Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Latest Round of Excuses

Pin It It seems like the sole purpose of my blog lately is to list my excuses for not blogging.  It is almost to the point where I'm having to make more effort to come up with excuses than it would to just blog.  So here we go.

I remember as a kid summer vacation being literally summer vacation.  There were lazy days and no schedules to follow.  We did usually take a trip in the summer, but I don't remember at all having to pull out the calendar to pick a day to have lunch with a friend.  This is not the case with life now.  Everything is scheduled.  I have to consult the calendar for every little thing.  It is craziness, and I don't know how to stop it.

The stuff is all GOOD.  VBS, trips to visit family, camps, appointments, classes.  Oh, and let's throw a major home improvement project into the mix, because we wouldn't want to take a chance on life being boring.

Now it's the end of July.  We have one more camp to go to, plus a conference.  There are still things to be done in the house.  The calendar is jam-packed.  Oh, and it's about to be time to start school again.  Every year I say that summer is going to be easy without scheduling it to death.  And then every year life happens and I vow to do better the next year.  I think I'm going to give up that plan as I look forward to next summer.  Life is busy.  Period.  Maybe rather than complaining about the busyness and trying to avoid it, I should find a way to embrace it.  I am sure there will be a day when summer rolls around and it's quiet, and no different from every other season, and I will so miss these days of busyness.

All that said ... I really do have posts to follow.  I have pictures to share, plus some deep thoughts that are just about in sharable form. I think I've already posted about our plans for school for next year.  I really want to try to do a better job blogging about that.  We'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It is today.

Pin It I remember as a kid, we drove several times between Nashville, TN and Trinity, TX.  It was a long drive, and as the oldest child, being in the back seat with the little brother and little sister wasn't always the most fun thing in the world.  The brother was a squirmy little boy and the sister was a screamer.  (Funny how my own children mimic us as children!)  I was trying to be cool - quite a task when sitting on vinyl seats in the south in the summer - haha~!!

There was this song that I remember playing.  I don't know if it was on the radio or the handy-dandy 8 track.  (Giggling at that too ... late 70's, pre-cassette days I think.  Maybe not though; I might be remembering back a little further than the annual road trips.)

Okay, whipping out Merle Haggard here.  Apologies in advance.

... someday, we'll look back and say, it was fun ...

This song would play.  And I would think in all of my pre-teen-ness "This is NOT that day."  This is not fun.  Not in any way, shape or fun.  Don't get me wrong - I loved getting to Trinity and all the visiting.  The road trip though?  At the time, not so much fun. 

Today though?  They were right.  I can look back and say it was fun.  And really?  It probably was fun at the time, I was just too cool to admit it.

I am missing my brother today.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Clothes!

Pin It Do you like the new look?  I love it!  Maybe new clothes will inspire me to do some new posts.  :) 

Michelle did this again, you can go to the right of my blog on the bottom and click her link; I know she would love to re-do yours as well. 

We have been so busy getting our school year wrapped up.  The little one is finishing his kindergarten DVD program today and will probably finish the rest of his curriculum next week.

The middle one has finished math and reading.  She has one week of English left and a couple of weeks of her Heart of Dakota.

The oldest has finished IEW and will be finishing up math and her Heart of Dakota in the next couple of weeks.

The plans are in place for next year and the books are starting to pile up. 

I have a big picture post that I need to do.  Maybe I'll get motivated to do that soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Great Toothbrush Intervention of 2012

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See anything wrong with this picture?

How about if I tell you that this is the bathroom of my children.  I have three children.  Nobody else uses this bathroom on a regular basis.  That is either 11 or 12 toothbrushes right there.  (One child uses an electric one; not sure if it's on the charger and too lazy to go check.) (Oh wait - I can see in the picture that it's not in there.)  So - there are 12 toothbrushes in my children's bathroom.

And there's a Spiderman toothbrush in my bathroom, which I can assure you is not mine, and I'm reasonably certain it doesn't belong to my husband either.

Three children.  Thirteen toothbrushes.

There is one friend who frequently spends the night, so maybe we can assume that one toothbrush might belong to her.

I am puzzled by this.

I asked the children why they had so many toothbrushes and (surprise, surprise) they have no idea.  One child told me that it was so that if they lost one, there was another one available.  Then another child told me that he just chooses one that's dry.  Okay, awesome.  And probably a little gross.  At least we now have the answer to why there can never just be one child sick at my house!

We are going to have a toothbrush intervention around here.  I think I'm going to toss out every one of these, minus the electric one, and start over.  This will be super easy because there is a package of 20 in my bathroom.

Apparently the little apples don't fall far from the tree.

But at least the ones in my bathroom, other than the one used by me, and the one used by my husband, plus the aforementioned Spiderman, are NOT opened or used!

(Oh my ... as I was typing this earlier, the little one brought me a few more that he keeps in his room.  I guess you never know when you might need to give your teeth a couple of swipes and it's too far to walk the three feet from his bedroom to the bathroom!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Pin It Let me just start out saying I'm not feeling so very thankful right now.

