Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Quadruple Whammy.

I've mentioned before that our dog Max is a former shelter dog who has come to us with some fears, namely, brooms, sticks, balls, balloons (anything inflated) and pool noodles. After VBS my son brought home and inflatable dog toy that he won as a prize. He told me that Max was scared of it and said that it was a quadruple whammy for Max. I asked what he meant and he he said that 1. It's inflatable. 2. It's another dog. 3. The other dog is holding a (eeek!) ball and 4. It has a whistle on it. I don't think Max is actually afraid of whistles I think he just hates them for the same reason I do, they're loud and annoying. Anyway, the inflatable dog has been banished to the kid's bedroom where Max doesn't usually go, so the poor dog can have a little peace. He's already had a traumatic week with getting his ears cleaned and his nails trimmed and now we've gotten a new kitten ...
poor Max!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

You Won!

The other day I was playing a game of UpWords with my parents and I had to leave before we had quite finished to pick up my oldest son from the library. It was a very close game. We were all in the 120s, score-wise and we all had 4 letters left. As I left, my mom said they'd play my letters when it was my turn and finish the game for me. I said, 'okay, let me know how I do!" Today, I asked her and she said "Oh, you won." Apparently, I'm a pretty good player when I'm not there, LOL.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My typing expander woes.

I use an expander to do my medical transcription. It's called Shorthand. It's very good. What expanders do is raise typing speed by letting you just type a few letters and the whole word will go into the document, sort of like you can do with Auto Correct, only much better. I used to use one called SmartType, which I really liked, but when the company I work for went to a MS Word based system, I had to change. The biggest difference for me is that unlike SmartType, Shorthand stays on all the time even when I'm not working, unless I turn it off. That means that a lot of the time when I'm blogging or emailing or surfing it's on and I'm too lazy to turn it off, knowing that I'll just have to turn it back on in a minute. I can choose to not let an individual word expand by pushing the CTRL key but sometimes I don't hit it hard enough or something and I end up typing in web addresses like www.craigslist.organomegaly and typing I'MEDICATIONS: instead of I'm, Marshall-Marchetti instead of Mama. It's kind of frustrating but sometimes it's quite funny.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our kitten.

Finally a picture of the kitten we got a couple of months ago. He's half grown up now and very cute. He's about the most playful and sweet kitten ever. His name is officially Sam, but his nickname is Sammy Sam Sam. We're even thinking of adding couple more syllables. ;-)


I've been incredibly grouchy the last few days. I'm frustrated with how long some things are taking and how some things seem never to change, while other things change too fast and I'm not ready. Sounds like I'm having a fun week, doesn't it? I bet you wish you were here, don't you?

Anyway, the housework is kind of moving along. I haven't had a chance to do much planning for the new school year, but I think I can take a day next week and get that done. The public school kids here are starting next Thursday, August 2. We may start that same day, the Monday after or just one day the following week. I think I should wait until I get my good humor back. Hopefully, it's on it's way.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What I saw the other day.

Fortunately I had my camera in my purse and I just stopped in the middle of our street and took this picture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A loss of momentum.

I'm just here. I'm not blogging, not cleaning, only working the minimum that I have to. Just here. Not doing much. The kids have been kind of learning a bit of science from watching Mythbusters. I'm not sure how scientific it is but it's fun to watch. My oldest son has finished the book and has moved onto working with his lego mindstorms so his brain is getting a workout. (unlike mine!) I'm trying to decide whether to go to the city pool tonight or not. Maybe I should check a weather report? I'll try looking outside first and see what the sky looks like. That's probably just about as accurate!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mmm, let's see.

What's new here. The two younger kids are attending VBS this week. (for the 3rd time this summer!) The oldest, along with DH, is reading Harry Potter. They're sharing the book. When son goes to sleep, Dad gets the book and starts reading. It's cute. My Dad is reading it too. I've been making a little progress on my things to-do list, not as much as one would hope, though. ;-) I am going to make an agreement with the kids that we don't start school until that cleaning list is completely done, so that I will do it. Last year we started school with the house in chaos and I do not want to do that this year!

