Saturday, June 30, 2007


I admit it. I've been horrible. The kids have been out of school for a month and I haven't been exercising and I haven't been cleaning the house on the regular schedule like I was when I was doing The Mama List. Everything's gone to pot around here. It's awful. I'm going to make a resolution this week to try and get back to some sort of morning routine and finally get that darn spring cleaning done. I got about halfway through the list and stalled on that too. I have done some things I needed to do, I've almost got the sidewalk done out front, I've done a lot of planning for school next year, but other than that, I've been slacking.

Okay, confession over. I'm going to try to do better this week!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Still planning, etc.

I'm still in the brain fog zone. Boy does that make it difficult to work at my job. I've found it very hard to concentrate for the last couple of days. I hope it goes away soon and I'm back to my normal, not brilliant but functional self. I worked a bit more on the planning today. We are definitely going to do an American History unit. We've done some American History before, with the Konos units but not really in depth and the high schooler needs an American History credit. If we do what he does for history and science, then we can do some things as a group and I think that will make it easier.

I looked at all the units that I've gotten from the homeschool estore (love that site!) and I have some good things, several copywork/handwriting books, a couple of Christmas units, a unit on respected American women and a unit on the moon (which will be great when we get to the moon race part of history!). I've also got a book about great art masterpieces that would make a nice little art study for us this year. I am determined not to buy much this year and if I do, it will probably be from the homeschool estore, to thank them for their wonderful free downloads.

I would like to get a computer program for my youngest called Kidspiration which I think would help him, since he's such a visual learner, but it's kind of expensive, about 70.00, so that's probably going to wait. We'll see how he does this year. Another curriculum choice on my dream list would be a Hands and Hearts History Kit. They just look like SO much fun! Ooh, just looking at them when I made that link made me want them even more.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Brain Fog.

I'm in that zone this week where I sometimes go. I refer to it as LaLa Land or the Brain Fog zone. I'm not sure if it is related to brain overload, hormones or if it is the fibromyalgia fog (I'm pretty sure I have this condition), but anyway, here I am. In the fog.

I've got some things done this week despite being in LaLa Land. I've got a couple more sections of the sidewalk/stone path done. I've been reading the Carnival of Homeschooling and doing the free downloads from the Homeschool Estore. They have a ton this week! I've also been trying to get a handle on what we are going to do this fall and I am not getting very far with it. So much to do. It's hard enough to work and plan a homeschool curriculum for 3 kids of very different abilities, learn how to keep records (High School!!!) and keep house without the Brain Fog attacking me when I least expect it. I'm going to try and incorporate these free downloads I've gotten into our homeschool year plan, otherwise, what was the point of downloading them? I've got to try and balance what the kids want to learn with what they need to learn and what I think would be fun to learn and try to match it with what we already have. The temptation to buy a bunch of new stuff is very strong. The Rainbow Resource catalog came in the mail the other day and wow, I really wanted to shop, but so far I haven't.

I hope the fog leaves soon. I keep getting beaten at Upwords! (My favorite game.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tastes like Chicken.

Last night, we went to a restaurant that does not have a drive through, very rare for us. We got the menus and were looking at them. My daughter turned to her Dad and said "What does the steak taste like?" and he said "It tastes like steak." She said "I think I'll have the chicken." I guess she didn't want the steak to taste like steak?

Monday, June 25, 2007


I got up today feeling tired and worn out. I decided that if I was going to get any of my work done, I needed to just pretend that I felt good and do the work anyway, so that's what I did. I cleaned the house a, got a bookcase painted and got a bit more done on the sidewalk out front. That concrete work is very tiring. I did learn that I shouldn't try to mix a whole bag at one time so maybe the rest of it will be easier. I'm also not going to go out there and try to work without recruiting at least one kid as a helper. Having someone else to fetch the water is very, very helpful. The sidewalk isn't looking as good as I had hoped. I may have to paint the concrete when I'm done to make it a better color that matches the house better. I'll take pictures when I'm done.

I'm tired now but it's nice to get to mark some more things off my to do list.

Another 'blank' day.

Nothing written on the calendar today. I was looking and it is the only truly blank day unil August 13. Monday is usually my getting things done day and all of the Mondays in July and the first of August are filled in already. Wow. It's going to be a busy summer. I'll try to enjoy today as much as possible!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The crazy things I say.

I've got my tongue twisted twice today and said 2 really silly things.

This morning my husband's cell phone rang. I figured it was his friend Shane and figured he'd call back on the house phone in a few minutes. I told my oldest son, "If the phone rings in a minute, answer it and tell Slane your Dad's a sheep." (supposed to be 'tell Shane your Dad's asleep.')

Then later on, my daughter and I were dosing Mom and Dad's cats with flea and tick preventive drops. Someone asked me what I had in my hand and I said "Tea and flick medicine."

