Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trying to get back to routine.

We are struggling to get back into the routine this morning but the kids are excited about trick or treat tonight. They also got a new game table yesterday and have been wanting to play games, instead of work. Someone in this family tried to convince me that the game of pool is a study in geometry and physics but I'm not going for it.

I think I also have a touch of writer's block. I've tried to post to my blog 3 times this morning with little success in writing anything worth reading. This is my 4th try and well, you can see how it is going. I would use the old blogger standby for writer's block, pictures, but blogger is not cooperating today. Grr.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Monday Dilemma.

I happened to mention a few weeks ago that we might not do school on Mondays, that it wouldn't matter if we did them or not, we'd still finish school in June. The kids have latched onto that and now feel that they should never have to do school on Mondays. I, on the other hand, feel guilty for taking a long fall break and feel like we should be doing a lot of school now to make up for it. I also tend to make doctor's appointments and other appointments on Mondays, so they are frequently disrupted. Today, for example, I had to go to an appointment so Dad was home with the kids who were telling him that we don't do school on Mondays ... he made them do it anyway and I'm glad. That helps me feel less bad about that long fall break.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Time Change.

I have kind of been looking forward to the time change from daylight savings time to whatever it is usually called, standard time? The kids and I have been staying up really late and sleeping late too, so this is our opportunity to get up an hour earlier without it feeling like it is an hour earlier. I'm not crazy about the fact that it will be getting dark at 5:00 in the afternoon now, but youngest son, at least, is happy because of the no screen time until after the sun sets rule!
I'm hoping we can get school and work done earlier in the day and have more free time.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Costumes and Blog Notes.

We are going to a halloween party tomorrow night so we need to have costumes done by then. Youngest son wants to be a character he invented called Ninja Kid, daughter wants to be a witch and oldest isn't sure if he will dress up for the party but might want to be an android (he really needs to decide!). I went on a supply gathering mission today and I guess DH will be putting together the costumes tomorrow. He's really good at it. I hope it isn't raining tomorrow like it is today!

I had to take the fall pictures post down because for some reason, it was messing up the blog's sidebar. I'm going to try and share pictures 1 at a time to see if I can avoid problems with format.

My blog has now passed 20,000 page views. I think that's pretty cool, considering that I figured out a long time ago how to get it to not count me, so I think most of those must be other people, LoL. Thanks readers!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A few thoughts.

Just a few unrelated things that have happened around here this week, in no particular order.

Tonight, we were driving to my mom's and youngest son looked out the window of the car and saw some halloween decorations in someones yard. He said "Look, they've got the Grim Reaker in their yard." Lol.

Last night, also in the car, I asked my daughter how her afternoon playdate had gone. She thought I asked about the church meeting she had gone to. She said "We made paper dolls and then she talked for a long time." She meant the teacher of the group. I thought she meant her little 10 year old friend. I said "She talked for a long time? What did she talk about?" She said "Bosnia." I know I was getting kind of a confused look on my face. I said "Is she learning about Bosnia in school?" She said "She doesn't go to school." I said "I mean homeschool, is she learning about Bosnia in homeschool?" and my daughter said "What? Ms. Becky's not homeschooled!" We got a good laugh over her 10 year old friend talking at length about Bosnia, Lol. I just couldn't picture it.

I have noticed recently something interesting about my constant struggles to get the kids to exercise and be active. A couple of months ago I was telling them to go outside for an hour and they were resisting it. They didn't want to go outside. So I made them do 30 sit ups, 30 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts etc., about half an hour worth of exercise. They did that for about a month and now all I hear is "Can we go outside instead?" Of course I say yes. *wink*

I've also limited all screen time to after the sun sets. That has made them do a lot more active play. Hopefully, this time I'll stick to it better. I'm very good at making a new rule like that and buckling when they complain to much, so wish me luck or determination or whatever it takes. My youngest son has 1 educational DVD that I do let him watch during the day and he's been watching that more, which is something I want so I'm happy about that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Returning from fall break.

There was a lot of whining and complaining yesterday when we started back to school after fall break, which is exactly why I didn't want to take a fall break in the first place. I told the kids that we aren't taking a Christmas break at all this year. They can open their presents after they get their math done.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Younger kids bunk.

Older son's loft bed.

I promised a picture, so here's my son's loft bed.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wake up and smell the coffee.

