Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Guest Blog by Mxyl: Reminiscing

Sometimes it's good to get back to the roots, however small they may seem.  Seeing what you've done can help to inspire you to go further, and it can also remind you why you're doing what you're doing in the first place.  Going through the past can result in a much better perspective, as it contains both mistakes to avoid repeating and once-buried ideas that can inspire greater ones.  To quote a considerably unlikely source, "building the future and keeping the past alive are one in the same thing." 

The Prime Minister is recovering well, slowly but surely (as the previous post shows), and during her recovery, she decided to look and read through a few print-outs of our blog in its earliest years with a few Zoomlians.  Reading together can be a very close time for families, so I decided to try and capture the moment as best I could. 

 Here she is reading with Oob--when the Prime Minister started the blog, Oob was just a few months old!  He was very interested in seeing the stories from when he was that age.  It's very strange for me to see him looking back on what had happened a decade ago, especially since it's a time I can recall fairly easily, whereas he may be hearing about some of his early life for the first time. 
Going back and hearing about the past isn't just about retaining memories.  Reading, recording and documenting life can also help share it with others--even my taking these pictures can help give a taste of life from someone else's perspective, be it the Prime Minister's or Leena's in this photo.  Much like how reading even fictional books (as a certain high school English teacher I know can attest to) can give you a glimpse into how other people view the world, reading the Prime Minister's posts from several years after the actual stories can help give us--especially as Zoomlians--a look into how the Prime Minister viewed the events of the past decade, rather than just going by our views alone.  As an amateur filmmaker, I believe this even ties in to what I want my works to do--the characters, worlds and stories in film can help spread different perspectives to others, allowing them to ask questions that may not have occurred to them, and perhaps leaving them thinking about the world slightly differently. 
Even if things are going slowly, we're still going strong.  Hope to be back soon! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oob Asks

Oob: Can we have smores?
Me: I don't think we have all the ingredients.
Oob: Okay.... Can we just have chocolate chips?

Feeling better very slowly, hope to get back to blogging soon

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More Explanations

Much to my surprise, I did not go back to NJ to take care of my mom and dad.  That's because I found spots on my legs the night before I was supposed to leave.  Spots like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever spots.

So, I have a mild case and I am on antibiotics. I'm just really tired and spotted, and tired of being spotted.  I'm not in danger of death, or even hospitalization, if you are seeing all the cases in the news. 

And then my dad also tested positive for it, but he "only" has the fatigue, and he is now on antibiotics.

My mom is continuing to feel better each day, and may be back up to driving soon.  She seems to have skipped the Feeling Horrible for Two Weeks phase.  Thanks be to God! 

And I'm going to take a nap now.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Well, I'm glad I got caught up on all the back blog posts from when I couldn't upload.

Now I have a backlog of posts because I don't have time to sit and type! Here's the deal:

Shortly after my last post, my mom, Mumpy, got very sick and I  needed to run up and take care of her (it only took me 5 hours for a trip that usually takes 6).  She ended up in the hospital and my very dear Aunt and Uncle flew out from Washington state (literally the other side of the country) to help take care of her and Pa.

It turns out Mumpy had Rocky Mountain Spotted Wood Tick Disease, which is a variant of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fortunately it was caught in time, and she is expected to make a full recovery (this is often fatal if untreated).  But she's in for a rough month.  I am headed back up later this week.

But first, Klenda is graduating high school tomorrow and the next day Zorg is headed off for an epic adventure at Philmont (which is only mostly on the other side of the country).

And the Emperor and I started a six week "boot camp" exercise program called Fit for Christ.  It's been wonderful!  I am so sore!  It's from 5:30-6:30 in the morning 5 days a week! 

But, surprisingly, it really is a good thing.

I hope to post more later, but if it's a while, at least now you know why.  Prayers appreciated!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Steampunk Room

We'll add more gears to this wall as we find them
I've noticed it's really hard to photograph metallic colors.  In photos, the color wash here is shiny brown.  In person, it's shiny coppery bronze- very metallic looking. 

At any rate, doing the finishes on this and the jungle ruins room was really fun.

But probably not as much fun as doing the pipes, and finding things to go with the steampunk theme!

Choclo and Oob put the pipes together like a giant Lego set, and then had the great idea to save some pipe to put around the room coming out of other walls.

The pipes are plastic plumbing pipes and fittings, spray painted black and then  lightly over sprayed with copper and bronze.

I used primer on the smaller pipe, but I'm not sure it made a lot of difference.  They scratched a little as I was cutting them, but I touched them up after they were put together.

So now they have a place for their exotic cactus collection, as well as a cozy reading nook.

Their actual idea was a steampunk space ship, so we are hoping to add lots of dials and gauges (and gears!) as we find them.

They also want more pipes...

And I want a nap!

Jungle Room

Klenda and Leena wanted a jungle theme. 

I wasn't really sure what they meant by that, but, since they were capable of creating it themselves, I told them to go for it!

It's really quite lovely!  They painted the walls a peaceful green, got curtains in a natural "bark" color, and then draped the room in living and silk greenery.

They also got a little fountain decorated with birds, and moved the furniture so they had a lot of open space in the center of the room. 

The effect is rather like a peaceful forest glade.

Mxyl and Zorg liked the jungle idea, but went in more of a "jungle ruins" direction.

It's pretty cool that they made rooms with linked themes since these are the two rooms which are connected by a secret passage.

I also like it that, while they had a similar idea, they really did it in their own style.

It's been one of the real pleasures of parenting for me to watch my children grow into their own ideas and creative styles, and to see them come up with things that never would have occurred to me!

In case you are wondering, they do have beds in their bedrooms, but in both rooms, they put the beds against the same wall as the door, and you don't really see them when you first walk into the room

Friday, June 2, 2017

Room Switch!

 As of last weekend, we were finished with all our classes, had filed all our annual paperwork, had finally caught up with blogging, and no one was sick.

What would we do with ourselves?

We took everything out of all three kid bedrooms, re-painted, re-designed, and reshuffled room mates, then moved everything back in!

 Fortunately, the Zoomlians are old enough to do a lot of the work themselves! The oldest four did all the moving and taping.

Klenda and Leena painted their room. 

Mxyl and Zorg painted the base coat in Choclo and Oob's room.

Meanwhile, we kept the gold in Mxyl and Zorg's room as a base coat, and I ragged on some texture to make it look like stone.

Later I did a bronze color wash over the yellow walls in Choclo and Oob's room. I hadn't realized that I had managed to pick up an oil based glaze.  It worked fine in that the oil bonded well with the latex undercoat, but I won't be able to repaint with latex later without treating the walls first.

Ah, well, the oil gives a depth and shimmer that are really beautiful.

Tomorrow: our results!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Awesome American History: 1849-1856

 This class covered two weeks (since we missed one due to illness) and it covered Sojourner Truth, the Underground Railroad, clipper ships, redwoods, potato chips, and the discovery of fossils in America.

This is pages 99-119 in The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong.

And again I forgot to get pictures except at the end when the youngest member of the group threatened Choclo with a foam sword (adorably).

Our active activity was hide and seek (for the Underground Railroad).

Our art activity was chipping bones out of plaster (fossils).

Our snack was potato chips and birthday cupcakes.

And that's a wrap for Awesome American History I, you can now view the whole thing in the sidebar!  We'll pick up with Awesome American History II in the fall, when, doubtless, I will carefully photograph the entire class!