I thought it would be easier.

I thought it would be easier to get places once the kids got old enough to dress themselves and put on their own shoes. You'd think so wouldn't you? It's not. We are almost always late because we've had to wait for someone. They have to decide what to wear, then change their minds a couple of times, then finally decide and then get dressed. One of my children takes an inordinate amount of time to put on shoes and socks. This morning it took 8 minutes. 2 shoes. 2 socks. 8 minutes. I remember when I had to change 2 diapers and dress 2 kids completely, tie the kindergartner's shoes and help him zip his coat and we were still out the door much more quickly that we are now!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Our latest project.

The 2 older kids and I poured the first 2 sections in a new sidewalk for the front. We've never had a sidewalk in front of the house and it has always bothered me, so I got this concrete form from Lowes for 14.00 and we did a couple of sections. I only bought a little bit of concrete, so we used all we had. We didn't know how many bags it would take to do a section, but now we do. These first 2 sections were a learning experience. When we get it all done, we'll either put in some sand in the cracks between stones or put in some dirt and whatever that plant is that people plant in walkways like this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

10 things?

Okay, I was going to copy off of Janet's blog and give you a glimpse into my inner being, but I couldn't think of anything interesting, much less 10 interesting things. So, as kind of a gratitude journal today, 10 things that are good about today.

1. We have 17 tiny green tomatoes in our little garden patch.
2. I got a new umbrella for my patio table.
3. Everybody's healthy here etc.

Uh oh.

You know when you get to the 'everyone's healthy" you are pretty much done. Let's see if I can think of anything else.

4. One of the petunias my daughter and I planted about a month ago has 45 blooms on it. On one plant! The other one has 3 blooms. We did not use Miracle Grow!
5. I am not behind on my work this week.
6. I now have 10 1/2 things done on my spring/summer cleaning list.

Okay, that's 6.

I'll now try to put in a few interesting things about me, things my blog friends might not know.

1. I always wear black.
2. I keep my fingernails very, very short. I don't bite them, I just don't like long nails now that I type for a living.
3. My favorite food is mashed potatoes.
4. I check my email too often.
5. Probably my all-time favorite author is Mary Stewart. Also J.K. Rowling.
6. I enjoy reading Hank the Cowdog to my children. I'm not sure what I will do if they don't want to hear me read it anymore. I may have to start volunteering someplace reading books to people or something.
7. I make a lot of lists.
8. If I could have, I would have had at least 5 kids.

Hey, 8 that time. That's way better than 6.

I'm glad no one has tagged me for that 100 things about me blog thingy. There is no way I could do it!

A big hit.

I downloaded all 3 levels of free version of Study Dog that is available for my youngest son. Here it is. All I've been hearing for the last 3 days is "Can I play Study Dog?" "Can I play Study Dog?" So I guess it is a success.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Good Night.

We had a homeschool mom's night out with the homeschool group tonight and it was fun. We planned all of the field trips and stuff for the fall, up until December, a lot of fun things to do for the kids and for us. Then, we spent some time talking and laughing about all the things moms talk about when they are together. Good times.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Maid.

Today, I was vacuuming under the bed and I had the mattress and box springs completely off the frame and leaning against the wall. I heard a voice from behind the box springs say something that sounded like "Don't let the maid see you". I said "We have a maid?!!!" (my dream come true) and my youngest said "No, you're the maid." I said "I'm the maid, the chauffeur, the gardener, the medical transcriptionist, the cook, and the teacher." and he said, "Yeah, cause you're the mom."

I guess its good to keep busy.

I've been doing some planning.

I am so glad that Monday is finally here. I had my nose to the grindstone all weekend, working and I'm so glad to have my one day off. Whew. We don't have anything planned for today unless I've forgotten something, so we can stay home and clean this house. Joy. Since the kids have been out of school, I have just let my routines go and you can tell. The house looks a lot worse this week.

Yesterday, when I was waiting for my work to be downloaded or transmitted, I spent a lot of time looking at high school options for my oldest. I really would like him to have a diploma from an accredited school.* I narrowed it down to 2. Penn Foster and North American Regional School (NARS). I decided, after a great deal of personal anguish (because making decisions is difficult!), to go with Penn Foster because all the books are included. I discussed this with him and he said he wanted NARS because then I would be planning his work and it wouldn't be boring. That is really a great compliment coming from my 14-year-old but I think all that work of planning everything kind of scares me. Not to mention that it will cost somewhat more, because we'll have to buy the books, etc. I'm going to check and see if Penn Foster has a money back guarantee/ trial period or something.

