Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Month: September 2007 (page 1 of 2)

Teach a Toddler to Blow His Nose

When a child repeatedly witnesses everyday tasks, they become old hat. Certainly nothing to fear. But trivial things can be extremely frightening to a kid if this trivial thing is new to him – especially if it is something being done to him. That, I think is the case with blowing a toddler’s (or even an infant’s) nose. Someone taking an object, albeit a soft one, and pressing it to your face is rather a scary prospect indeed. Continue reading

Car Repair: How to Change Brake Fluid

OK, ladies. If you’re like me, you have a sort of phobia about the car, the computer, the lawnmower, weedeater… I’m always afraid I’m going to damage something in trying to fix it myself. What if I make the problem worse?

Knowledge is power. But getting too much at one time – especially when it is concerning an unfamiliar topic – is not good. Also, there’s the problem of losing what you don’t use. We don’t often get our heads under the cars, so when a crisis arises, there’s the fear of not remembering what we’d once learned. So…for those of you like me, I’m not berating you. I’m sympathizing with you.

My mom came to visit for the boys’ birthdays this week. As she was leaving to return home, the brake fluid light came on in her car. I took her to our local mechanic, but he wasn’t in. We then headed to Wal-Mart’s tire & lube center but didn’t get any help from them. They are not certified to deal with brakes. So, even though they had employees who knew how to check such things, they could get in legal trouble for doing so. (Thank you, big government.) Continue reading

Asian Roll Ups

I recently tried an Asian Roll Up recipe. I’ve made a few tweaks to it. This recipe requires no cooking. It’s one that would be easy and fun to do with children; older children who can use knives and a can opener could do this one on their own. We loved it. Continue reading

Birthday Blues


3 of our 4 children have birthdays that fall within a 5 week period that straddles summer and autumn. We’re in that period now with Carman & Sudoku’s birthdays days behind us and just Doodle’s left to go.

Both Carman and Sudoku expressed disappointment after their birthdays. The big day just didn’t meet expectations. Not enough gifts, not enough excitement, not enough surprise.

We have some regular birthday traditions: a few gifts, cake and ice cream, candles, birthday spankings, the story of their birth. And each year has had it’s own surprises. Usually family or friends join us to celebrate, but the company varies from year to year. This year was no different, really.

This year, though, didn’t pass muster for either of the older kids. Continue reading

Restaurant Shenanigans


We don’t often eat out, but we decided to for Carman’s birthday. We ran into this situation.

The kids ordered from the kid’s menu which states that each entree comes with 1 side and a drink. There is a list of entrees, a list of side items, and a list of drink options. The kids made their decision, placed their order, enjoyed their meal.

Then the check came. It was about 15% more than we had expected. I scrutinized the bill and realized we had been charged extra for the kids’ drinks when they should have been included in the kid meal price. Continue reading

Thoughts on Sacagawea

There is argument about how Sacagawea should be spelled. But the consensus among scholars is that, even though less popular, it should be spelled with a ‘g.’ Captain William Clark was an especially bad speller, so he affectionately referred to her as Janey in his journal.

Captured as a young girl by a rival tribe, she became a slave, and later married the abrasive Charbonneau, only to find herself pregnant at age 16 (she had a difficult labor, and Meriwether Lewis helped with the delivery), then trekking over the Rockies with a team of white explorers with baby in tow. Continue reading

Another “First” for Carman

The following was one of Carman’s math problems yesterday:

Rose had 86 pencils more than pens. After she gave away 17 pencils, she had four times as many pencils as pens. How many pencils and pens did she have left?

While he occasionally has need to use algebra to solve tricky word problems, Marathon or I usually walk through it with him. This one he set up and completed entirely on his on. Here’s a copy of his work. Continue reading

Book Review: The Lewis & Clark Expedition by Richard L. Neuberger

clipped from flickr.com

This photo is of a statue of the noble, gutsy, heroic Sacagawea.

I just finished reading Neuberger’s Lewis & Clark Expedition to Carman, Sudoku, and Doodle (when he felt like listening, which was surprisingly often.) It was more textbook-ish than what we typically read. We’ve read a lot of historical fiction, but this one was strictly history. It didn’t read like a textbook, though. Continue reading

Little Lessons about Sealants & Teeth Polishing

The dental clinic is an educational place. The hygienists are learning, they are not in a hurry, and they like sharing their knowledge. Here are a couple of little tidbits I’ve learned from them. Continue reading

Reasons to use a Dental Clinic


Today the three “big” kids and I had our teeth cleaned at a local dental hygienist school. When you have a large family, there are several advantages to using this service.

  • It’s inexpensive – about 1/4 the price of our regular dental service.
  • They are in training, and though the process is slow, an instructor is looking over the hygienist’s shoulder every step of the way. If something is done incorrectly or incompletely, it has to be re-done until it is right.
  • Since they are cleaning your teeth for training rather than profit, there are no time stipulations on them such as “you have to have this patient’s cleaning completed within 20 minutes.”
  • Though appointments take a while (we have to allot 3 hours!), all 4 of us were seen at the same time (by different hygienist’s, of course.) So, I’m not spending much more time at the dental clinic than if I scheduled back-to-back appointments for everyone at the regular dental office.
  • They like to educate! (More on this in another post.)

Thanks to Laura Mundee (bookgrl at Flickr.com) for this fun photo. – milkmaid

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