a surprise for a friend. After I give it to her, I will post pictures.

Truth Is... I will ride my bike today. If I post it, I feel obligated by guilt to really do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


WOW, I knew it had been a while since I last blogged... but I could have sworn I last Blogged early-mid October. I guess not!

So I owe you all an apology, a few catch-pup blogs, and I owe Julianna a big THANKS for taking the time to ask me where I was and get me motivated!

October-- We took a family trip to Omaha to attend a neice's wedding. Dashnyam was going to with Gina's family. She is the Exchange Student coordinator, but then they found another host family (who had a boy from Germany at the time) foor him to stay with.

long trips make me kinda not-so-healthy
So I came home to spend a week and half sleeping up right on the couch drugged up on Ni-Quil.

Then we had too get caught up on schooling and Clean the house because the Exchaange Student Halloween party was held at my house.

Gavin is signed up for the December SAT. I think I'll sign Connor to take is this spring, too.If he wants.

The boys had a science test a few weeks ago. I let them use their notes for their test. (hoping to motivate good note taking). Gavin had a it of a cold that week so he only had notes for half the chapter. Connor told Gavin that he had his notes, so Gavin sked if he could use Connor's notes. I said "Yes"--because I know how Connor takes notes.
We get to Panera (because that is where we take science tests. Hey, some families have their Sunday Waffle tradition, we have our Science Test at ith Sugar annd Caffiene tradition)
C&G are taking the test, G is asking C a lot of stuff.... I later ask Gavin how it wet using someone else's notes.
Gavin said he'd have been beter off taking hhihs notes on just half the chapter than using Connor's notes. I asked him why half notes would be beter than Connor's notes on the whole chapter.

He said "MOM, Connor didn;t have notes!! He had ONE SENTENCE for the WHOLE chapter!!!"
I laughed nd said "I know. Connor doesn't take notes."

connor just never takes notes, never has. He got a 95% on the test.
Gavin got a 90%.
they were looking over their tests together and I hear Connor say to Gavin: "Why did you get that one wrong?? I told you what the answer was!"
Gaviin: "I thought you were wrong."

I said "Really Gavin? He told you the answer aand you still missed it??"

Gavin finished up the chapter 5 notes after the test. (so he'd have them for the quartly test)

a couple of days ago Gavin posted on Facebook:
"Today I wanted to look some stuff up so im looking up...
the Geneva convention and the hague conventions as well as the avalon project laws of war. "

Somedays I am not sure he is even my kid. You could't pay me to research political/law stuff.. and I don't even know what the sat 2 thing are that he looked up....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mallard Feces

me: "You like spinach. and Blackberries. And Carrots. Do you want some?"

Gavin: "No."

me: [stirs it around...] "You know what this looks like...??"

Gavin: "Why do you think I said 'No.'."

me:"it kinda looks like diahrrea"

Gavin:"I was thinking Duck Poop."

me: "you're right, it does look more like duck poop. I should name today's juice concoction, Duck Poop. No, let's go with something a little fancier.. How about I name this one "Mallard Feces." ?"Gavin:"Maybe just "Lake Scum"

me: "That is a bit less off-setting."

Today's juicer came about via a different path than normal.

Gavin was Jonesing for the blackberries I had on the counter, saved for my juicer, so I asked him if he wanted some of my juice before I added spinach. He did. So I made juice with Blackberries, 2 pears, 1 carrot, and a slice of ginger for Gavin:

I like the layered look to the juicer stuff....

I poured half of it into a cup for Gavin (after I stirred it)

Then the half that was still remaining I added a bunch of spinach. ('bunch 'as in the 'bunch' from the store, not just 'some large amount')

and 3 more carrots......

It was not gross. It was not lunch. but a snack. Lunch was a protein bar, excedrin, and a nap - a need resulting from too much driving yesterday- in the dark.

Did I mention that Dashnyam has learned to ride a Bike?

Brian taught him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

J.P Day 2

Today when I left on my bike to ride to Bible Study it was COLD. Not only was it COLD, but it was actually drizzling. I made it 3 blocks and turned around and drove the van. I am a Bicycling Wimp. But I can say that I started my day with a brisk 1 mile bike ride.

When I got home from Bible Study, my 15 yr old son, Ki, decided he wanted to make juice in the juicer. He likes to do Kiwi and Strawberries (with half an apple to make it 'juicier')

I suggested he put in a sice of ginger- which he did.

(Ki has also decided to severely limit diary because it's not really all that good for you, and can be a bit..'binding'.. which triggers his reflux.)

