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Aubrey

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Everything posted by Aubrey

  1. I mean, being back on the boards...I shouldn't try to do school today, right? ;) The phone repair people were here this morning. Between the turtle & Thurs school, the kitchen was a wreck, so we got that cleaned up when she called to say she was on her way. Then the baby pulled the coffee pot off the shelf from his highchair, so I was cleaning up old coffee & broken glass when she got here. (Thankfully I hadn't made coffee yet AND we have another pot.) Then she had to check the jacks in the rest of the house, which I *didn't* clean. Oh my gosh. I'd asked dd to try to make my room presentable, just in case, but a) her def & mine are on different planets. I can't tell she WENT in my room. And B) the phone lady had to go in the kids' rooms, too. *faint* But we made paths for her, got the kitchen & coffee & glass cleaned up, fed the baby, cleaned up the oatmeal he found later, & then I remembered ds had made coffee, which I reheated, & now here I am. I'm pretty sure if I close the computer you guys will disappear. And the last couple of weeks here have been kinda lonely, so I hate to risk it... Update We've moved & are living in CO Springs. This house is amazing--I've never had more than 1200 sf, & this is more than twice that. Dh got a contract in the project management field, & so far, he's LOVING it, which is the best bonus I can think of. I was told it would be otherwise a few mos ago by a "curious bystander." Well, not loving it would be a polite version of what was said. Anyway. We are converting to Catholicism & coming into the Church at Easter. I'd decided to fake-convert when we moved here from TX. I was pg w/ #5, disillusioned from our time in seminary, &...well, many of you guys know how hard it is to be anything on the Protestant-Evangelical spectrum with 5+ kids. It was Catholicism or Atheism, so I was really hoping I could be Catholic. I started RCIA in 2011, but when the baby came & was in NICU, etc, I just couldn't get up the energy to keep going. And the class...gosh, the lady who taught it was sweet, but the class was boring. In the mos I was there, the only thing they taught was stuff Christians could agree on across the board. And pretty soon, the Catholic stuff in the building--the statues, stained glass, vestments--started to freak me out. I realized either God & His Stuff looks like this or it doesn't. If I was going to spend eternity in a Catholic heaven, I kinda wanted to spend the rest of *this* life with something more familiar, you know? I guess what it comes down to is you can't fake-convert. Which I knew. At some point during the mos that followed, I told someone I wanted SO badly to be Catholic. Like the way you want a guy you're dating to somehow make the unacceptable parts invisible. Like pretending he's not stupid so you can date him & just WISHING he'd keep his mouth shut so you can keep your delusion. lol I found another parish that looked worth trying, & their RCIA was year-round AND on Sundays after mass, so--convenient to try. Dh had a test one Sun, so he needed the time to concentrate, so the kids & I went. If you can imagine a woman showing up w/ 5 kids by herself & practically shouting/begging--WHERE IS RCIA?? It was the Sun after Easter. I went to mass that day, too, & I told dh--it's the weirdest thing. None of it really made a lot of sense, although the sermon was good (can't remember it now). Mainly, though, I left with a ginger-flavored peace, like if you could taste the sun setting over the mountains, full of fizz. They let me come every Sun w/ all the kids, who brought picnic lunches & toys & books, & they let me check books out from their library, & after a few Sundays, I asked dh--What if Jesus is really present in the Eucharist? I mean, I KNOW He's not, but...what IF? I read Evangelical Is Not Enough by Thomas Howard, Elisabeth Eliot's brother, and a modern-day convert. This book had a greater impact on me than anything else I read, but at the same time, I encountered some beautiful Chesterton quotes & downloaded a free book of his, which dh & I began reading together. The logic of the books I read was alarming. I hadn't expected any of the "weird" parts of Catholicism to make sense, but the more I read, the harder it became to remember why I ever believed differently. Questions I've had since I was a *child* began to be answered--but with acceptable answers, not Christian-ese, if that makes sense. Then I began reading the early church fathers. Finding the original sources & getting them in the right order, etc, is a monumental task. Excerpts quoted here & there in textbooks...well, the textbooks were biased, so I didn't feel like I could trust those. In a short time, dh's church history books from seminary became SO OBVIOUSLY wrong that we threw them out. I hope it was poor research & not malicious, but