As I mentioned, youngest son wanted to get up at 7:00 a.m. this morning to watch cartoons. We don't have cable TV or satellite, so this is his only opportunity, really. Anyway, I agreed to wake him up. As a homeschooling, work at home mom, I usually just get up whenever I wake up which is usually about 8:00 to 8:30, so I needed an alarm clock. I don't have one; mine stopped working several months ago and I haven't replaced it. I could use DH's but it is really, really, really, heart attack loud, totally on the other side of the bed and I don't like to mess up his settings, because he might forget to reset it and end up late for work. So I had the idea to bring my tiny little coffee maker into the bedroom and set it to start brewing coffee at 7:00 a.m. Oh, it was wonderful to wake up to a gentle sound and the smell of coffee. I might do that from now on.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Car memory.

While we were driving home from Wal-mart tonight, youngest son reminded me that tomorrow is Saturday and he wants to get up at 7:00 to catch Saturday morning cartoons. I told him that he had to remind me when I was home, because reminding me in the car doesn't seem to help. I seem to forget everything I thought of in the car as soon as I get out of the it. When I'm at home, I can remember things I need at the store, but when I'm at the store, I have no idea. If I'm at the doctor's office I can think of everything I need to do as soon as I get home, but again, when I'm home ... I think the car is erasing my memory. That's the only explanation. It's not that I'm getting old or that I have too much on my mind, right?

The last day of fall break.

Today is the last official day of fall break. We have the weekend coming up and then Monday, we begin again. Hopefully, we'll feel renewed and invigorated by our break. Probably, we'll feel kind of sluggish and whiney, but at least we won't have to get up at 6:30 a.m. like the public schoolers will on Monday. Often, we take Mondays off but this week, I think we won't. I'm feeling kind of anxious to get started back. I'm not sure if it is guilt or some sense of responsibility or because I started reading through my KONOS book last night and got some good ideas. Maybe the break was a good idea?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today, I'm reading the Carnival of Homeschooling.

It always takes me a couple of days to get these things read, as there are so many blog entries. Here is this weeks. Carnival Week 42. I'm working this morning and reading during the downloads. We're on dial-up so it can take a while!

The plan for today is to work on the fall cleaning, take pictures of the kids rooms, make sure to take the garbage out (better do that soon!) and go see how my parents are doing today. I might also check in on my aunt as I haven't seen her since last weekend. Sometime this weekend, I need to get the next few weeks of school planned. I really had better get busy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Lost Posts.

About 5 times this week, when we've been in the middle of doing something, something funny or cool has happened and I have thought that I'd put it on my blog, but by the time I actually have time to sit down here, it's gone - not only from my mind but from the minds of my children as well. I can't blame this on old age if the kids are forgetting it too, can I? I'm going to have to start walking around with a pen and paper in my pocket. (I don't have a PDA.)

Meanwhile, we're still organizing and cleaning and working at medical transcription and not doing school, although youngest son has voluntarily been working on his reading all week and doing well we won't mention that so as not to jinx it. Shhh.

Anyway, sorry about the lost posts. I'm sure you would have enjoyed reading them, but they are lost somewhere in the vastness of our great minds, LoL.

Yesterday, I did get some wonderful news, the library found the 7 books that they said that I had not returned and I was going to have to pay for. Turns out it was their error and not mine and I am overjoyed. Now I can check out books again!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I hardly ever have to do laundry anymore. As I type this, my washer and dryer are both running and I did not turn them on. My oldest son is doing laundry without being asked. It's a miracle! Actually, my 2 oldest kids have been doing a lot of laundry lately. I am not complaining. I just wish that there were a few other chores that they did without being told and without whining when they are told!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fall break continues.

The problem with taking a fall break is getting back into school mode. We've been in fall cleaning mode today. We've finally gotten some time to clean and organize the kids rooms. At least we had today, I should say, with no crises. I'm not counting on getting to work on it tomorrow too, but I hope so. We've been searching the local classifieds and Craig's list and found a cool bunk for the younger kids room and a loft bed for older son's room. We've temporarily got the younger two together in a room and they are enjoying it. We finally got their bunk set up today and we will try to get older son's loft up tomorrow. We've been decluttering and trying to get all their toys organized, which is a really big job. It kind of looks like we may be doing a full 2 week fall break, other than that one day of school we did last week. We might do a couple this week too, just to prepare for next week, when we get started back at school, hopefully.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The search for jeans that fit.

My daughter has outgrown and worn out just about all her jeans and was down to 1 pair. The ones that she outgrew were 10 regular. Fortunately, she's had shorts and capris to wear all summer, but now that it's getting cold, she needs jeans. So, I took her to Wal-mart last week thinking she'd probably wear a girls size 12, but all the 12's were too small and all the 14s were too big. Today, I made a 30 minute drive to the next town over to get her some jeans at JC Penney, thinking since she was between a 12 and a 14, maybe either the 12 plus or the 14 slim would fit, but no, guess what size she got after trying on many, many pairs of pants? 10 regular. Weird. The good news is that Penney's is having a great sale today and the jeans were buy one pair, get the second pair for 88 cents!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pumpkin Patch.