I then had my turn at the Juicer. I started with a couple handfulls of spinach leaves. There is not juice to those things, so a couple of handfulls ends up looking like 3 Tablespoons of juice.

but WOWSER, is it GREEN!

Ki saved me 1 kiwi, 1/2 an apple, and 5 strawberries, so I addded those.

it was still looking VERY GREEN, so I added a couple handfulls of grapes. Really Dark ones. almost black. I want the spinach for the health benefits.. NOT the taste!

It looked pretty. But was still looking quite green and I thought it would taste nasty, The grapes covered the spinach taste well and it wasn't nasty at all.

I don't expect super-yummy treats, it is juicing for health- NOT yumminess, but I don't want anything too yucky. This was actually kind of good.

Then Ki asked why the juice in the fridge is clear, but when he uses the juicer it isn't. By 'clear' he meant 'not thick'. Iexplained that juice from the store is usually more like having juice squeezed out of the fruit (and adds water sometimes), but the juicer squishes up the insides of the fruits, too- making it thicker(and healthier).

The Chai Latte did not call to me today, but the chocolate covered peppermint patties did, so I will have the boys eat those today. I am denying that the Ding Dongs even exist in the pantry.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Juicer-Prep Day 1

Let me start by telling you about my lack of commitment.

I gave up on couponing- so my "31 days of Couponning" page has been deleted

I page up on the "30 Days to a Clean House" book thing, so that page on my blog has also been deleted.

I still read, but gave up on keeping a reading log- so that page, too, has been deleted.

My blog looks more clean and streamline now.

I also gave up on having breakfast with Dashnyam ay 7:45 in the morning. We will just do that every other Monday- because those are "Late Start Days" and he doesn't have to leave for school until 9:10AM.


Now, onto Juicer-Preppedness-Week

The goal...plan... is to do a 2 day juice fast this weekend. Or maybe next week. In order to be ready for that, the juicer sites say to avoid dairy, caffeine, alcohol, etc for a week before the fast. The "etc" is wheat and refined sugars. I will try to limit those.

Also, to get ready, I am juicing for lunch this week. breakfasts will be my normal Protein Shakes. (Egg White Protein powder, berries, banana, a splash or rice/soy milk)

Dinners will be normal.

Breakfast- Protein shake with strawberries, a banana, a scoop of protein powder.... but no splash of rice milk. I forgot to get it at the store yesterday.
It was a little on the thick side, but not bad.

Lunch was from the Juicer.
1 Carrots,
a pear,
7 strawberries,
2/3 of blackberries from the little plastic box
a slice of ginger root

(I'll add some crackers or nuts...)



No dairy, No caffiene- though the homemade peppermint patty was calling to me from the top shelf of the fridge. And so was the Ding Dong from the pantry. And the Chai on the bottom shelf of the fridge. I just plugged my ears and fired my lazers!

They just all gang up on me when I have decided to ignore them.

I rode my bike to the store. It is probably a whole 2/3 of a mile round-trip. Surely that counts for exercize...

Dinner tonight is "Sub Sandwiches"

I bought different lunch meats, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cheese, onions, etc... And I think we have some corn chips. I will skip the cheese on mine, keeping with the no dairy thing. I usualy skip the cheese, though.

I need to go oversee Ki's science .... and give him a test maybe.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The above treats I made for my friends at church. They are Peppermint Patties. Ki had asked for a big one for his birthday, s I decided to make a batch of regular ones while I was at it. I wrapped mine in foil and put heart stickers on them.

2 things-
[1] they were DE-LISH-OUS !!
[2] they were VERY VERY MINTY
the recipe calls for a mere 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil. That stuff is PO.TENT!

Last year I bought a little Summertime Kids cookbook.
We have never used it. I decided it was time it got some use.

I got out my Post-It flags. I have 4 colors. I marked 1 dessert and 1 main dish for each boy.

Today they drew straws tiny pompoms from fuzzy bag to decided who got to be chef on Friday.

Ki is making the main stuff (actually, he is making grilled cornbread, and he'll help with the main dish, but the cornbread was the recipe from the book)

Gavin is making Orange Torte. It is a fancy ice cream cake, I think.

I think I might make fettuccine with bolgnese sauce. I'll have Dashnyam help me.

also, on the topic of food.......
You may have noticed that a little over 2 weeks agog we got back from a 4 day gaming convention. Not healthy eating.
You may have noticed that Gavin had a birthday 2 weeks ago. cake. ice cream.
You may have noticed that last week, we went out to dinner twice for our anniversary.
You may have noticed that we had taco & cake on Friday for Ki.
You may have noticed we had pizza and a giant peppermint patty Saturday.

