Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We had our church Christmas program two weeks ago. The kids were Mary and Joseph. There was much craziness associated with this program, and it provided hilarity for all involved. The lovely lady who directs the children in their programs spent hours and hours making sure that every single child had something to be, do or say. We had a new change to the script for every practice, I think, trying to keep up with which kids were around and able to participate.

Here are the kids dressed up for their piano playing part.

And here they are as the happy new parents. G-ma and G-pa T and Aunt and Uncle D came to see them and visit. Oh, and bring us a piano. YEA!!

Christmas Break Ambitions

The kids are officially on Christmas break as of this Monday. My ambitions for the week are (I hope) reasonable. My only plans:

Monday - Wrap Presents and Sort

Tuesday - Visit nursing home to deliver gifts and play piano. (kids)

Wednesday - Make chocolate covered stuff
...almost check...
(The kids are playing "poor family", and they're having such a good time I don't want to make them stop. They're begging and bartering for shillings, then using them to buy weapons, fabric etc. to improve their lot in life. Oh, and they keep asking me to buy pets. (Apparently I'm the shopkeeper.) I don't know how to explain that pets are kind of a luxury item.


Thursday - Have our Christmas here, pack for trip

Friday - Drive home for the holidays.

Can't wait to see everyone this next week. We'll miss those of you who aren't able to make it down this year.

Merry Christmas from me and the crazy squealing kiddos. And Art. He's at work, but his Christmas vacation starts right after lunch today. (Yea!!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Here a few pictures from life around here- random snapshots, if you will.

This is Zaya dressed as a Newsie. He's selling papes, and wearing one of the costumes that Grandma Lilibeth brought when they came to visit.

Here Zaya discovers _The Wizard of Oz_. He started it after breakfast, and finished it before Sunday School. Apparently, he's a fan.

Here is Mim's fancy doll that Mr. Mac gave her when we moved. She took off the fancy dress and had me make the doll a bible costume. (No sewing involved.) Then when I went back into the school room, the doll was standing under Mim's desk reading a pamphlet about birdwatching. Who knew?

Art got some scrap materials from a co-worker and made a gigantic slip n' slide in our backyard. The kids had a blast, and I may just have used it myself. No admissions.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The kids had their first gymnastics meet today in a nearby town. There weren't that many children there, so it was of reasonable length. All they did was tumbling down a line of mats, so there was little to learn, and little pressure.
They both did very well, ie they did their little routines with a minimum of nervousness from Mim and wiggling from Zaya.
I forgot my camera, of course, but I did take pictures with my cell phone. Now I have to figure out how to get them onto my computer. Anyway,here are some pictures of the triumphant athletes after our return home.Zaya got a trophy as the only beginner boy. All of the children got medals, because they separated things by age and etc. They have decided (read Mim has decided) that they will share the trophy since it's not fair that Zaya got one just because he was a boy.

Monday, November 07, 2011

We're Back!

We are officially reconnected to the world! It's a bit too overwhelming to think of all the things that have happened since we last had the internet in our home, so I won't be trying to catch up on the blog.

Suffice it to say we're all still here; we're adjusting to life in Fornow; we're enjoying homeschooling; life is good.

Oh, and we really, really miss everyone back home. That should go without saying, but I would like it said for the record. Not a day goes by when I don't think of some people I would like to talk to and see.

Here's a quick picture of the kids from my Grandparent's 60th anniversary this summer. We had a great time, and I was so glad to have the opportunity to go.

I'll throw other pictures on here as I run across them. For the moment, I'm going to get off of the computer. I haven't readjusted to the screen time, and my eyes are killing me.

Oh, and I'm also trying to participate in NaNoWriMo again. Last night I had to just throw a towel over the screen and type blind. I'm about 1500 words behind, so I'll probably have to do the same tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Here is a letter to the editor that I published in our local newspaper. I have changed the name of the town for the sake of the blog.