It's 10:00.  Here is a glimpse of our morning so far.  I had told the girls they could sleep in a little. 
My definition of sleeping in:  8:30.
Their definition of sleeping in:  11:00.

Mistake #1:  Not being specific as to the definition of sleeping in.

The little one is always the first of the three to wake up.  He was being sweet; we snuggled a bit, and everything was rocking along.  I decided it was time for the girls to wake up.

Mistake #2:  I sent the little one in to wake the girls up.  Oh sweet heavens, WHAT WAS I THINKING??

Now we have the middle one shrieking at the little one.  The little one is laughing maniacally.  The oldest is hollering for both of them to please shut up.

Awesome.  Just what I was going for; everyone mad within two minutes of waking up.

From there, we have one crying with teeth hurting, two fighting over waffles, one doing his best to require a visit to the ER by vaulting over his desk, and a mama who is wondering if she could fit under the desk and just hide out there for several hours. 

Things that have not worked to get our day on a better path:
~ Group hug.  Nope. 
~ Nicely saying "Love your sister" and "love your brother."
~ YELLING "LOVE YOUR SISTER!!" and "LOVE YOUR BROTHER!!"
~ Bribery.  (Hey, you gotta try what you gotta try.)
~ Chocolate.
~ Separation.  (Well, this has kind of worked.  Nobody is any happier, but at least they're not yelling at each other.)

Now I'm just trying to laugh about it.  And that does seem to be helping a little. 

I AM thankful that both girls accidentally skipped a math lesson earlier and didn't realize it for a couple of days.  I figure if they skipped a lesson and were able to move on, then they can just skip that lesson for good.  This means that being too busy to get to math yesterday didn't make us behind.  Very thankful for that.

I am also thankful that the little one already knows the blend he is supposed to be learning today, so his lesson is easy.

I am thankful that it's Thursday, which is typically a pretty easy day around here, both in schoolwork and in life in general.

I am TRYING to be thankful for the tons of rain we've had.  I am sure I said last summer in the midst of months of no rain that I would never complain about the rain again.  Really, it's not the rain that's driving me crazy now.  It's the days and days of gray skies.  No end to the gray skies.  BUT, we've had enough rain that the doors no longer stick, and that is definitely a good thing! 

Okay, maybe we can get this day back to happy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Planning ... for the oldest!

Pin It High school?  That little (okay, in actuality not so little) baby that I was afraid I was going to break right after she was born (seriously - I was alone with her in the hospital after she was born, just before we came home.  My job was to get her dressed.  It took about an hour because I was so afraid that she would break.  Turns out she's a lot sturdier than I imagined!)  That child is going to be in high school?  Oh sweet mercy.

Her schooling plans for next year are mostly pretty easy.

We love Teaching Textbooks, so we will continue with that into Algebra 1.  That oughta be loads of fun.  (Why has nobody created a sarcasm font?)  *I* loved algebra.  I suspect her, not so much.

We just started using Easy Grammar Ultimate Series this year, and it's a good fit, so we'll continue with that as well.

She is finishing IEW B this year, so we will continue with that, although I'm really not sure what level she will be going into.  I believe I need to consult an outside opinion on that.  She enjoys writing and does it well, so this has been a good fit for her also.

Then Heart of Dakota for history and science.  This will be her third year of using HOD, and she will be going into the Revival to Revolution guide.  This will cover American history and physical science.

I think one of the best things about all of this is that other than the Easy Grammar, it's non-consumable.  I am trying to keep that in mind when I look at the cost of it.  It's not $XXX.  It's $XXX DIVIDED BY THREE because I can use it for all three!  :D

I am trying now to write a tentative four year plan WITH A CHECKLIST! (!!) to make sure all of the blocks are filled in.  I believe it's a little unnatural, how excited I am about that.  (My life is a series of checklists.  From fourth grade "Do you like Melanie?  Please check the box for yes or no." To current "Does this option include chemistry?"  To my grocery list, which is way too detailed.  It works for me.)

It's funny how much I have enjoyed her Heart of Dakota curriculum.  I started out having her do the history portion independently, but then she would talk about things she was reading and I realized that I had NO IDEA what she was talking about, so I started doing the history portion with her.  I cannot believe how much I am enjoying it.  (And I am wondering how on earth I made A's in school, as little as I currently know about history!  Apparently I became quite adept at cramming for a test and then leaving it all there.  Or maybe it's been 25 years since I was in high school.  Yeah.  Let's blame it on that.)

So ... there are the plans for the oldest, as of now, for 9th grade. 

(Oh, and as an aside ... our homeschooling has never been a WE'RE! GOING! TO! DO! THIS! FOREVER!! type thing.  She wants to remain at home, and I am happy with that.  If she wanted to consider public school we would certainly evaluate that.  She doesn't, so we haven't.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let the Planning Begin!