Soon, you may notice my hips are subsequently wider and more jiggly.

HENCE, it is Juicer Time! I want to do a 2 day Juicer Fast. This takes some pre-work. A juicer fast should be proceeded by a week of abstaining from caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and they say wheat- but I am not that crazy. I will try to limit it though.

I will post about my juicer journey, for those who are interested. Those not interested are still free to read and comment. :)

Oh, here are pictures showing how I made ONE GIANT PEPPERMINT PATTY. It was 9" in diameter.

I made a 'double broiler' with a medium sized pot and a metal bowl. I melted the chocolate chips (Ghiredelli bittersweet) with a Tablespoon of Shortening.

I used disposable foil pizza pans...

CLICK HERE for the recipe

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bake A Cake

Today is Ki's Birthday! He is 15.

He asked for tacos for dinner and eating out at Del Taco was decided.
YEAH! (for the no-cooking part)

In order to help Dashnyam with acquiring and comprehending the English language, I handed him the cake mix box and told him follow the directions and bake the cake and to ask me if he needed help or did not understand something.

This was proceeded by talk concerning his low grade in History class and his need to ASK for help, say when he does not understand, and not waste his time just staring at words or talking as if he does understand.

I showed him the list/picture of the needed ingredients and I showed him the 3 steps. He read. I had the cups and oil and egg box out.
STEP 1 was to heat the oven and grease the pan.

I asked him what he was to do for step 1. He picked pup the measuring cup.

I asked him again, what does STEP 1 say to do. I pointed to where STEP 1 was on the box. He read. He stood there. He stared at the box. Eventually I asked if he understood what we was to do. He said no. I asked him why he did not ask me for help. He of course said he didn't know. I reminded him that he is to ask when he needs help or let me know when there is something he does understand. I then explained what was meant by "Heat the oven to 350" and showed him how to do that.

I found the pans and told him to use the cooking spray (He and Ki used if yesterday for banana bread, so he was familiar with it). He sprayed the pans and then went on to step 2.

He did step 2 (mix all the ingredient.) He plugged int he beater and mixed the cake. After I explained to not turn them on before he put them into the batter and too hold them upright.

I asked him what was next. He read and asked me "Is this the pan?"- pointing to the cake pan.

He had never baked a cake so I asked him if he knew what cakes did in the oven when they cook. I asked him if they filled the bread pan to the top with batter. (no) and if the banana bread was up to the top of the pan when it was done cooking. (yes). I told him the cakes will get taller when cooked, so only fill the pans halfway.

We talked about how the round pan was less full and the square pan was more full, so the round pan would cook faster. We read the package about cook times. I pointed to the different times. I pointed to the 'cupcakes' and asked him if we made 'cupcakes'. He said "yes.". Me: Do you know what cupcakes are?
Dash: no
Me: if you don't know, then don't say yes. Ask what they are.

ME: I will ask you again. Did we make cupcakes?

Dash- Yes.

Me- If you do not know what cupcakes are, then when I ask if we made cupcakes you need to say to me that you don't know what cupcakes are. Let's try again.

Me- Did we make cupcakes, Dash?

Dash- I don't know what are cupcakes.

Me- I explained what they are and then asked him if that is what we made. He said no.
We found the cook time for the round pans and I told him to check sooner because our round pan was less full.

I told him when to check the cake and how to use a skewer to check if they are done.

He asked about turning off the oven. (He seemed concerned it was still hot, but figured it out. I can't imagine he really thought it would be cool right away, maybe he just didn't know how to know for sure it was off)

He inverted the pans and cut the bump of the bottom cake so he can stack them.

And he iced them.

He has started to ask me to explain how to do things and letting me know when he does not understand!
I think the cake making activity has been good for communication and comprehension!

Dashnyam's Very First Cake!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Truth Is.

TRUTH IS.... I have been married for 20 yrs now!

TRUTH IS.... my boys were the main feature on the front page of the newspaper.

TRUTH IS.... Ki turns 15 tomorrow.

TRUTH IS.... those were not in keeping with the whole 'Truth Is Thursday' spirit, but were more of a Mommy-Hijack of the Truth Is... Post.

Deal with it.

TRUTH IS.... if it were not for Julianna, I'd not have even remember I needed to blog something.