Our family has recently moved to Fornow, and the process has had its share of joys and frustrations. We moved from a tiny town in western Oklahoma, so this new town brought wide-eyed wonder from the children.
“They have parks, lots of parks! Our house is only a couple blocks from a real grocery store! There are so many trees and everything is so green!”
Yes, Fornow was quite a contrast to our drought-stricken home in Oklahoma, where “going to get the groceries” meant driving fifteen miles to the nearest grocery store and the park was little more than a backyard swing set and the play equipment from an abandoned schoolyard.
As adults, my husband and I were equally excited to hear that Fornow had been known in the past as “one of the most wired towns in America,” offering internet to the masses. We knew that the streets weren’t actually paved with gold, but we had great hopes that, since it is 2011, at least the internet service would be.
Imagine our shock and consternation as ISP after ISP informed us that they could not service our home.
“I’m sorry, but that’s just outside our service area” – the pain, the frustration!
How is it possible that the Promised Land, where there is even a Wal-mart Supercenter, offers us less access to the world than our tiny farm-town of 400 did?
We have found one or two companies that can serve us, but the price is so high, the service so pitiful, and the contract so long that it feels like indentured servitude and failure rather than simple access to the World Wide Web.
So, at this point, we hold out hope for what has become a mystic legend at our house – someday, Cambridge will come. They offer speeds that are many, many times faster. The prices are almost half as much, and signing a contract would be like a wedding with your true love – or so the legend goes.
We wait out here in “node four”, that mysterious province that doesn’t yet have Cambridge service, but “should be getting it real soon.” They don’t know the day or the hour; actually they don’t even know the week or the month, but they say it is coming.
Do we watch and wait in holy dread? Do we continue to slog through the wilderness of e-mail and research at the library and podcast downloads while eating yet another McDonald’s apple pie? Do we abandon our dream and turn in desperation and shame to the gap-toothed leer of the one service that agrees to give us a miserly access to the world. Only time will tell.
Although the sense of disenchantment is occasionally intense, we remain hopeful, because where would mankind be without hope? We enjoy our new friendships and become increasingly involved in what seems to be a welcoming community.
Our family and friends from our previous existence send us occasional text messages and broken phone calls.
“Where are you? Why haven’t I seen you on Facebook? Why haven’t you written anything new on your blog? Can we see pictures of your new home?”
We reply that although milk and honey are in abundance, the communications system doesn’t seem to stretch back over the Jordan, and the streets of gold were just a fiber-optic pipe dream.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We Made It

We are officially Missourians this morning. We had a long trip with a ridiculous amount of pit stops, for which no one person is to blame. I also got lost for a while, but we did eventually arrive in our new home.
The kids and I are enjoying a donut at the little coffee shop/daylight donuts in our new town. I haven't come up with a good blog name for it yet, so I'm open to suggestions.
There are pictures and details and stories, but this simple post will have to suffice for now. We don't have internet yet, so I will only be able to communicate periodically on the great world wide web.
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dust Bowl: The Sequel

Here are some pictures I took one year ago. They're from July of '10. We had a nice long rain, little expecting that it would be the last we'd see for a long time. This is our little creek at flood stage, facing first east, and then west.

Here is the same creek today. This is what a year of drought can do in western Oklahoma. We desperately need rain. It's only a minor inconvenience for some of us, but for the farmers the situation is critical. You can only haul so much water to so many cows before you start selling what you can.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Noble Effort

We took our first official homeschool field trip yesterday. I had Groupons for the Sam Noble Natural History Museum in Norman. In retrospect, we should have just gone to the Science Museum again, but live and learn. Grandma Lilibeth came along for moral support.

The kids had fun, but not enough fun to make it worth the distance and cost in meals etc. Here they are posing by the giant buffalo in front. We convinced Mim that she should move to the front of the buffalo and hold onto his nose if she felt like she needed to lean on something for the photo shoot. Let's just say it had the potential to be a much more awkward photo.

Zaya had to look in anything with a lens.

There was a small section for children to "dig" for fossils. Zaya was able to get quite a bit of enjoyment from the activity, but Mim was disappointed in the lack of discovery. The fossils were just right on the surface, and there was very little sand at all in the area. (For which Mommy said, "Thank goodness!")

I have a feeling that Zaya's not the first little boy to run immediately to this pose upon seeing the Mammoth statue. In fact, as we were leaving I saw another one doing the exact same thing.

I have a lot more pictures of Mim because she would say, "Mommy! Take a picture of me here!"