in a college textbook, even research THAT poor is...well, it's really, really bad. The book we threw out is so popular, so well-regarded that I'm haunted by how many people have read it, will read it, & will trust the information in it without question. I would have! I didn't get very far into the writings of the early fathers--I was trying to simplify them for the kids, so it was slow-going, but it was also really dense. Ignatius of Antioch was my favorite. He talks about the necessity of unity in the Body & urges his followers: "Man by man, become a choir, that Jesus may be sung." Something like that, but more beautifully put. Dh through all of this was...cautiously supportive? He wanted me in church & reasoned that the Catholics were "probably" Christians. He was pretty sure. We had so many long, long conversations, & when he finished his classes, he began coming to RCIA with me. I thought it was his imagination at first, but he was right: every time he asked a question, the lady who ran the thing sort-of twitched. But that's better than the church in FW whose leader escorted us to the door when she found out he'd been in a Baptist seminary! Anyway, he got to the point that he said the theology made sense in his head sometimes, other times in his heart, but he could never get those to be the same. Honestly? That was more than I'd hoped for. We'd originally agreed to go to separate churches, raising the kids Evangelical. But more & more, I'd wanted to raise the kids Catholic, wanted to baptize the littles. And it's not like the bigs sat through all of this without an opinion--they were ready to convert before I was! Dh had assented to the bigs converting. He came to the point that he was ok with the littles being baptized Catholic, because, in his words, there was no other church that would make sense any more. But part of that is promising to raise them Catholic. I asked the priest if I could promise to raise them as-Catholic-as-possible. Because until dh was more comfortable w/ the idea (if ever), I couldn't make that promise! After a miraculous encounter w/ God which I can't explain, dh was ready to convert. So ready, he asked the priest if he could come in to the Church early. So ready, he wanted to try to Convert All The Protestants, lol. I pointed out that if he'd met himself before being ready to convert, he'd make himself run away, & he calmed down a little. He just...felt kind-of jipped to have not had the information about the historical church before hand. One of the biggest differences for dh is the issue of calling, or vocation as it's called in the Catholic church. He'd struggled before with feeling called to be a pastor, going to seminary, & supporting a family. God FIRST, right? But the churches we'd attended during seminary would swallow up FIRST so that there was nothing left for second much less third. If you couldn't feed your family, remember: whoever leaves his family for Christ will be blessed. Not that he really bought into *that* but...it left him in Superman mode. Or maybe just...what's the horse's name in Animal Farm? "I must work harder." So he'd work harder & harder & HARDER until there was nothing left. I felt certain that we'd eventually lose our children (spiritually speaking) because of it. Something HAD to change. Enter Catholicism. You can't be a married priest. (I know there are certain exceptions, but broadly speaking.) So. His CALL is to be a husband and father. Suddenly, his profession matters in a new way--it's not a cop-out our a less-holy calling or something. It's not an undercover evangelist opportunity. And he's able to bear the burden of life-responsibilities with a new fervor & cheer that has...always been near the surface for him, if that makes sense? Like, he had the *character* for it, but not the background to point him quite the right direction, so I'd see this man almost surface & then disappear, over & over during our marriage, & I would get frustrated. Now? It's like I can see the man I married break through the ice & come up for air, & he's in a boat, & he's sailing for the shore. I hope he can say something nice like that about me, too, at least in the long run, but that would be another story. *************************************************** You guys really deserve more details about other life circumstances, but I can't. Not now. *sigh* Plus, you know how wordy I am. It would kill the boards to say all the things I want to say. ;) I have a really good dr, though, & I think that someday I will be ok. I think the kids will be ok. Now I really want to talk curriculum. I've tried to explain to dh how to do that, & he just can't. Not like y'all. He thinks it's a problem to be solved, not a philosophy to sit & discuss over coffee. I mean, if he approached the Meaning of Life like he approaches curriculum, we'd have a graph or a chart & be done in under an hour & be stuck w/ nothing to talk about. Well, except dead turtles. ;)
  2. Aubrey