TRUTH IS... I have heard "OOOPS" so many times while my son was making the banana bread, I am a little afraid to taste it.

TRUTH IS... I have control issues. It is killing me to not know exactly what Dashnyam is learning every day. I found out today he had a test today. And there is a Parent Teacher meeting tonight, but I have an anniversary date with my husband so can't attend. it is kiiling me to not bee on face-to-face talking terms with his teachers on a regular basis. I wish I could just homeschool him.

TRUTH IS... I need to find aa better way to post pictures to my bog while using the iPad, right now I have to go to the main PC to add pictures.

TRUTH IS... I remember having more stories to post, awesome ones, at that. But I am brain dead from an overly busy schedule and have totally forgotten all of them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Plan & Dash

Dashnyam survived 72 hours of gaming. He usually was in bed by 9, though the rest of us were up till 2AM often.

He played some new games and even taught a game of mine to a couple kids there.

I think we almost have our scheduling worked out.

Mon & Tues we will all eat breakfast together with Dashnyam- 7:30 AM
Other school days, Dash will get his own breakfast. My boys will have their morning computer time that ends at 8. Then Breakfast and jump right into school.

I think "after school computer" will be from 3-4:30. So all 4 boys have their computer time at the ame time instead of it feeling like there is always some kid playing on the computer.

some days I will have work/projects for my boys to do with Dashyam- to keep him involved and communicating.

Dinners will be around 6. 4:30-6 will be somce kitchen cleaning, helping me cook, or doingn their projects/activities with Dashnyam.

All times are subject to the random temporal shift that exists at this location.

I would like for my boys to be done with their schoolwork at 3 (about the time Dashnyam gets home from school)

So we are working on a schedule with the boys- what I want done / what they want done how much of each.

Ki makes breakfast Tues & Thurday.

Most 'chores' arond here are "do what I ask, wen I ask for help" So there are real assigned work other than GCK have 1 morning job each and everyone neds to clean their own eating place. I try to find something for D to do each daly. Today he helped bring the laundry in from the drying lines.

For School here:
G is doing calculus. he chose is math and made his goal and decided an our day shoud suffice. Tody after finishing his caclulus he was figuring out how to talk to aliens using math.

G&C are working on their chemistry. I want them to get through this course and want them to do 1 module every 2 weeks, but they can determine how much ti8me ech y they need to make that work.

K has his Apologia book, notebook prcased one with fill-ins) and his audi CD to listen to the book. Brian put Ki's Audi CD on the iPod for easy listening. I think listening will really help Ki's comprehension.

C&G are self-teaching Japanese. I asked them to do an hour a day, but I think 30 minutes a day s fine, esp if they practice with each other nd G downloaded the Japenes audio lessons to his iPod.

C is doing Statistics & Probabilty. His book is back ordered so he watching videos at and I will see if I can find some problems online for him. He said Khan doesn't have problems to do, jst videos, and that made him sad. he says stuff like that often- never with a sad voice. He is just being Connor.

I an still looking for classes for Ki.

Ki is doing whatever math he wants at Khan. 45 minutes a day.

THIS will be a very structured school year for us!!

Here are some pictures from the gaming conference:

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Here I sit. You can't see me here sitting, but I assure you that I am. In fact I an sitting in my bed. Which could explain why I am tired.

have a lot of thought, but they all seem to be overlapping each other, vying for my attention. Each trying to be the first to get out og my head and into this weblog.

I think I need to go eat dragonflies while the prisoners thoughts fight it out amongst themselves.

**** passage of time ****

I am back from lilypad hopping and dragonfly eating . . . and happy to announce the winner of the fight (for dominance amongst the thoughts).... * The Scheduling Thought*
I have decided that the best way to live on a public school schedule while home schooling is to adapt our homeschool life to fit the public school schedule, while trying to maintain some freedom. I think it may be a losing battle. The best place to start is the beginning. So we will all have breakfast together with Dashnyam on Mon, Tues, and Thursday. Mondays- because every other Monday is Collaboration Day- which means Dash's class starts att 9:55 instead of 8:30. So every other Monday will be a relaxed, later, breakfast together. and Tues & Thursday was chosen because those are Ki's Mornings to make Breakfast.