They each chose a stuffed animal. Mim's was a puppet. Zaya wanted a gigantic stuffed dinosaur, but I talked him into a cute little wolf instead. As if either of them needed another stuffed animal. Oh well. This is what happens when Daddy doesn't come along on field trips.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Fun

This is what you do for fun when it's 105 degrees outside (with a 25 mph wind) and your mommy has packed most of your toys. And when Art is your daddy. The victim in the middle used to be a DVD player. Electronics around here stop working at their own peril.

The kids have also played with puppies (not ours), eaten a great deal of snacks, done some school work, run around the house like maniacs and helped me hang the laundry out on the line. (The first bits had dried before we were done with the last bits.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hopped up on Puppy Love

No, these are not our puppies. They belong to Aunt D and Uncle M. They are for sale, though, so if you'd like a cute, smart dog, let me know. (They're Mini Australian Shepherds.)

Operation Entertain

1. Find Camera - Check

2. Get the kids to stop whining about how hot and bored they are - Check

Need Sleep. And Camera.

I can't find my camera. It has pictures on it that I would like to put on the computer. It has the potential to take pictures that could be put on the computer in the future. It is AWOL. Annoying.

While we are definitely getting closer to our move date, we still aren't exactly sure when that will be. Art starts work on June 20, but we may not try to move the whole family until we have an actual home to move into. We hope to go look for a house next week. Wish us luck.

The kids are enjoying their summertime freedom. I've already packed most of the books, so we've made the first trip to the library. I imagine there will be many more. I plan to pack the video games last. That may make me a bad parent. It also may keep myself and the children alive until this move is over. I call that a worthwhile risk.

Both children are already awake, and it is 6:40. I'm just saying. I suppose I can't complain since I was awake before them, but went to bed at midnight. Why is this the case? I have no idea. I blame my internal alarm clock on my mother. Therefore I blame the fact that my children are also awake on my mother. You're welcome, Mom.

If you know where my camera is, please let me know. Thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Glub, Glub

Zaya fluctuates between interests in various branches of science, and I'm never sure what will crop up next. Lately it's been chemistry. (Or maybe earth science? Sometimes hard to separate the two.)

Last night he wanted to know all sorts of details about uranium, and this morning as well. We had to look it up on my ipod while we were waiting for class to start. Then he told me the following:

"Mom, I have a theory. I think fish can produce hydrogen. When they take oxygen out of each water molecule, there are two hydrogen atoms left, so they must release those through their gills."

I frankly had no idea about the accuracy of this, but Aaron reminded me that fish only breathe the diffused oxygen that is in water. They aren't separating the actual molecules. I knew that. Really.

I'm so glad I will not be homeschooling alone next year! Daddy and Wikipedia will both receive a lot of information requests!

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Cleansing

I'm ruthlessly purging my book collection. It's painful, like attending a funeral. Some of these books have been in my library for a very long time; some were gifts; some have been read so much that the spine is broken and falling off.

I have to honestly ask myself, though, "Are you going to read this again, and if so, can you find it at a library? Will it soon be available for free on Kindle, or is it already?" (i.e. Jane Eyre and my Complete Sherlock Holmes).

My fear is that I'll get rid of some books that will soon be unavailable in the libraries through lack of use by the fickle public. I'm keeping all my Mary Stewart books because I know our little library here recently sold all of her books on their bargain rack, meaning they probably aren't going to be re-printed anytime soon. I'm also keeping Dorothy Sayers. I just can't send poor Lord Peter to the scrap heap. We've been good friends for far too long.

However, I am letting go of the following authors: Alistair MacLean, M.M Kaye, Rex Stout, Helen MacInnes, Ngaio Marsh, John Le Carre, Ellis Peters and Agatha Christie. Oh, and I'm only going to keep about half of the Terry Pratchett books. You have to understand that I owned every book by most of these authors, and they were very prolific. Yes, it takes up a lot of room. That's sort of the point.

Will I be hating myself tomorrow? Will this be a release or a regret? I don't know. The garage sale is Saturday, so I have time to recover treasures if I decide that I just can't do it.

To paraphrase the ubiquitous plaque: God grant me the courage to purge the books that I should, the serenity to keep the books that I ought, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ode to Digestion

Here's Zaya's first poem. He made it up this evening.