Pin It Do you watch Iron Chef America?  I feel like The Chairman.  Instead of the battle it's the planning, but I feel like it needs a big kick-off like that.

(Read this in The Chairman's voice.)
LET THE PLANNING BEGIN!

(Allez cuisine homeschool!)

Wow.  I cannot believe it is time to start planning for the 2012/2013 school year already.  If you know me, you know that this is probably my favorite part.  I feel like a big ole' nerd just saying that.  Give me paper and lists and OH MY HEAVENS a checklist and I'm a happy girl.

This year is going to be even more fun and challenging to plan because I have a high-schooler.  Did you catch that?  I HAVE A HIGH SCHOOLER.  (Or I will, in the 2012/2013 school year.)  In the span of an hour, I go from very excited about this to completely terrified, and from "we can TOTALLY DO THIS" to "oh my heavens, have I made it too easy/hard/complicated/done too much/done too little/left her completely unprepared, what in the world was I thinking trying to homeschool my children?!?"  (Add that to my post-hysterectomy psychosis mood swings, and you've got a total bundle of joy right here.  You're jealous of my family, I know you are.)

As of now, I have plans for the little one and the middle one pretty much nailed down, other than math for the little one.

The middle one will be doing Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ.  Been around for a while?  You might be thinking that you've read that she has already done this.  She has.  She did it for fourth grade, combined with her sister.  She did okay with it at the time, but I think it is so fabulous that we will enjoy repeating it.  I really want her to grab every morsel out of it, and she and I are both excited about her doing it again.  This time we will add the extensions for her, and as of now, the plan is for her to do this one and Resurrection to Reformation over three years.  (It's going to take some math and juggling to figure out how to make that happen, but I'm up for the challenge!)

She will also be continuing with Bob Jones Reading 6 and English 6, and Teaching Textbooks 6.  This will cover her needs for 6th grade.  LOVING that I already have all of the Creation to Christ stuff and Teaching Textbooks stuff.  I just need to get the student notebook from Heart of Dakota and the BJU worktexts and she's good.  WOOHOO!

The little one will be moving into Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, also from Heart of Dakota, which we will be spreading out over two years.  He will also be doing the Bob Jones first grade Reading/Phonics/Composition/Handwriting class.  We loved this class when the middle one did it, so I'm looking forward to doing it with him.

I am not sure yet what to do with him for math.  Right now we are using Singapore math, and while it's okay, it doesn't feel like "it" for him.  I feel like I'm marking time until third grade, when we can switch to Teaching Textbooks.  (Second grade, Teaching Textbooks?  Please?)

Okay, I'm mid-post and I have to run.  Plans for the oldest coming up soon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gratitude Journal - 341 - 350

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341.  Maybe I should be thankful that this blog still has readers, as inconsistently as I've been posting! 

342.  For chick fil a tortilla soup!  I had some today for lunch and it was quite yummy!

343.  HALFWAY THROUGH WITH SCHOOL!!  WE ARE HALFWAY THROUGH WITH SCHOOL!!  I am definitely thankful to be where we are with this school year.  Each child is doing well and did I mention that we are HALFWAY THROUGH???

344.  I made a meal last night that everybody in my family enjoyed.  Will the wonders ever cease?  It was chicken and dumplings, which I've made before several times.  This was a new, super easy, recipe, in the crock pot, and they loved it.  It will definitely be added to our regular menu!  I love it when I make a meal that everybody likes. 

345.  We really did have a fabulous Christmas and New Year's.  We were able to spend both with my family, so it was nice to be able to visit. 

346.  For a very smooth first day of co-op, and realizing that I missed it over the break.  I also realized that I am really enjoying it this year, as are each of my children.  This is an enormous blessing!

347.  For filling out our calendar and plans for the remainder of the year, and realizing that we will be finishing right when I would like to. 

348.  For being gently pushed out of my comfort zone in some areas, and being shoved out of there in some other areas, and realizing that where He calls, He equips. 

349.  For the rain the last week.  It is really odd to have a drought here, which we had last summer and fall.  There has been quite a bit of rain over the last month or so though, which has been really nice.

350.  For this.  Adoption final for my nephews, now brother/nephews.





I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today.  Hop on over and read some more gratitude journals!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hi!

Pin It I am still here.  :)

I actually have several blog posts in progress.  We are back in the swing of regular life around here, so maybe I'll be able to get back in the swing of regular blogging as well.  Or maybe not.  We'll see.

That's what I like best about me.  I'm consistent.  Haha~!!

I love getting back into a normal routine. 
The house has been de-Christmas-fied.
The kids are back working on school things.
The New Years resolutions are written.
The leftovers are being eaten/planned for/frozen.

That is kind of the way I like it.  I'm always anxious to get the Christmas stuff out and get all decorated, but I am equally anxious to get it all put back away and get the house back in order as soon as the last present is opened!

Ah ... schedules ... routines ... calendars ... menus ... BACK TO NORMAL!!

Blogging?  We'll see ...  :D