***passage of time - to watch a few minutes at Netflix, go downstairs to get my phone- stop to talk to Ki about something, get distracted by Gavin explaining his chemistry lesson and ask for money to buy milk, tell the boys they all need to be off the computers at 4:30, then come back to blogging ***

Thee next thought to rear it's head is the "what I did today" line of thinking.
8AM: hear the alarm and debate actuallly getting up.
8:10- decide to lay in bed and check my email.
8:17- I am now downstairs making bacon and french toast and calling the boys in to eat breakfast.
8:30- Breakfast and reading Story of the World, have Dashnyam finish getting ready and packing his lunch.
remind the boys to check the borad for their school work and tel them I want their chores done by 9:30.
9:06- drive Dashnyam to school. I wanted to go on campus with him to make sure he found the correct place to get his pictures taken for this ID and the yearbook. It ended pup being NOT the building I was originally told so I was glad I was there to ask annd find the right place.

around 9:30- drove home, grabbed a cloth grocery bag, biked to Von's for yogurt.
10- I realize I still haven't had breakfast, so I grab a protein drink. I bought a few at the store the other day for mornings like this.
Then I take the clothes out of the dryer, because it doesn;t work and I have to go hang the clothes. I remind Ki to not bother with the dryer, to set the basket by the backdoor next time. I then go hang the clothes on the clothesline.

Edit some photos on the computer. Research, call theater class places for Ki. Read to Ki from a science book.

I have the boys help clean in the kitchen and then I make the marinade for the Tandorri Chicken. (for Tuesday) I clean up from that, split the marinade in half. Half for the chicken half for extra sauce). Then I get the clothes from the washer and take them out to hang them.
By now it is around noon and I grab lunch. around 1, Ki says he is going for a bike ride. I tell him I was getting ready to bike to Trader Joes and he can join me. So much for a nap after lunch.

We get home at 2:13. just in time to tell Gavin to go get Dashnyam from the school. I had not been paying attention to the time so it as a good thing I got home when I did, or Dashnyam nay have had to figure out to walk home on hs own. I am having Gavin (and something the others) walk him to school and back. I figure it gets my boys out of the house and a little exercise, it gives me some time in the house alone IF II send all of them.... and gives Dashnyam a few days to figure out the route. I think I may keep 2 days a week I send ALL 3 boys to walk him to school- for the entire school year. So I have a few minutes quiet. we'll see how that works out.

it is now 4:10. Gavin has gone to the store because he thinks we do not have enough milk for potato soup. I think we do, but I think he plans on making a boatload of soup, so he can have soup all week. The dishwasher is running. The dishwasher is running and I need to go bring the 2 loads of l sundry in from the line.

****passage of time**** (so you not mistakenly think I write these entries all at once)
I'm back. The laundry has been brought in, G&D picked tomatoes, C&K cleared the dishwasher, G made potato soup, D helped prepare the salmon, Brian and I drove to A.G. to buy an extra-long twin mattress for Gavin...

and now it is time for dinner.
Here are some pictures from the weekend...... and links for other Dashnyam Blog Entries

I should do some yoga, but am tired from my 2 very short bike rides.



SMILEY CHARGING AT HIS MOTHER while unleashing the cry of a banshee--->



Saturday, August 27, 2011

DASH4? or is it DASH5?


Because I did not do a DASH entry yesterday (Thursday) on Day 4, do I call this entry DASH5, because it is Day 5 with Dash OR do I call it DASH4 because it is the 4th entry in the Dashnyam Chronicles?

Did that sentence really need to have the word 'because' three times??

Last back-track a bit to yesterday for a short overview of Day 4 with Dash. Yesterday I drove him to school, spent an hour talking to attendance officers and parent support people. They were all very kind and helpful. I was armed with phone numbers and a calendar with all the odd days that school starts/ends at different times that normal or there is no school. And there are LOTS of those days!!

I finally got my google calendar loaded up with all the new info and deleted all my old times and plans for our school. They will be re-planned this weekend.

Paul stopped by our house waiting for time to take the bus home (A friend from Grover Beach that takes classes down here and rides the bus). Gavin walked Dashnyam home. The boys relaxed, D did a little homework, we went to church, came home, Dash forgot to finish his homework until 10PM, so he was up kinda late.

NOW for DAY 5....
I guess I should call this entry DASH4&5. or DASH 4/5.

I woke, very unwillingly, at 7:14 and got to Dashnyam's room around 7:17. He was still sleep. I thought he didn't understand how to turn on his alarm clock, but Gavin to old me he did have it on, but when it went off at 7AM, Dashnyam turned it off and went back to bed. He was tired from staying up late to finish his homework. I'll have to give him more notice of when we have things planned in the evenings so he can get his homework done around our schedule..