    Hello...

    One more story: I was using the internet at McD's & someone asked me if all the kids in the play place were mine. Well, no. I mean, I have 5, but no, not ALL of them. For one thing, I KNOW one of them is YOURS, lady. We went back & forth for a few minutes (all friendly) because she couldn't understand the math of "5, but not all." (I think there were 9 kids in there.) Then it turned to religion. Because 5 kids, you know. I tried to give brief answers so I could check my email. Maybe that's not nice, but it turns out she's in seminary studying to be a preacher. An hour later, after she'd stood up in her seat yelling & waving her arms at me (in a passionate, not angry way), she thanked me for the opportunity to make her preaching powerful. (Seriously, I need my own smiley here, that's wide-eyed & baffled.) One of the things she said she didn't believe in: poverty. Most of the rest, I've encountered before & at least understand/respect if I don't agree, but--she doesn't believe in people being poor? And she asked, "Who would look at a poor person & want to follow their god?" What do you even say to that? I was tempted to ask her if she'd read her Bible or *heard* of Jesus. I reminded her about Paul saying he knew how to be rich, knew how to be poor, etc. She said, "Yeah, but he learned that lesson & moved on." I said ok. I know it's bad, but I can't stop laughing.
  3. Aubrey

    Hello...

    Well, I sort-of tried that after a weird neighbor-stalking incident, but that didn't really work, & then things got bad enough that I couldn't be here at all, so I figured that once I *could* be here, I'd much rather be myself. The mods were really nice to let me be myself again. :)
  4. From what dh read, it's easier to tell if turtles are for-sure dead than if they're alive: their eyes sink in. When I was here, they were still bulging. I can't imagine anything dying OR hibernating as fast as he did, but apparently, they can hibernate in a matter of minutes--this is one of the things we discussed. I really thought he should pull his arms, legs, & head in, too, but apparently they don't always. ??? That's all the details I can share. Partly, it's giving me the heebie-jeebies. Partly, dh hasn't told me more. Thank. goodness. *shudder* As far as sneaking a new turtle in, I'm not sure that would have the right effect after sharing a formal burial w/ the kids. I mean, 4yo wanted to know if we buried it, how would we know when it came alive again? 5yo said next time she was in the back yard...4yo finished her sentence: "You'll dig up the turtle?" We all looked at him like he was scary-nuts, & she said OF COURSE NOT. Just visit him. Dh was appalled when I told him, but I pointed out that digging him up was *exactly* what he & I were doing an hour later. :p Btw: when digging up a turtle, it's a toss-up between thinking of Mark Twain & Faulkner. But I decided that Faulkner is more for digging up people, probably, & Mark Twain would love an undead turtle story.
  5. Dh declared as we fell asleep: All future pets must be the kind that are DEAD or NOT DEAD. LOL.
  6. My 5yo told me she was going to have nightmares night before last, because her turtle had died. I said all the nice-mama things, but in my head, I was thinking YOU? YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE NIGHTMARES? I'M NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN!!!
  7. The trick w/ no internet isn't finding internet. It's finding a place where 5 kids will be quiet long enough to type a complete thought. When they forgot to watch the baby, & he came wandering over to the table...it was time to go. :(
  8. Aubrey

    Hello...

    So, the turtle's dead. He "turned" while I was at McD's. Dh said it was "obvious," but spared me the details. SO glad I left the house. But now I feel all off-kilter, like the kids' turtle died & then I ignored them for a day. But they played really hard & were incredibly happy w/ getting the day off, so...? I guess it's ok? When I warned them to stay out of the kitchen, I promised ice cream later if they obeyed (& therapy if they didn't). :D
  9. Aubrey

    Hello...

    Yes, dh was posting there & calling me w/ updates. This forum was the basis of poking its limbs with a baby med dropper, which I was using to keep him moist/wash off his burial dirt, which wigged me out, esp on his eyes. But apparently there are different kinds of "soft." I was instructed to pick him up & see if his arms could be moved back & forth. *faint* I was clear about my limits. Poking was over the line, but flipping his legs back & forth? I wonder if dh has ever met me? (He did bring flowers afterward, unprompted.)
  10. Aubrey

    Hello...

    No, I haven't talked to him since I told you guys about it a LONG time ago. But I've been wondering, too. Turns out, even if we're studying the ancients, I can't keep his books in the garage. I made dh spend a Saturday helping me dig through boxes to pull out Two Miserable Presidents. LOL!
  11. Aubrey

    Hello...

    Yes, I did insist that if he "resurrected" he'd have to be renamed. There was one other, less religious option, but now I forget. His name was "King Tut" though, & even that seemed kind-of fitting, esp for the religious-tunnel-afterlife idea. :D
  12. Aubrey

    Hello...

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Btw, thanks to you, dh wants a horse for a pet. You know, one of those over-sized "dogs" you guys breed. ;)
  13. Aubrey

    Hello...

    Oh, goodness! I'm so sorry! I have lots of not-funny stories, but...well, actually, losing a turtle wasn't funny at first, either.
  14. Aubrey

    Hello...

