Well, *I* thought it was a good book…

Here’s how the 5 year old looked half-way through a lunchtime chapter of “Trumpeter of Krakow.”

If you look closely, you can see how just before falling asleep she folded her napkin neatly to use as a pillow.


When a girl chooses to do her handwriting on the living room floor, she attracts all sorts of attention.

Kittens focus in.  And try to take control of the pencil.

How about a leaf instead?

Nope, the pencil is way more interesting.

But the pony-tails….those are pretty attractive too.

It takes serious dedication to get your handwriting done around here, with the wildcats pouncing all around.

Luckily this girl has what it takes.

My baby

My youngest composed this song herself. It deals mainly with her love for horses and her disdain for the cows which her parents have chosen to raise instead.  Don’t miss the grand finale.

Guitar girl from Mary Ostyn on Vimeo.

but what about the mamas?

This afternoon my 5 and 7 year old daughters were playing, when my 5 year old suggested a new game. “Hey, do you want to play with papa beads?


Where most moms take a picture or two, I click off two or three dozen. Most of my older kids are bored with being my guinea pigs models.  Thankfully my littlest two girls are still happy to ham for the cam.   (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

How homeschoolers entertain themselves

On our recent vacation my 18 year old son had fun taking pictures with his new phone.  He took the photo on the left when the dog escaped from her kennel in our van after someone-who-shall-remain-nameless left the kennel unlatched.  The dog used her freedom to scale Mount Luggage behind the back seat (we pack things rather densely around her kennel) and climb into my 15 year old son’s lap. It was one of the more surprising moments of the trip.The boys posted the picture on facebook, and then amused themselves with the commentary below, which I just had to share for your edification and amusement.


This evening, my 18 year old son, my hubby and I are going to Junior Senior Banquet, the genteel home-school version of prom. Fancy clothes, fancy dinner, pictures, talent show, folk dancing. My son and I have been looking forward to it for weeks.   My hubby, not so much.

This afternoon my hubby and I were discussing what he should wear. He jokingly tossed out the idea of a t-shirt and jeans with a suit coat. I laughed and said no way.

“Who am I trying to impress, anyway?” he said, eyes twinkling teasingly.

“Your wife!” I said with a grin, a poke in the ribs, and a kiss.

From across the room came the wry voice of our 12 year old son.  “Well, that never works.”

He might want more than two

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This evening my 5 year old came to tell me about a picture she had drawn.  Her explanation was so funny that I had to write the story down.


Jack was little and then he turned big. He was looking for food, like meat, out in the wild for 20 years.  He found a hot dog stand.  Chloe was working there.  She said, “OK, I’ll give you two hot dogs.”

The only thing sadder….

Today my son was reading a biography about Harry Truman, and found out that Harry Truman was born in Missouri just like me. Very earnestly he asked, “Did you know him, Mom?”

The only thing worse than my son asking me if I knew a president from the late 40’s was realizing that the man and I actually HAD been alive together for five years. Theoretically I *could* have known him. Though it is doubtful that at the age of 5 I’d have grasped the significance of meeting a former president.

Dang, I’m getting OLD.

For you football fans

The Blind Side

For Valentine’s Day John took me to see The Blind Side. I count it as Sandra Bullock’s best performance ever, bar none. We own both Lake House and While You Were Sleeping and have seen them often enough that I can quote fair portions of both movies. I love me some Sandra Bullock.  But this movie–ohmygoodness, she rocked it so hard. Love, love, love her. Think impeccably dressed gorgeous southern woman crossed with angry mama-tiger.

If you are an adoptive mom, you’ll love this movie. If you love football, you’ll love this movie. If you are the type of person who roots for the underdog, this movie will have you cheering. For those of you wondering about its suitability for kids, there’s some limited foul language and gang violence– I think in our house this will be a teens and adults only movie. But it is a seriously inspirational story.

Best defense

We had steak for dinner this evening , some of which got charred edges, despite being blood red in the middle. (When you only grill t-bone 4 times a year, you don’t have much of a chance to get expert at it.  But man, was it yummy.)  Anyway, my 7 year old looked at a piece, poked it and said, “Mom, this is burnt.” She caught my eyebrow raise and quickly added, “No defense.”

And then looked puzzled as several siblings immediately jumped in to explain there’s a difference between defense and offense.