Saturday, April 12, 2008

Odd Factoid for Isaiah

Although both parts were written by Isaiah, there seem to be two distinct sections to the book. The second section starts with chapter 40. That means that the first part has 39 chapters, just like the Old Testament has 39 books. And the second part of Isaiah has 27 chapters, just like the New Testament has 27 books. Now, as long as we ignore the apocrypha, I think that coincidence is pretty cool!

Jaw Clicks

For the interest of those with my mom's genes...
When my jaw locked up the other day, I noticed it was when I was chewing while holding the telephone receiver between my ear and my shoulder. (No, I wasn't talking with my mouth full. I was on hold for a long time.) It made me wonder if better, straighter posture while eating might reduce the clicking/locking problems just a little.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sump Pump

What had been a perfectly dry basement no longer is. A new sump pump was installed a couple of months before we moved in, a sump pump that would not discharge clean ground-water into the septic system. Okay, that's a good thing. Problem is, the place for the discharge-water was not properly connected. I found it this morning, with the water just beginning to come in. After two trips to the hardware store, I managed to reduce the problem enough that it didn't keep worsening throughout the day. But when Gary went to the hardware store tonight to do a better fix, neither store had the necessary parts.

I cannot believe how many things I need to learn. And learn fast. Things that I don't have any background in. Things that matter and need to be fixed now. And while we're constantly trying to learn and fix, there's still a need to take care of laundry and meals and all the other regular-life stuff.

When you are teaching children, you have to allow them time to absorb what they're learning. Time for it to "stick" in their brains. Time for them to get it down pat before throwing more at them.

I want that absorption time too!! Old brains do not learn speedily!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Barb's Oatmeal Muffins

We had a gallon of milk go sour recently. So it's been pancakes and muffins for us!

Oatmeal Muffins
1 dozen
bake in greased muffin tins
400° for about 12 minutes

Soak 1 cup rolled oats in
1 cup sour milk
about 10-15 minutes.

Add 1 egg and
1/2 cup oil. Stir well.

In another bowl, combine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder.

Mix dry ingredients into wet.
Stir just till moistened.

Perfect Teeth

In this spate of recent 50's tv we've been watching, I noticed something. The people's teeth aren't perfect. They're reasonably straight. At least, for most of the actors and actresses. But there are spaces between teeth. There are even a few crooked teeth here and there. And it's okay.

It was a different world....


The fashion with the kids is to leave your shirt untucked. Sometimes it might look a little sloppy, but that's no big deal. The thing about it that really gets me, though, is how the shirts are layered so that the underneath-shirt has a longer tail than the outside-shirt. There are so many reasons why it should make sense, but in my old-fashioned brain, that is just NOT how it's done. If your sweatshirt is shorter than your t-shirt, then it seems to me the t-shirt should be tucked so that it doesn't hang out.

I'm losing weight. My pants are getting too loose. I have to tuck my shirts, if for no other reason, the shirt provides extra padding just to keep my pants up.

Ah ha! There's the answer to the untucked shirts that are so fashionable! Kids today CANNOT tuck their shirts ... because their pants are too tight. The skin-tight pants probably necessitated the fashion of untucked shirts! Mystery solved. :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Loud Timer

I have burned too many things since we moved. The timer on the stove is not loud, and it beeps for all of 3 seconds. I just don't hear the noise. Being terribly preoccupied recently, I forget the granola or the muffins. And they burn overbake.

So I set myself to the task of going shopping [UGGGGGGGHHH!] for a timer that I could hear. I read labels and labels and more labels. I finally found a timer at Linens & Things that had an "extra loud" alarm and would "turn itself off after 2 minutes to preserve the battery." When I got it home and tried it out, the beep was even quieter than the one on the stove and lasted for all of ten whoppin' seconds. (I still am entirely clueless as to WHAT turns off after 2 minutes to preserve the battery. Because it sure ain't the alarm-noise.) I was pleased with the the store and thankful for their cheerful refund of my money.

So I internet-searched. I found an "extra extra loud" timer. I bought it and it arrived today. It's still not quite what I want, but it's good enough. I wish it were louder, but it's a darn sight louder than any other timer I've run across in recent years. And while I was testing the new toy, Philip could hear it while he was vacuuming in the next room. That says something about the volume!

The alarm buzzes for a full 60 seconds. Wooo hooo! Long enough that there's still something buzzing even if you missed the start of the beep. Another nice feature is that it doesn't just turn off and beep when the time runs out. Instead, it starts counting up so that you know how long ago the timer ran out; that'll help too! If you miss the alarm, it's nice to know whether you missed it by 3 seconds or by 5 minutes.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Laundry Room

I had intended to take a picture of the laundry room (which would excite no one but Lauri) but it just won't cooperate. I tried with Paul's camera, and it didn't download onto my computer. So then Paul took a picture with his camera which worked just fine. So I tried in the laundry room again, and the camera told me it needed a recharged battery. Okay, okay, okay! I will QUIT trying to put a picture of my laundry room on my blog. The laundry room has some reason to hide in obscurity, and the cosmos is going along with the laundry room and taking sides against me. So no photo.

