Monday, April 25, 2016


The weekend was okay, I suppose. The weather has been beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  I've been very worried about my mom, so I have been down there at the assisted living facility every day trying to get her to eat and drink something.  They will not be able to keep her there and she may have to go to a nursing home if she does not start eating.  I've been in contact with the NP who is treating her quite a bit as well.  It is not physically exhausting, but the mental exhaustion from the worry makes me feel physically exhausted.  Every day I go have lunch with her and then I come home and want to sleep.  I've been trying to be more "in the moment" when I am at home and it does help with the stress/anxiety of it.  Last night, my family took a couple of hours and had a board game night.  Cosmo was all excited at first when we set up the card table, but he quickly lost interest in what we were doing and crawled under one of the ottomans and growled at himself for a while.  I guess that was more fun than watching us play Blokus, Masterpiece and Cover Your Assets.  :-P  

Monday, April 18, 2016

This and that.

The view out the living room window yesterday.  Yesterday was just breathtakingly beautiful.  I did go outside for a while, but I did not take my phone, so I took the picture after I got inside.
Most of last week was just recovering from staying at the hospital for 2 overnights.  I didn't get much else done.  I went to see mom pretty much every day just to make sure that she eats something, in order to keep her out of the hospital, hopefully, ongoing. 

We did finally work at the little store in town where my daughter and I are selling our crafts.  We made 70 dollars with our crafts and our table cost 60 so we didn't do all that great, really, for our first month.  We'll see if we want to continue.  I told her I'd do 3 months.   Tourist season is just now ramping up though, so maybe we'll do better in the future.  These pictures are of our display.  :-)  

We are continuing homeschooling in our relaxed style, which means that the boy does his lessons on his own and when he says he's done, he'll be done and we'll work on his transcript and get him ready for college.  He recently re-took the ACT and felt that he probably did better on it, so hopefully he'll get some good scores and be ready to go to college (not too far away :-P.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thanks everyone.

She's coming back to the assisted living facility today.  I am kind of in shock, but glad.  I expected her to be there longer based on something one of the nurses said.  It's weird to spend 12 hours a night in a hospital all of the sudden like that.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers, because she has been refusing food and drink and that's what got her in the hospital and we don't know how we are going to resolve it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Prayers Please.

My mom is in the hospital, so prayers please.


Saturday, April 09, 2016

Simplest Trick of All for Saving on Groceries.

Okay, here's my simple trick for saving on groceries.  I use coupons sometimes.  I go to the salvage grocery store sometimes (and when I do, I save money for 2-3 weeks afterwards at the regular grocery store) but the best/easiest thing I do, is just procrastinate going for a day or two.  I don't go once a week, but once every 8-9 days.   My grocery budget when we were both working, for 5 pets and 4 people, was 150 dollars a week and when I go, I pretty much fill up the cart/buggy and it ends up being right around this amount.  I do spend less when I do a meal plan, but it averages about this amount most of the time.  Some people like to challenge themselves and empty the pantry out over a month and save the money, but I like to have fresh fruit and dairy products, so I just put off going to the store for a couple of days.  I think I will challenge myself this week and try and go maybe 3 days past a week.   Yesterday would have been my grocery day if I went once a week, but we have plenty of food, so I think we can wait until Monday.

So here's 150 dollars a week going every 7 days  .... 7800 per year.

every 8 days 6843 per year.

every 9 days 6083 per year.

In the summer, Kroger kind of messes this schedule up because they have a promotion that if you shop on weekends, you get double gas points, so in the summer, I'll probably go every weekend.  Those gas points add up.

A while back, I got a full tank of gas for 1.49 a gallon.


Now that I look at this, I think I can do better and spend less.

My Helpers.

Cosmo and Freckles helped me make the bed this morning, by running around and around on it while I was trying to make it up and refusing to get down.  Didn't we get it nice and smooth?  :-P

Friday, April 08, 2016

Reading Schools On Trial

By Mikhil Goyal.   Everyone should read this book.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I painted a rug.