(* Why do I want an accredited diploma? I don't know. I can just picture our family and friends saying 'well, they just printed his diploma out on the computer. Anyone could do that. Lookie there, I've got my Ph.D." I know that I would make sure that the child was educated thoroughly before I printed it out. In fact, he'd probably be better prepared because I would feel so insecure, that I'd make him do twice the work and he probably wouldn't graduate until he was 20! Overall, I just think letting someone else decide when he's done is probably better.)

For the younger 2, I'm going to put something together with the things I already have and things I've downloaded from the internet (love the homeschool estore).

I already have the complete KONOs collection, History Scribe, Christian Cottage (for the western hemisphere) and Mammoth Math. I already have grammar and handwriting books. There's a free download of Study Dog available now which I've downloaded for my youngest. Here's the link if anyone is interested.

Now my only problem is getting this all organized. That is not my strong point so wish me luck!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to any Dads who are reading this!

I got behind on my work because of the going we did this week, so I'm working today.


Saturday, June 16, 2007


At long last, I have a day that I can stay home if I want to. I don't have anything on my schedule. My daughter calls these "blank days" and they're nice. I can go yard sailing if I want and I can go to the grocery if I want, but I don't have to go anyplace. It's very nice. I do have to work though. I'm on the Tuesday-Saturday plan, but after that, this afternoon, I'm free. What a nice feeling.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Between Times.

In between times I have to be somewhere this week, I've been reading this book. Very interesting looking isn't it? It's good so far. I've been carrying it with me everywhere I go and when I get a minute, I read.

I'm also still trying to decide what to do with the kids this fall. I'd really like my oldest to be in an accredited high school diploma program so I've been shopping around for that. I've about decided from everything I've been reading that my youngest is a visual spatial learner and I'm trying to find ways to teach him that will make it easier for him. He needs to pick up his reading speed/fluency and work on his handwriting.

For my daughter, I'm not sure what direction to go. This would be a good year to do some really fun things with her, but what?

I'm also thinking of some different ways to organize it all so that at the end of the year we have better records of what we did. My record keeping was horrible this year.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing in between the Mom's taxi trips. I am going to exercise today! Maybe I need to get an exercise CD for the van, since I'm always in it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Too, too, too busy.

We are just too busy this week. The kids have VBS and I've been taxi-ing them back and forth, back and forth and back and forth. I've had a very difficult time getting either my work or my housework done. Our house is a wreck. Last night, even the youngest agreed it needs cleaning. That's when you know it's really bad. I'll be taxi-ing, working, taxi-ing, working, taxi-ing and then working today and I'm not sure when I'm going to fit a cleaning session in. Of course I could be cleaning right now instead of blogging ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Okay, I did it today.

I did exercise this morning. I used the weights and everything. Do you know why I did it? Simply to save myself some embarrassment because of my blog readers. I would have hated to have to post today that I still didn't exercise, so I did. I think maybe I have some kind of problem with motivation? Ya think?

I'll let you all know how tomorrow goes. Maybe I'll use my blog readers to motivate me during the summer break?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Here is my confession. I have not exercised, not even once, seriously, since we finished school. I've been in the pool a couple of times. I've walked to the mailbox a few times (it's a pretty long walk) but that's it. I've been lazy. I guess that's what they mean by the 'lazy days of summer?"

I'm going to do it today.


Monday, June 11, 2007

More Fun.

We've been having a lot of fun lately. I think maybe with school being out, we've went a little crazy? We've been to the pool, had a birthday party, went to a graduation party and a semi-pro baseball game (boys only) and today we went to a 'fun park' which had go carts, an arcade, laser tag and mini golf. A local homeschool group got a group deal for reduced prices on all this fun, so we went. It was great. I think that was my first time driving a go-cart. My youngest son was a tiny bit too short to ride on his own, so he had to ride with me. I'm sure he was disappointed, but we still had a good time. I also took a turn at laser tag, which was an experience. Now we really feel like we've been on a vacation without leaving home.

Today is actually the day of my youngest son's birthday. Nine years ago at this time, I was being prepped for a scheduled C-section to deliver a breech position baby we had been told would only weigh 4-5 pounds. He surprised everyone by weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces! I can't believe it's been 9 years.

Happy birthday Dan!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Thinking about the fall.

Yes, summer is here and it's very nice, but the thoughts of homeschool parents are now going toward the fall ... This is the chance to change curriculum, to try something new. Some people are only mildly tempted. They'll stay with what they've used before. But some of us wonder. I wonder if the fun things we've done have been educational enough. My friend wonders if the educational things they've been doing could be more fun.

I've done some switching around this year. I started out with Konos and mid year, switched to unit studies by Christian Cottage, for the geography/countries units. I may switch back to Konos in the fall or do both of them. I may do a relaxed Konos or Christian Cottage unit study this summer (mainly using the concept of strewing. See this post for an explanation.