I sent all 3 of my boys out to walk Dashnyam to school with giving Gavin specific instructions of timing how long it takes. They left the house at 8:10 and said it took 13 minutes to get Dashnyam to the corner. It's about a 3-4 minute walk for Dashnyam to get all the way to his class. So we'll plan on a 20 minute walk,to account for waiting on the light and cars to cross streets. Ki said they lucked out with the street crossing today and didn;t have to wait to cross any streets.

I made chai. I discovered that those bulk, Mexican, inexpensive cinnamon sticks are CHEAP for a reason.. they are cheap cinnamon! The whole entire bag has no cinnamon smell, the sticks broken have no yummy cinnamon scent and I licked one and it didn't taste like cinnamon at all. So I added extra clove and anise to my chai. but it's not as good as with the cinnamon. That'll teach me to buy cheap spices!

10:00 - Gavin is learning Japanese, Ki is doing laundry, and Connor is cooking a PVC pipe in the oven. The leather hardening didn't work well yesterday. They will try again after gathering more information.
They are working on weapons for Feast of Mars (Amtgard camp). Connor seems to have finished and socked his weapon today. i has something planned. I need to sew some sashes.

One of Dash's teachers emailed me today, in response to one I sent her, just checking on how he is understanding and going in the class, since he had told me he was a little confused. Sounds like things are going well. He took a reading placement test today to make sure he is in the class he needs to be or if he needs to be moved.

I wonder if I can get Brian to take the 4 boys to church tonight and leave me at home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


(Visit Julianna to link up or read more TRUTH IS ...Thursday posts)

Truth Is....... I am very glad my boys are NOT in the local public high school. Day 3 of dealing with the school system and I am ALREADY fed-up with it. And let's not EVEN get into me having to be on a Public School schedule.

Truth Is...... I fired my lazer.

Truth Is..... I don't know if I will make it to my next acupuncture appointment.

Truth Is.... I should have opted for a massage instead of acupunture, or maybe both.

Truth Is.... I enjoy this big, busy mess of hosting a foreign exchange student! And Dashnyam is a great kid! (read about Dashnyam HERE)

Truth Is... I need to stop hosting foreign kids because each time I do my list of "Countries I want to Visit" gets longer..... Or maybe just host from countries I have already visited.... but where's the fun in THAT?

Truth Is... it is time to color my hair; cover those greys again.

Truth Is.... the boys will have more school work/less unschool this year. Sort of. Though in high school, unschool often still looks a bit like 'curriculum/classes' in a way. They decided what they wanted to learn and now will have to follow the text book/course guide and do it. I got a Lapbook/ journal for Ki to do with his science. I am sure he will "Make it His Own" though.

~ His text book, journal, and audio CD arrived today, but they sent the wrong text book, so we have to wait a week to get that to use to plan his science days.

Truth Is..... I am tired and feel to brain-dead to think of anymore "Truths."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


After his classes, we took Dashnyam to the Farmer's Market . He was offered a piece of plum. The stand owner used a wooden skewer to hand them out. I held the skewer with the piece of plum out fr Dashnyam. He leaned forward and ate it off the skewer, much to the chagrin of the stand owner, who instantly felt bad for his reaction as it made Dashnyam feel bad.

We then walked to the Apple Guy. The apple guy is really nice. He always makes us smile for a free sample. He was handing a sample to Dashnyam then told him he has to smile first, it's their rule. Dashnyam didn't understand him at first, so I repeated it slowly. I told Apple Guy "this is our exchange student from Mongolia that I mentioned last week." (because I am SURE he remembers MY conversation from all the farmers markets he goes to almost daily.) He shook Dashnyams hand and introduced himself (and I STILL can not remember his name) and asked Daashnyam a few questions.

We then walked to the ice cream store (on the far side of the parking lot). I bought the boys cones, we walked back to the van, then had to buy crickets and bloodworms. We went to PetSmart. We walked around with Dashnyam looking at the fish, birds, cats, etc. Dashnyam said they only have dogs for pets in Mongolia. His family doesn't have a dog though. I wonder how accurate that is. I can't imagine a place without cats as pets, or frogs, or other 'non-dog' animals.

Once home, I realized I forgot to buy lasagna noodles, so I biked to Von's while D&G picked tomatoes and C&K brought the laundry in from the line. They played on the computer while I cooked stuff. I then had Dashnyam, Connor, and Ki assemble the 2 lasagnas. MMMMMmmmm, the lasagna was YUMMY!! Dashnyam loved it, too. Connor always loves lasagna.