I had 2 little cheap Ikea rugs in my entryway.  I decided to paint them.  I actually did 2 but only one of them turned out really well.  On the other one, I made a mistake with the stencil.  I think it turned out cute.  Please ignore the scratches and dirt on the baseboard, the dogs go out this door and seem to always be racing each other and scrabbling for a foothold so that one can get out more quickly than the other and they scratch up the baseboard.  I'm planning to paint that when I get a chance.

It's weird being a full time housewife, now that I am unemployed.  I have not been getting as much done as I want to around the house.  I am not organized and I don't have a schedule.  I have been setting alarms on my phone every 20 minutes to keep me going, but I get distracted.  My mom has not been feeling well and that has been making me very sad and it's hard to feel energized about cleaning when you are sad.  I saw her today and she's better.  She started antibiotics last night, thank goodness.

As for homeschooling reports, we're almost done.  Youngest son is in the living room doing his German right now and in only a few weeks he will be finished.  I think he's probably going to get a job this summer and work one year to save up before starting college.  We'll see, I guess.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Making the most of my time.

I'm trying, while I am unemployed, to get my house cleaned up and with that in mind, I tackled the board game situation a little yesterday.  We sure do have a lot of board games.  I tried to talk the kids into letting me clear out all the homeschooling/office/craft supplies out of that cabinet and replacing it all with board games, but they are resistant to change and don't want to face the end of homeschooling any more than I do, so I am trying to figure out what to do otherwise.  So far, I've come up with having 2 shelves for them, one in the bedroom and the other one still in the kitchen cabinet.  We sure do have a lot of board games.

Today, I tackled our main storage area, my closet.  That is a nightmare and may take weeks.  I made a small dent in it today and will try to make progress throughout the week.  I just can't deal with doing it all at the same time.  I'd rather do a little each day and then switch to something else.  It doesn't help that  some of the stuff in there is from my mom's house and gets me all emotional.   :-p

Friday, April 01, 2016

April Fool!

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I love April Fool's day.  Maybe it's because I have an April birthday?  I don't know why, I just do.  It's a time to be playful.  I like to do pranks that just make you be surprised a little, nothing harmful.  Today, I have filled a couple of shoes with small balloons at the toes, put tiny balloons in the cabinets so that they will fall out when the doors are opened, put a bunch of them under an afghan on the couch in the hopes that they might pop when sat on and, my favorite for this year, put a fake, printed and cut out bug in the lampshade.  Yes, I do drive my family a little crazy, thanks for asking.  :-)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Launching the graduates.

The hardest thing to do when your kids are becoming young adults and are trying to launch themselves out of the nest is letting them decide on their own what they want to do and not pushing them into anything.  (Or, it may be letting them launch when you wanted them to stay little!)  My oldest son graduated, didn't know what he wanted to do, hung around the house, finally found a pretty terrible job and within 4 days of finding it, came and told me he wanted to go to college.  Then began a search for scholarships which led us to which led him to a school in Mississippi, 9 hours away, which has been really hard on his homebody parents, but I think it's the best thing that ever happened to him, so I can't begrudge him that.  I'd rather he be where he is, working 3 jobs and finishing college with a beautiful girlfriend, happy as can be, than here working that job he hated, though I miss him terribly.

My daughter is still working on her book, kind of casually looking for a job and working on crocheting and knitting for the small business we are doing together.  She does not want to go to college and though I would like her to have a backup plan and some kind of training to earn money in case she has to some day (if the novel doesn't sell, God forbid!) it's her life and I need to keep out of it.  (I did hear of a job lead today that I will discuss with her.  They are specifically asking for homeschooled graduates at this job.  You don't hear of that too often.)

My youngest son is going to be graduating this spring and he wants to go to college and get out and see the world and I want him to stay close to home but when it comes right down to it, I will have to help him launch in his own way.  If he doesn't snag a scholarship like his brother did, it's probably going to be community college for him.  He's going to retake the ACT to try to get a slightly higher score and hopefully get offered the scholarship that he wants.