I had an Airhead this morning
And some banana bread at night.
My stomach is full of chyme,
And now my head is full of rhymes.

So, we have a little way to go yet before we're in Robert Frost league, both in quality and content, but you have to start somewhere, right?

I'm willing to bet he's the only person to use "chyme" in a poem. Possibly ever.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Providers

Art and the kids are currently decapitating fish in our front yard. They caught 3 catfish and one trout. Or bass. Or something. I'm not really into fish.

I'd take a picture, but they aren't wearing any pants. The kids, I mean. Art is still wearing his pants. Apparently the pants got too muddy while they were mud-skipping down at the pond. And let's face it, pants are no fun anyway. Who needs them?

I believe we're going to be eating these fish for supper, and so I'm preparing myself to swallow my own issues with catfish (Hello! They're bottom-feeders! Gross!) and guts in general, and learn how to fry fish. I have a little bag of corn meal with a picture of a fish on the front, so I'm going to assume that I just put the pieces of fish meat (filets?) into the meal, and then fry them - at a temperature that is yet to be determined.

Wish me luck.

P.S. This picture is from a Sunday walk to the farm where the fish were caught - same place, same kids, different day.

Friday, April 01, 2011


Zaya is currently imagining that he's traveling on a giant warp-frisbee, complete with extreme details about how it travels.

I dread the day when he stops telling us what he's imagining.

Specifically because that will probably mean that it involves girls in some way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Goki

This is what happens when Mim runs around with my camera.

You have to admit, he is pretty cute.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mim Listens In

While we have not gone out of our way to hide the impending job change from the children, we have also decided not to sit down and address it with them yet. I was surprised that they hadn't picked up on it all from our conversations with other friends and family. (Well, I was surprised that Mim hadn't picked up on it. I have ceased to be surprised by what subtleties of human contact pass by Zaya.)

I guess I've been a little worried about how they would handle it. We moved so much when I was a child that it seemed normal and adventurous for me. By the time I was Zaya's age, I had moved seven times, and two years after that it was nine. He has moved twice, and the second time was a return to his first home, and only two blocks away. Mim is fairly sensitive to some things, and completely brutal about others, so both of their reactions are complete unknowns.


A few days ago the kids and I were sitting on the floor sorting through piggy bank change and the following conversation ensued between Mim and Zaya.

Mim: I want to go to the Air and Space Museum again as a field trip.
Zaya: I want to go to Daddy's work and see the big machines.
Mim: Well, you'll have to do that pretty quick.
Zaya: Why?
Mim: Because Daddy's work is closing down and he won't be there for much longer.

She went on to say that her information came from hearing "Mommy and Daddy talking about it." Zaya didn't believe her at first, but I confirmed the information, and then waited for the response. Zaya thought for a little bit and then said, "I think he should get a job at Wal-mart. I bet they make lots of money there because they sell things."

So yeah, they're taking it fairly well.

In the next couple days Zaya expressed concern about Art finding a job, but not a real worry, I don't think. So far they're probably handling the stress better than the grown-ups are.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Moment

It is definitely time for Spring Break. The kids are nearing their breaking point school-wise. Even Zaya, Mr. Even-Keel himself, is getting teary and moody in the evenings.

"But Mom, I'm so tired of paperwork!"

I narrowed it down to his primary gripe which is...handwriting.

I can't blame him. I always hated handwriting. Not the act of writing, but all the practice. He actually has surprisingly good cursive, considering his genetics. (I write like a neurotic 13-year-old boy.) Maybe that's the problem. He takes a long time to get it right, and so spends twice as long on his paper as a normal kid his age.

I'm not going to let him know that I agree with his assessment of the excessive amount of cursive required for a first-grader, because I am not the kind of mommy who sides against the school, but it is a bit much.

On a good note, Mim is doing better this week with the crying in the mornings. She's finally decided that it isn't so bad, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Well not much.

She has all these (unreasonable) fears. She's afraid of getting a bad grade, getting in trouble and being made to eat all her lunch. None of which fears have any basis in reality. She has a wonderful teacher, and she never, ever gets in trouble for anything. Oh, except crying because she's scared she'll get in trouble.


We are ready for Spring Break. Unfortunately, I can see all this starting back up again as soon as we head back.