We went to a pumpkin patch today. It was pretty cold, but sunny and we had a pretty good time. There was a petting zoo, a hay maze, a corn maze, a hay mountain to climb, games for prizes, a concession stand, a playground, hayrides, pumpkins and best of all, homemade fudge. ;-) We came home with 3 pumpkins which we will carve in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Drawing.

Everyone in this family is a better artist than me! This is a drawing my oldest son did of my youngest son. It was just a very quick, 1-2 minute sketch. I think it's pretty good.

Scheduling and structure.

We decided to do school today in a slightly different way. We have been very structured and working very hard on the basics so far this year and we toyed with the idea of taking a fall break. Because of doctor's appointments and errands we had this week, it seemed natural to take the last 3 days off but everything seems to go downhill if we don't have any structure at all. The youngest wants to play video games all the time, there is more fighting and it drives me crazy. We may just have to do modified "school" year round because that provides some kind of structure and we seem to need it.

Today, I required them to do the first 4 things on their regular lists, which include brushing their teeth, exercising, picking up in the living room and reading and we did 2 activities out of the Konos book. For their exercise today, instead of doing the usual sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, etc., they asked to go outside. I okayed it and I haven't seen them since, except when they occasionally run by the window. One reason we started homeschooling was so that the kids could have more time to be kids and they are getting that today.

One of our activities today was to do observation and experiments to see what we could find out about gummy bears. It turns out that they do not float, don't bounce well, however, it is a lot of fun to melt them in the oven. We made charts and observation sheets. While the kids were exploring the differences between gummy bears and pecans (pecans don't melt and do float, for example) I decided to take a quick shower. When I came out, the kids informed me that there was a gummy bear stuck in the toaster. I guess I asked for that one, eh?

Anyway, we talked a bit about the scientific method, making hypotheses, recording observations, comparing, making charts, melting points, floating and sinking, transparent, translucent and opaque and how to open the bottom of the toaster to get things out. Who knew you could learn so much from a 50 cent bag of Gummy Bears?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Okay, we decided not to do traditional school again today. I've been working and the kids are supposed to be cleaning and filling up boxes with things we can take to Goodwill. This always makes them cranky. My older son decided to do a Mad-Lib to lighten the mood. He got the book and a pencil, sat down and said "I need an adjective" and my daughter snapped "Get it yourself!" LoL.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A break?

We haven't done any schoolwork this week. Of course, as I type this, it is only Tuesday, but still, we should have at least 1 day down. We got a late start this morning, took my daughter to get her cast off (yay!)and haven't done too much of anything else since. I'm thinking we may take tomorrow to get some things organized around here and heck, we might even go ahead and take fall break this week. I guess I need to decide that sometime before tomorrow afternoon ...

Okay now.

I'm better now from my fall. My daughter rubbed my back and I took some tylenol. I'm a little stiff but nothing serious. We're back to the usual homeschooling and questioning every item on the list, as in "Do I have to do grammar today?"

We are going to go to the orthopedist later today and hopefully my daughter will get her cast off. I need to take a picture of the way she's personalized it, had people sign it and written all over it with Sharpie markers before it gets sawed off today.

For now, though, back to work.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Not a typical Monday.

My Mom and Dad had a section of their house that they needed painted and we went over to help with it today. We got it done within a couple of hours but then when I was going to get some water to wash the brushes, I twisted my ankle and fell. Now I'm sore all over and definitely feeling my age. I don't bounce as well as I used to, apparently.

I'm going to figure out how to get one of the kids to rub my back and take some tylenol and hopefully I'll be as good as new again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A good day.

The kids and I spent yesterday afternoon with my brother who doesn't have children of his own, so he helps me spoil mine. First we saw a movie, Open Season, then grabbed pizza and the boys went back to my brother's house to play x-box while the girl and I went shoe shopping. We finished the day with a trip to Baskins Robbins. Aah. It felt like a mini vacation.

We saw a sign at the movies mentioning matinees during fall break and realized that the public school kids are on fall break next week. Uh oh. I usually don't like the kids to find out about fall break until the second week, so we can get by with a one week break without excessive begging and whining, but now they know. I'm not sure whether we'll do regular school all week, just Konos, or nothing. Probably not nothing, because we started later than usual and I don't want to still be doing school in July. We'll see.