The thing that excites me about the laundry room is the lack of bugs. The photo would've shown stacks of folded laundry, divided up on the folding table according to the person the clothes belong to. At the old house we had to bring the stacks of laundry upstairs right away after folding. Or some people used a different method. Andrew SHOOOOOOOK his clothes out before putting them in his drawers. I mean, who wants to pull out your jammies or shirt out of the dresser, put it on, and find Asian beetles crawling down your back? Yuck!

But now we can fold the laundry and leave it on the table in the laundry room....
and NO bugs!!!
I find that exciting.

There's also this cool thing with the floor being dry. When I was at the parsonage picking up a load of stuff last week, tiny rivers were running through the basement. No surprise, but a very nice difference from the basement here. Rivers were still there on Sunday when Gary was at church. But by then he said it was getting rather stinky in the basement.


We were skeptical about the work needed to take care of a pool. When we were house-hunting, we had automatically crossed a house off the possibility-list if it had a pool. But this house had a good price and good location and good size, and we bought it anyway. We figured we'd try to learn how to work the chemicals and keep it clean and all that.

But now that spring has come and things are thawed, we find some holes in the pool liner. A couple of days ago it was half full. Right now there's only 8" of water in the pool. I talked to the guy at the pool-care store, and he said there are patches. But boy, when Andrew and I went out and looked, we are going to need a LOT of patches. Big patches.

So I looked online to get a rough idea of what a pool liner might cost. It's going to be $400 or more if we install it ourselves. I'm guessing it would be $1000 or more if we contact somebody who's got a clue as to what they're doing. Kinda pricey for something we were just going to "try out" for a couple of years, not sure we even wanted to mess with it in the first place.

And that's how life goes....

Blog Pictures

Good grief. I tried for 45 minutes last night to upload one picture. One! I don't know if it's the camera, or the computer, or my stupidity. According to the scientific method, I must eliminate variables. Given that Paul and Gary tried to help me, and we still couldn't upload a snapshot, I think my stupidity (although I'm not disputing it) was not the cause of the problem. Next variable: I'm going to borrow a camera from one of the boys and see if that's the trouble. If not, I'll assume it's the computer and give up on blog pictures until the day arrives when I am forced to replace my computer. Bummers. I love looking at the pictures on other people's blogs. It's often my favorite part of the blogs.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Living Independently

I heard it again on Saturday. I hear it at every single vcfs workshop I attend. I hear it in the literature. I hear it on the email lists. Whenever I read about special-ed, I hear it.

The goal is to help the children grow up to live independently.

Now, that is not a bad goal. After all, that's pretty much the goal for anybody raising any child. The particular academics aren't as important as the life-skills. The schoolwork is a means to educating the mind and imparting skills. But knowing how to brush your teeth, write a check, pick up your own messes, and do your laundry is primary. Most kids can catch onto the life skills and still immerse themselves in exciting studies on a wide variety of topics. But some kids have all they can manage in just getting down those life-skills. Special-ed instructors want to remind us of these priorities. And that's good.


I get tired of hearing how important it is for my child to grow up to live independently, given the definition of "living independently" that the "experts" use. They tell us how a child grows up to "live independently" with the government providing a check for his sustenance, with the government providing financial incentives to businesses to hire the person, and with the government providing a case-worker who helps the adult-child manage his money and remember doctor appointments and learn to grocery shop.

If a case-worker is there, hand-holding, teaching, guiding, then the only "independence" that the adult-child has is independence from the parents. He's not really independent. He's just not depending on family. I'm not necessarily saying there shouldn't be any of that assistance from the government. But WHY is that independence coveted, prized, and extolled, while getting the same help from his loved ones is considered unhealthy?

Sunday, April 06, 2008


The basketball has been flat. Not flat enough that the kids can't use it, but flat enough that it takes a whole lot of oomph to get it to bounce back up to your hand when dribbling.

Been looking for a needle at every store I've been to. Haven't made a special trip to any store where I know for sure they would sell needles. But today I finally found the needle for the ball. I grabbed the bike pump, inflated the ball, and now it bounces.

But it bounces like it didn't bounce before. Andrew's aim is off. He knew the amount of rebound to expect. (Uh, that would be "very little" rebound!) The way he shot at the backboard took into account the utter unbounciness of the ball. And now his mom went and inflated the basketball. This is going to take some recalculation of angles.


In the midst of difficulties and anfechtung, it would be a whole lot easier to endure if they hadn't changed the pericopes, if they hadn't changed the words to the hymns that are a person's sustenance, if they hadn't changed the psalms to a new translation. As if there weren't enough struggles in life, a person can't even count on the Word that has been learned by heart to sustain her ... because it's all been changed with LSB to "improve" things.