So basically, I'm struggling to live in the moment, because the moment is a bit stressful and whiny. Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out. Eat chocolate.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Still Here

This is just to let you know that we're all still here. I haven't blogged in a while, and there's no one reason for it. Life is a little hectic right now, and so much of what I want to say belongs in a more private setting, I suppose.

The price of fame.

Okay, fame is a strong word.

What about...the price of putting your journal on the web and giving all your friends and family access.

Suffice it to say, everything is fine, but I'm stressed, and when I'm stressed, I have no creative abilities.

Art's job will officially end on April 1. The plant is closing, and over one hundred employees from W'ville and the surrounding communities will be jobless. That means job hunting, which isn't something we're very experience with.

If anyone knows of a good position for an aerospace/mechanical engineer who has been doing process engineering for the last seven years, let me know.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fireside Chat

Here is how Art and Mimmy spent their evening earlier this week.

A little father-daughter origami. They made a goldfish. Why not?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It is To Laugh

Here are some of Zaya's newest jokes.

(At a late-night McDonald's where half of the golden arches were not working.)

"Look, a Lunar McClipse!"

"What do you call a baby bird that says his pledge to the flag every morning and evening?"
"A Pledgling"

What's the best dressed fish in the ocean?
A swordfish. He always looks sharp!"

(Inspired by his accidental mispronunciation of the word pepper)

"Where does Peeper go when you eat it?"
"To your urethra"

OK, so the last one is disgusting. But he's a guy, I guess, so potty humor is going to factor into the next several years of my life, whether I like it or not.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Snow Days

Between Influenza B and the Oklahoma snow, we've had more days home than not in the last few weeks.

Here's how we occupy ourselves when we're not trying to finish the insane amount of make-up work that they have from school. (A Beka requires way too much handwriting!)

Mim builds towers. Here are two of them. In the second, Barbie (unclothed, as usual) is "reading a story" to the other characters.

Mim also plays in the snow when I will let her. So does Zay, but I don't have a picture of him.

Zay plays video games whenever I'll let him.

He likes to play the piano as well, but rarely plays the actual songs that he supposed to practice for this weeks lesson. For instance, today, he's pulled out his old primer book from last year and is playing through it again.

I do dishes. And cook. And then do dishes again.

I also get crazy schemes in my head to sort through all the kids' nonfiction and make a list on the computer by category. Yes, these books did get put away again before Art got home.

Oh, and Mim also takes pictures with my camera. Below are two of her pictures. The Gecko's name is Coyote and the fish is Long John.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ambrosial Canaries

The Teeson family is officially in day 2 of quarantine. Zaya came down with the flu (the sniffly, coughy, fevery kind) and we were instructed by the clinic doctor that he cannot go back to school until Monday.

So we have been playing house for a couple days, and will continue to do so tomorrow. He's feeling much better, (thank you, God, for Tamiflu) and is now at the "bored" stage. I'm trying to limit the video games, because it's been a little ridiculous lately. However, hours of them have been played in the last two days. I'll start being a good mom later. Probably.

Mim, not being sick, started out at the bored stage. "But Mommy, I just want somebody to play with me." Of course, we all know who that "somebody" is. She decided she wanted to help me clean this afternoon, so she's sweeping the hall with her broom.

After a short walk to get the mail, we decided that it was so beautiful outside, we weren't really ready to go back in yet. After a little running around with wagon and some bike riding, (just Mim and Mommy) Mim came in and got a couple of towels for enhanced sunbathing experience. Never mind that we're all wearing sweats. The sun on our feet and faces was enough. Zaya stayed out for a while to read his Baby Blues comic book.

I have spent the last two days in almost total self-indulgence as I re-re-re-re-read two of my favorite books. Dorothy Sayers's Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. If you're going to read them, however, I would recommend starting with the earlier Lord Peter Wimsey stories. You at least have to read Strong Poison and Have his Carcase* first. I'm now doing penance by cleaning the kitchen and living room. Again. Well, I say now, but I mean before and after this little bloggy interlude.

*British spelling for 'carcass'.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas in Texas

I've decided that if I try to write a long explanation for all the pictures in this post, I will never actually post it. So here it is. Lots of family, wonderful fun and an all around great Christmas. With the addition of our Chicago relatives on the webcam we were all together. I love Christmas!