Brian took G&D to buy wood for making a bunk bed, K&C stayed home. Me, too. So I could type this blog.

I got a recorded message from the school today, informing me Dashnyam was Absent for his first class today and it is unexcused and I need to turn in a note....... UM- He did not even get his class schedule until 9:30-- AFTER the first period class was over anyway!! The school is the one who decided to not givehim his schedule yesterday like was originally planned. and now I have to turn in a note for him unexcused absence.
DAY 1 and I am ALREADY SICK of dealing with the public school!


Oh, his schedule! He got English, US History, and PE:Aquatics. School is from 8:30-2:30. YEAH!!!! I am kinda glad he did not get the extra morning class or the extra evening class- as that would make the school day from 7:30-3:30. The morning would have been 'ok', but I am mostly glad he gets out at 2:30 so we have time for things like the beach and farmers markets and other fun activities! And he goes in ate enough we can eat breakfast with him!
And I'm sure he'll learn lots from us, probably more than if he had those extra classes. He'll be with us for reading Story of the World. I'll have him read part of it out aloud (my boys all do this) and I think I'll ask Brian to do a little math with maybe.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I will start this entry off by answering a few questions:

(from Julianna-)
So, I'm facinated. Are you home schooling him as well, or is he going to HS and benifitting from your home school adventures?

Is he completely fluent in English? How long is he staying? Is there any culture shock?

Inquiring minds want to know. :)

He will be attending the local high school as soon as everyone gets their act together, gets a schedule, ect. He took a placement test on Monday and has a meeting Wed morning about his schedule. I have no idea if he will start classes Wed or later. I am not home schooling him, but I'm sure he will benefit from time to time, from what we have going on here plus he'll be able to understand me. Some of the teachers at the high school are native Spanish Speakers who speak English as a 2nd language and are often difficult to understand for a foreigner in a class room setting.

He is NOT fluent in English but speaks well enough for us to have conversations. I learned that McDonalds has not invaded Mongolia yet!

I am not sure about culture shock, but he is getting over Jet Lag finally.

He and his friends back home have Facebook accounts and he plays Call of Duty on the computer at home.

Now for Day 2 of the Dashnyam Chronicles:

I was very tired this morning and a tad headachey. and very hungry.
My morning shower didn't even help me feel more awake. No matter. There was work to be done. My boys were awake. (small repeat from previous post here->) I had Ki start making pancake batter while Gavin and I hung a load of laundry. Connor cooked the pig bacon and Gavin did one fast batch of turkey bacon. It gets cooked in the microwave and only takes 3.5 minutes. Dashnyam woke up in the middle of that time (thanks to a call from me) and he was assigned the task of cooking scrambled eggs. I got another load of laundry started, then we sat to our breakfast. Ki adds pecans to my pancakes!

While we were eating breakfast, I read the first section of our Story of the World (history) book.

After Breakfast Gavin and Connor did a little Japanese study (and science research). I looked up times for the farm, for pumpkin engraving, but they didn't open until 1 and Dashnyam had to be at school at 2, so we'll do that later. We all went to the park instead. We first stopped by Target to buy a soccer ball and an inexpensive Frisbee. The boys enjoyed kicking around the ball and throwing the Frisbee- at the same time. They did a little pond-rock-hopping, walked in the 'wooded area', and then we had lunch at Burger King.

At home Dashnyam got ready for his meeting at school while Connor and I hung clothes out to dry. then I took Ibuprofen and went to bed when Gina picked up Dashnyam for his meeting. I fell instantly asleep. It was one of those deep coma-like sleeps.
I woke up an hour later and found that Dashnyam had been home for a while due to the meeting being canceled. He has to be at school tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9AM for the meeting about his class schedule.

While I was checking my email and still feeling half asleep, Dashnyam came and asked if he could help clean anything. I pointed to the kitchen (where the dishwasher was open) I told him to get the other boys and put away the dishes from the dishwasher. He went in the kitchen and started washing dishes. I got Ki and Connor to help him with clearing the dishwasher, then had Gavin wash a couple dishes. I brought in the laundry and washed the rest of the dishes. If it weren't for the prompting of Dashnyam, I'd have just zoned out till time for Bible Study.

I had G&C check on that college class, which they were dropped from the list, but can sit in on and hope they can be accepted if there is room. Turns out the class was in Lompoc!
I am not driving an hour Tues and Thur for a class they are just sitting in on an off chance they MIGHT get to take it. I was pretty disappointed, but that's how the cookie crumbles, I guess.