    Maybe he wasn't WARM. We keep the house cold-ish. But dh was checking the water temp, said it was ok, before he noticed the unusually deep sleep. But he read today that turtles can hibernate for 4 mos under a frozen pond w/out oxygen or food or anything. Cute kids: Oldest is doing Algebra. I can't believe it. Littles complain that they don't know enough science & NEED to. Baby is running around, barely talking. He saw the turtle this morning at the grave & thought we were playing hide & seek. He was very excited, exclaiming TURTLE & pointing, even after he was buried. Because he KNEW where we'd hidden the turtle. :p
  15. Aubrey

    Hello...

    I"m too freaked out to google now. Dh is on his way home, has promised to at least hide the turtle in our bathroom until we know something. But jeepers. You shouldn't have to hang a flag if you're dead. And this turtle really SHOULDN'T be dead. But...now that we've told the kids AND BURIED him, I have to admit, I feel a little less invested. And more, after staring at him all day. But now! I told dh I'd feel AWFUL to bury a live turtle. He said, "If he's alive, technically, I did." Yeah, I know. But I mean, like...twice. THAT would be bad. :p
  16. Aubrey

    Hello...

    So I've been thinking for a long time about how to come back, afraid it would be awkward, not wanting to say too much or too little...you understand? Checking the water with my toe... But then something happened today that I knew you guys would appreciate, something that could only happen to me. And it's a very Aubrey way to re-introduce myself. The kids got a turtle in '05 from an overpopulated pond at a museum (staff were giving them away). Recently, we spent about 6 weeks in TX while friends kept the turtle for us. We finally were able to go pick him up yesterday. Late last night, dh came home, checked on the turtle--since we hadn't set all of his stuff up, just to make sure he was set for the night--& woke me up to tell me he'd died. He was crawling around in his tank at 5...maybe later? So he had to have *just* died. Suddenly. As soon as we got him home. Like, he took one look & said, "Bleh." Of course, I deal with death well: I yelled at dh that he was wrong, needed to check again, raise him from the dead if necessary. Because the kids have suffered too much loss in the last year to lose the turtle IMMEDIATELY too. But, alas. The turtle was dead, he assured me. We told the kids this morning, buried him in the back yard, & made cocoa. All of us cried. Then dh texts me that the turtle might not be dead. He might be hibernating. Apparently turtles have strange ways of doing that--some people keep them in the fridge for a few mos of the year. (??????????????) So...would I mind to go dig up the turtle? And, you know, check. ????????????????? 8-/ Now there's a maybe-dead turtle in my kitchen under a heat lamp. I've kept the kids in the basement (play room) all day so as not to traumatize them. But, really. I've been staring at an undead turtle all day, poking him with a baby-med dispenser, describing the bulge in his eyes & the level of stiffness in his limbs to dh, who googles, because we don't have internet at the house yet. (Was supposed to be yesterday, but now there's not even a dial tone there!) If you want to talk about who's going to need therapy.... I snuck the kids out to McD's for internet & so I wouldn't have to explain what I'm hiding. They think I just needed time alone to grieve. I think this ranks up there w/ the lady telling me about the dead body in her son's car. So...hello! As far as other things...I hope you guys understand if it's a while before I can talk about things more personal than poking dead turtles. ;)
  17. "Sister" is a better word than friend For someone who loves like this, gives like this. When we were strangers, she shared her holidays & home. She baked birthday cakes Spent free days together, even driving out HERE. Then a weekend--THREE DAYS, TWO NIGHTS-- Watching five kids. Not eggs, kids. Separate, immature brains that run opposite directions, That cry--SCREAM!--at 3AM. Words are tape measures that run far too short For saying what she is, has been, has done. A friend like this is not rare; She's a species all her own. Not as good as I would like, but from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU, dear, dear friend.