As to what I want to do, now, having lost my job, I am in one of those crisis opportunity states that you hear about.  What will I do?  How will I reinvent/restructure my life?!!  Stay tuned, because right now I have no idea. :-)
I painted this picture last night.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Yes, I'm glad.

I did not let my kids argue much when they were growing up.  I could not tolerate constant bickering. I did a few things to help eliminate it.  The first was that we did "Kid of the Day".  I had 3 kids so each one had 2 days a week and the extra day was mine.  Kid of the day got to choose afternoon TV programs and got to sit in the favored seat in the minivan, etc.  This worked well for some things but for most disputes, I just taught them to negotiate from a young age.  They'd get in an argument and I would discuss with them ways they could solve it, (each kid gets the toy for 5 minutes or something like that), then I'd leave them to discuss it, and then if they hadn't worked it out pretty quickly, I'd step in and solve the problem.  My way of solving the problem was always the worst.  For example, if they were fighting over a toy, I would always take it away so no one could play with it.  If they were fighting over the TV, then the TV would go off for the day.  After a while, they caught on to me (it didn't take long) and when they'd come to me with a dispute, I'd say "Do you really want me to come in there and solve this or do you want to negotiate?"  They decided that they always wanted to negotiate and they never wanted to involve me.  So they almost never fought.

The other day, the 2 who live here were trying to get the sofa slipcover on.  It is very difficult and they were bickering slightly during the process.  I let it go on for a few minutes, then said for them to stop it.  They looked at me and my daughter said "We weren't really fighting.  We almost never argue."   and my son said "Yeah, be thankful we're not normal kids."


I am.

We had an Easter egg hunt yesterday at church with an accompanying party which I planned and the kids helped with.  After a while, the big kids started playing with the blocks and this happened.  :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Identity Crisis.

It's here.  The time when I am going to have to reinvent myself.  For years I've been a "work at home, school at home, mom of 3."  I'm still a mom of 3 although they're pretty much grown up but I will be finished being a school at home mom in a couple of months and I lost my job on Friday, so I likely will not be a work at home person anymore.  I am not sure about anything.  I don't know what type of job or career I want and I don't know if I'll be able to get anything.  I have been looking for something different ever since I started that hated, horrible job that I had.  The only advantage of it was working at home, which I gotta admit, I do prefer.

I do have some things going on to keep me busy, going to see Mom, taking care of the house and yard, trying to get a job, trying to get in shape, organizing some things for church and doing some art.  Some of my art has sold at the place my daughter and I are displaying it, so I am happy about that and also I did some art for a wedding shower, so that's a trickle of income.  Thankfully my husband still has a good job.

Pray for me to find a direction for my life.  Meanwhile, here's some art from this week.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Unschooling the rest.

In our family, the style of our homeschooling has changed a lot over the past 12 years.  We started out with a 6th grader, a 3rd grader and a 1st grader.  When we started out, I got math and some kind of language arts for everyone individually, and we did unit studies for the rest of the subjects.  I practiced a lot of strewing, where I would go to the library and get a ton of nonfiction children's books on whatever subject we were studying and then would just put them someplace, on a table, but not require the kids to read them.  Pretty soon, here they would come, with a book open, to show me something cool.  Youngest son, our last homeschooler, still does this but he checks his own books out of the library, tons and tons of them and then comes to show me or read to me the coolest/best parts.  Recently, he's read Catcher in the Rye, listened to one of Shakespeare's plays on an audio book and right now he's reading an obscure book of poetry by J. R. R. Tolkien that I had not heard of and keeps coming to read me snippets of it while I work.  He's now the kind of person who will always be learning, interested in everything.   It's fun just to talk to him.  What we do now is very similar to how we started out, hitting the basics with curriculum sources and instead of doing mom-led unit studies and strewing for the rest of it, letting him unschool himself and he does this pretty much every waking moment.  We joke that he is like that robot on that old movie (Short Circuit) that needed more input all the time.

 Unrelated, to the above, but do you see the resemblance between Cosmo and Sam Sheepdog?


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