All 4 boys were playing Halo when I got home from Bible Study. I never even asked what they ended up getting themselves for dinner.

(CLICK HERE to read DASH1 blog entry)

PICTURES from today-


DAY 1 with our foreign exchange student from Mongolia. Slightly out of sequence.

KI, CONNOR, DASHNYAM, GAVIN - at Pismo Beach. It was Dashnyams first time to a beach. He and the other boys had a fun time wave jumping. Itt's too coold to swim and I am too fearful of sharks to want them out too far, The have fuun waavee jumping and if the waves are good enough, my boys will also body surf. I'm sure Dashnyam will get to enjoy larger waves some time whle he's here. Dashnyam slept on the way home. He slept on the way there, too. Jet Lag from a 15 hur time difference. Dinner was Lemon Pepper Chicken (crock pot) with bread & dipping sauce and asparagus. The asparagus had a delightful glaze of Balsamic Vinegar with a touch of soy sauce and brown sugar.

Connor & Gavin decided to make Spaghhetti Sauce Yesterday and had Dashnyam help. But Connor used too much much oregano. I told him tooo much, because I wasn't paying attention and forgot he also was using some Italian Seasoning. Dashnyam would have been better off eating the ham sandwich he packed for hiss lunch. He ended up only doing a placement test at school yesterday so he was home by noon and just ate lunch with us.

Dashnyam's family own a restaurant in Mongolia. I look forward to a Mongolian meal!

Below is Dashnyam on his first day at the high school, but iit was just testing, so not a full, real day.

And here are some pictures from the beach ....


Yesterday, aftr the beach and while I was working on dinner, Gavin and Dashnyam went for a walk in the neighborhood. After dinner, they played on Xbox. I made banana bread. Dashnyam liked that a lot! with 6 of us eating, I need to make a double batch of banana bread next time! And I'lll have Dashnyam help. He says he likes cooking.


This morning Dashnyam slept in till 9. He didn't have school in the morning. Gavin helped me hang a load of laundry ut to dry while Ki started making pancakes. Connor made the pork bacon and Gavin made a batch of turkey bacon (for Ki). Dashnyam set the table and made scrambled eggs. I supervised and started a load of laundry.

Laundry is Ki's morning job, but during the school year he has a deal where he makes breakfast a couple days a week instead of doing laundry. This school year he is doing breakfast on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

While we ate breakfast, I read the first section in our Story of the World book to the boys. after a few weeks I'll have to ask Dashnyam how much he understands from my reading. Or maybe just have him take a quiz with the other boys.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Mongols are coming!

WOW, I bet that was VERY VERY UN-P.C. of me. Very... UN.
on Sunday we will go to the local airport here in Santa Maria to welcome DASHNYAM to the States and to live in our home for 2-4 months. He is an Exchange student from Mongolia. He's 17.

I am googling and Wikipedia-ing all about mongolia. Becuase.. now this is where my ignorance REALLY starts to show... all I think of when I think of Mongolia are nomads dressed in layers of furry tunics with their mountain goats. and how can a family like that afford to send their kids to America for 10 months??

another very NOT P.C. thing to say or think I guess. But, how was I to know??

Wikipedia says that half the population in Mongolia is nomadic. It also says that Mongolia is a Parliamentary republics with a non-executive President. I am not fully sure what that means. I guess they are ruled by a prime minister that can not carry out the laws or make new ones??? one more thing to research....

But the house is pretty clean. This was all last minute. I got a phone call Monday- got the OK from Brian Tuesday, Gina told me we needed pictures of the bathroom, boys room, kitchen, etc- to put in our application. . . that night. So the boys and I cleaned like mad.

HERE is the online profile for Dashnyam, the student.

here are the pictures we posted on our application...


Why, yes, that is a stuffed turtle we rescured from a scummy pond hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen picture on our application... Every Well Decorated Kitchen has a pond rescue turtle hanging from the ceiling, don't you know...

Living Space:

after I uploaded our Living Rom picture to the application site, I noticed the picture of Gavin's eyeball in the table. That's just how we roll. I am just glad I removed the 2 skulls from the kitchen shelf before I took that picture.

Family Members:

The hot pink streaks in the hair don't send the wrong message do they??

this has me all choked up and teary..... from all the dust that was flying in the air from them moving junk off the floor and fromo under the desk....

and now, here are some random picture I took recently that make me smile:

oh, how'd this get here.. this is the boys' bathroom.


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