My movie review of Open Season - Grade C. It just wasn't entertaining. It wasn't objectionable, but it wasn't funny either.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A different B word.

My daughter has lately been using a very bad 'B word' lately, not the one you would usually think of but the word "bored." She comes to me quite frequently saying that she's bored, as if I am supposed to do something about it. I have tried assigning more school work or more chores. Last night, she was just chanting 'bored, bored, bored'. I got so tired of it that I completely banned the B word. If anyone says it, they are grounded for the rest of the day. She has a playdate this afternoon, so it's really working so far today. I haven't heard her say that word even once.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I feel better now.

I had my bubble bath last night, lit a candle and read in the tub for half an hour and that made me feel much better. I'm ready to tackle today, I think, though the first thing I did this morning was spill coffee, followed by spilling the creamer ... Anyway, I plan to get my work done, get school done and do some serious decluttering, all before 8:00 p.m. Thursday night TV is one of my indulgences and I want to get everything done before any of it comes on, so I can be ready to watch my shows.

Youngest son and I are still having some disagreements about our schedules and checklists for school. When I had a strict schedule, he didn't like it because he had to have everything done by a certain time. Now that I just have a checklist, he's been doing his math at 11:00 p.m. I think the teacher and the principal are going to have to have another conference about this.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I've been working hard at my job and at decluttering for the last couple of days. Today we worked hard on homeschooling. The trouble is, when I'm working on one thing, I feel like I'm slacking on something else. I've been slacking on the adoption dossier and my Cafepress store this week. I guess I just need to accept the ebb and flow of how things go and try to relax about it. I could be a lot more relaxed about everything if my house would stay clean though. I really need a housekeeper! The flylady is wonderful but I think I am too ADD/spacey to establish routines. I've been a member of her email group for a couple of years and have only established a couple of morning routines. Maybe if I stick with the program for another 10 years?

We still haven't gotten back to the KONOS curriculum book and have been working hard on the basics. I think maybe we should set aside 1 day a week for just KONOS? I don't know. I've struggled with trying to schedule it all in the entire time we've been homeschooling. The entire time. I still haven't come up with a way to get everything done. The housework slides. The library books are overdue. I find myself work, work, working and not taking any time to enjoy my life at all. I need to stop and smell the roses and play a game with the kids or something. Last night, we did do some Mad-Libs which are a lot of fun. Today, I haven't done anything remotely fun all day and I'm starting to feel sorry for myself and whine (sorry readers!). I think I may take a nice bubble bath and read a book as soon as I finish this 8 minute internal medicine consult I was just assigned. (It's 10:00 at night and I'm still working!)

Remember that old commercial where the lady said "Calgon, take me away?" Calgon, are you still there?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I'm getting really creative at these blog post titles, aren't I? I seem to always want to name them after the day of the week. That might be a bit confusing though when looking through my archives, LoL.

Anyway, today was a pretty good day. We started out with the kids doing their checklists and me doing my work. They got about halfway done and I got about halfway done, then I decided that I wanted to go ahead and do some errands and go see my aunt at her new place, so we did.

It was a gorgeous day and a good day to be out and about. I took some things to the consignnment store (so that counts as housework, um, home ec.), went to see my aunt (socialization) and went and fed some goldfish in a pond (field trip!) and then we went dumpster diving (economics). Really, we were just getting some boxes from the dollar store dumpster which is always filled with nice, clean cardboard boxes. I'm going to use those in the fall cleaning/decluttering that we are doing around here.

Now I need to do the other half of my workday. Thank goodness my job is flexible so if the afternoon is nice, I can go out then and work later and thank goodness our school is flexible, for the same reason.


I know you guys were wondering all day if I did my cleaning today. The answer is yes and no. I started cleaning this morning and then my boss called and asked me if I'd make an exception and work on my day off and help them get caught up. I did work a while and then did some more cleaning, so some cleaning got done and some work got done. It worked out okay I guess. I took some time this evening and picked out 5 Konos activities out of the book that I want to try and do tomorrow. I've made new checklist type schedules for the kids and we'll start with those tomorrow too. I'll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


We did not accomplish much today, but had a pretty good day. I had planned to do some fall cleaning, but if I get any kind of chance at all to postpone something like that, I do. My aunt is moving to an apartment after 70 ish years of living in the same house and we gave her a kind of a send-off today. We all brought dinner to her house and had a little celebration. Needless to say, we didn't get any cleaning done.

I hope I will not think of a reason not to do the cleaning tomorrow. It really needs to be done. Knowing me, though, I'll think of something.


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