Other things we've used this year include Alpha Omega Lifepaks (for the oldest child), Mammoth Math, Sequential Spelling, History Scribe, Leapfrog Reading DVDs and Learn to Read Treasure Hunts (which we loved!)

I like looking at products in the homeschool estore, because you can look at the preview and see what the pages look like. They also offer a free product every week to download and I have used a lot of these. That's how I found the Christian Cottage Units that we've been using since January.

Anyway, I'm glad we're homeschooling. I'm not sure what we're doing next year, only that we will not stop homeschooling. It has become a way of life now.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I personally ended another drought.

That's the second one for me. The first time, we were having a terrible drought here in the eastern United States. It hadn't rained for quite a while. My cousin and I planned a trip to Florida and it started raining when we were about halfway down there and rained for several days. This one has just been a small regional drought. It hadn't rained in our area for about 4-5 weeks. To end this one, we planned a birthday party at the park to celebrate our youngest son's birthday which is Monday. We planned an outdoor treasure hunt with a pirate theme and everything. It poured rain and we ended up moving the party to a restaurant. It turned out to be fun anyway, I guess. I had a good time and I think the kids had fun.

Maybe I should hire myself out as a rain-maker?

Thursday, June 07, 2007


It really seems like summer now because we went to the city pool last night. The kids had a great time. I didn't swim but sat reading one of my favorite books of all time, The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart. My daughter decided to try, for the first time ever, jumping off the diving board and she actually did it! Twice! I was amazed. All of the kids have become pretty good swimmers. There was a lifeguard in the pool ready to help her out if she couldn't do it, but she did great!

Let's see, what else is going on around here? The summer lists are going well (knock on wood) with no one complaining about them. They've been doing them without being nagged, which is nice. That probably means I didn't give them enough to do, but that's okay. I want them to have a good summer.

We got a new kitten the other day, supposedly to keep our other cat, Xena, company, but of course, they hate each other. I should have known that would happen. The kitten who has been named Sam (called Sammy) has been getting a lot of attention from the kids around here. He's very lovable and cuddly.

Anyway, that's the news from here and now I'd better get to work.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Today, part 2.

I did do my list this morning and the kids did their modified summer lists. For summer they're doing personal hygeine (the youngest, especially needs to remember to brush his teeth in the morning), exercise, chore (which rotates daily) and a computer game or CD for something educational. I expected the educational part to take 10-15 minutes, figuring they'd get bored with it quickly. I set up a folder for kids educational games on my favorites file on my computer and let them choose. They chose Funbrain Math Arcade for today's lesson and had a great time with it. The took turns and did math problems for the fun of it for at least 4 hours. How cool is that?


Today is our official first day of the summer schedules. We'll see how that goes, I guess. I printed out the Summer Schedule and the Mom's List and I'm going to try to get going on it. I officially haven't exercised since last Thursday, but I did get in the pool Friday and do some stretches and yesterday I pitched in the kickball game, so I got some exercise. I'm going to try and get back to it, officially, today. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 04, 2007

End of year party/ Motivation.

Our homeschool group is having the end of year party today. Hopefully it won't rain! They are planning a mid day outdoor party and cookout. I'm looking forward it and the kids are way excited.

You know how I was worried that with the kids out of school for the summer, I wouldn't do my exercise, house cleaning list? Well, so far, my worries have come true. I haven't exercised for 3 days! I have to figure out how to get my motivation back! I'm going to start the kids on their 4 item easy summer lists tomorrow morning and maybe that will give me the incentive I need to get going again!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I feel weird this week.

Some would argue that I probably feel weird every week because I'm just a weird person, but I mean that this week has been different from the usual routine. We're done with school, that's different. The pool is up and the kids have been spending crazy amounts of time in it. (8 hours yesterday! We've went through almost 2 complete bottles of sunscreen since Monday! I even got in there with them a couple of times.) We've also been eating a lot of meals outside on the patio table, since I'd rather take it out to them than have them coming inside dripping water everywhere, and that seems vacation-like. My older son started taking karate lessons. My husband has been working a different shift. I got to eat at Olive Garden this week for the first time ever. Yum. It kind of seems like a vacation except for the obvious thing; the fact that both my husband and I have been working every day. Still, it's been a nice week.

While we were eating chili dogs out on the deck a few minutes ago, youngest son said this "The chilier the hot dog, the harder it is to eat."

Friday, June 01, 2007

The crazy bird.

The last few days we've had a cardinal who has been trying to get in our window. He tries about a hundred times a day. It's weird.

Some online math and grammar games.

Math Sites List. This is a bunch of links to games, which I haven't had time to check out yet, but it looks very interesting.

Cool Math

Fun Brain


Basic skill practice

Grammar Blast.


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