Wednesday, October 18, 2006


We had a nice dinner. I call it noodles and sauce. Its just hamburger and spaghetti sauce over macaroni or spiral noodles. We have it almost every week. We also have Vietnam Fried Rice (from More With Less cookbook) nearly once a week. And I make "Taco Rice" nearly once a week. I like the idea of eating a variety of foods, but I also like the idea of food the family will eat and that I can prepare quickly. We ate hamburgers and fried potatoes at least once or twice a week as I was growing up. I know my Mom had a lot of trouble coming up with creative dinner ideas, but I didn't mind having the same dishes. What are some of the others we had? Spanish Rice, Mac and Cheese... Sisters help me out here?

I've been trying to help Alex with piano practice and homework in the morning before school. Jospeh leaves at 8:40, Alex leaves about 9:10 or 9:15. So I can normally get both reading and piano done. He concentrates well and seems willing to work in the morning. But it means that my day doesn't start until after that--I'm usually not even dressed before 9:15... So, the end of day, dinner time, comes very quickly and I've not figured out how to make a decent dinner with side dishes... Just one pot meals.

We've been having challenges with Alex of late. He gets very angry. Most of the anger is directed at himself. We are working with the school counselor and planning to call a counselor outside school as well. The dear boy. Today he needed to write three sentences using spelling words before I would let him go to soccer practice. He was mad and wouldn't do the work and he wouldn't tell me why he was mad. Finally, he started scrawling sentences. He wrote "I'm mad" and some other things I couldn't read, and then he wrote "I don't want to go to soccer because I'm stupid." Oh, I could have cried. We really need professional help, and we are getting it. At least he is starting to talk (or write) about his feelings. He claims no one at school has called him stupid, but... He did finish his sentences and went to soccer (only 15 minutes late). I want to try to deal with some of this before he is older and the stakes are even higher.

On a positive note, Alex has made it through almost all of the first "Magic Tree House" book--an adventure story about two children who go back in time and narrowly escape an attack by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is fun to see him get engaged in the story and find motivation to keep reading. He was only able concentrate for one page when we started, and now we can always do two, and sometimes three.

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