  18. My feelings got Way Too Thin for the Internet. :) Last summer when we moved here, a neighbor googled me & printed everything I'd said here & gave it to my mother. Turns out, it's hard to read internet forums in their printed form--it's hard to keep track of WHO said what in that format. I changed my name--total disaster. I tried to just stick to hs topics. Not as much fun as just...being myself. Take all the anecdotal information out, & ... bleh. Then I noticed the Really Thin Skin. It's worse than dial-up. So I decided to stay off the boards until we are living in a new location. I miss you guys & plan to be back as soon as possible, it's just not a good idea right now. Think extended board break. In the mean time, though, I've gotten to know a couple of boardies here & as nice as y'all are in my head, I REALLY like knowing you in person. Lara is *wonderful.* And VA2662 or some other arrangement of numbers has also become a great friend. And now the most recent crazy person story, to assure you that I am me (because who else do these people EVER talk to???): Dh & I were reading (aloud to ea other) at Starbucks. First time we'd been out alone together since before the move. It was the only empty table in the place, & it was right under a speaker w/ crazy music, but we leaned in, whispered, etc. The table next to us had *stuff* not a person, but the person returned to her seat 5-10 min after we arrived. She sat there w/ (unused) headphones & her laptop & kept making faces at me. It was weird. Finally, she leaned over & interrupted us. We were too distracting. Could we please be Completely Silent? I actually gaped. We put our book away, but what else does one do in Starbucks? We sat & chatted stiffly, but she kept making faces at me. Then there was the lady in a red dress & stilletos (sp?) waiting for the bus. At noon. In front of Toys R Us. I'm always so grateful when dh sees these things, too (only when he's with me) because otherwise, I might consider checking myself into a psych ward. But imagine the crazy things I'd see there! :D Dh just finished a graduate certificate in project management. What that means for when he'll find a job that will involve relocating, I cannot say, but perhaps sooner than later. Also, I've got my religious questions sorted out, & I can't wait to have a nice long religious conversation w/ you guys! But I'll have to. For now. Other updates: Baby is just starting to pull up, has almost 8 teeth, & bites like the dickens. He's had trouble starting solids because of reflux, but despite that, he weighs over 30lb & has the height to match. My oldest is starting middle school in the fall (homeschool), & it's stunning to watch a kid not be a kid any more. And sometimes not an adult either. ;) I got to speak at a conference this month. That was a lot of fun. And I got to meet Judomom FINALLY! My hair is almost the right color again, but quite short. :001_huh: I've never loved a place as much as I've come to love CO, despite the wicked heat this summer--and yes, a broken a/c. What else? :D See you guys soon.
  19. Huh. It's been about a year since I looked at Algebra texts & chose AoPS. I wonder if I forgot about their pre-alg or overlooked it or what? :confused: :lol: Anyway, we're joining a coop thing that pays for books, so I'd been trying to focus on what they offer (not AoPS), but I thought that wasn't an issue yet. Hmmm... *Going back to look at AoPS website to try to remember what I was thinking.* :D ETA: It looks like pre-alg wasn't out yet when I looked last. So maybe this IS a no-brainer! :D
  20. I'm really not worried about it, but I didn't want to be arrogant either. LOL
  21. I don't know why I didn't think to try the samples. Oh my gosh! That was awful! I think it's weird that SL is pushing teaching text books so much. :001_huh: Thank you!
  22. We've used Singapore all the way through (& LOVED it) and are also using (& loving) LoF. I'm planning to continue LoF & use AoPS for Alg I. I hadn't really decided what to do about NEM, though. I just did an online chat w/ SL, & the lady said NEM is very hard for "the average parent" to implement. Do you think that means people who are already using & loving SM or...other people? She strongly rec'd TT, which I like the look of for my 4th g'er, but...I'm hesitant for mathy ds. The samples were pretty...weak. What do you think? :bigear:
  23. The UPS truck was pulled over around the corner from our street. I'm a homeschooler--of course I noticed (read: craned my neck to see if he was coming back this direction with books for me). Behind him, a car was pulled over. Well, I understand that, too, as I'm often tempted to chase down every brown truck I see, even if it's just to see what you guys have ordered. That's when I saw them--the UPS man standing behind the car, embracing the woman, who I can only assume is a homeschooling mom. The way they were kissing, well. Steam doesn't come out of your ears *just* for math. By then, I could see my own doorstep where not one but TWO packages were waiting. I assumed the kiss was a tip. Dh assures me that our house is just a regular enough stop for a planned rendezvous. No tipping the UPS man. ;)
  24. Oh! So you're saying Horizons K looks like it covers more than Singapore K because of the spiral approach. That makes sense. I'd thought about slowing them down by focusing on math facts this coming year...something I waited too long for w/ my big ones (but bleh! I hate teaching math facts!).
  25. It's worse here--I've never paid more than $9/book, so I estimated to myself, "9x6=36." And not. one. person. in. this. house. corrected me! :svengo: :lol:
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