I'm getting the few textbooks I've ordered for my oldest, little by little it seems. The algebra books arrived in 2 different shipments and now the history book is coming in 2 shipments. I didn't realize it took 2 textbooks to do the whole of American History but it does. Thankfully, I was able to get them both second hand and very inexpensively.

For some reason I've got the song "Welcome to my crazy life..." running through my head ... no idea why.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A summary of my weekend.

Yesterday, I didn't post or anything because I was reading the new Harry Potter book. It pretty much took all day since it was over 700 pages. I thought it was really good and that's all I'll say now because a lot of people are still reading it. Now my oldest son and husband are both taking their turn reading it. After me, because I'm the fastest reader and the most impatient.

Today, I've got to work.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Things to do.

I have a big old list of things to do and I just really don't want to do most of them. Some of the list involves making phone calls and if you've read this blog, you know how much I dread that. I've got to work, got to fill out a ton of paperwork for the foster care classes we start tomorrow, need to finish cleaning and finish the sidewalk and then of course, I'll need to take a time out and read the last Harry Potter book this weekend. Good thing I like to keep busy. ;-)

The Algebra books arrived yesterday for my oldest son. I ordered the Key To Algebra series from Key Curriculum Press so it's divided into about 10 smaller books, I guess to keep from being overwhelming? I ordered a secondhand American History book and that's the last thing that needs to arrive and we'll be ready to start. I'm also going to hit some of the school supplies clearance sales and buy a couple of binders to do the younger kids notebooking in and a few notebooks for oldest son. It's always fun to get some new things and you just can't beat the prices this time of year.

Then, I'll need to start on lists and schedules, schedules and lists, lists, lists. You know how I am. I love lists. The dog would have a checklist of things to do around here if I thought I had any chance of getting him to do it! LoL.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We're getting the spring cleaning done around here. Yes, I realize that its July and not spring, but hey, better late than never. We actually cleaned off the homeschool shelves yesterday. They look so good! I also worked on my closet yesterday, which is a very big job. I'm so thrilled to get this done before we get started with school again.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The "Mom is Calling You" Secret Code, Explained.

As I've explained to the kids before, if I say their name in combination with their brother or sister's name, whichever one I say last, that's who I mean. Sometimes I may put all three kids names in there. I may even throw in my brother's name, my husband's name, a cousin or one of the pet's names. However it comes out, the last name I say is generally the child I mean. They should watch me too, because if I totally can't think of the child's name, I'll point. Figure it out kids, because I'm not getting any better at this. LoL.


I feel ready to start back to school. It's crazy. I was so anxious for summer to get here, but now, I'm ready to get back to our routines. I've made some plans about what we are going to study. I've ordered books for my oldest son to use. I've decided that I really want him to go through NARS and get an accredited diploma. That was a huge decision and took a lot of research to finally make it. I've done a lot of research about my younger son's reading issues and feel like I have a plan for that. I'm surprised that I feel this way, since its only July and I haven't even harvested any home grown tomatoes from the garden, but I do. The county schools here start the first week of August and we may do that too or we may decide to wait. If we start early in August, we can be more flexible about taking days off here and there. Really, I think we should go for it while Mama is in the mood!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My complaint for today.

We went to see Harry Potter today at the theater. I arranged for my youngest 2 kids to stay at my mom's because the Harry Potter movies still scare them. We get there and sit down and these people sit down behind us with 3 kids, ages about 4, 3 and 2 (maybe not even that old). What were they thinking? The kids were rowdy the whole time, they littlest one cried a lot and one time the Dad took him out and was grumbling the whole time, like it was the kids fault. The 3ish kid started kicking my seat very hard, so that my head was bouncing back and forth, at one point and I waited to see if the parents would say something, but no. I finally had to turn around and give the kid my stern look even though it wasn't really his fault that his parents had brought him to this movie which he didn't understand at all and then didn't even try, at all, to keep him entertained. At one point, there was a rope lying on the ground and the 3ish little boy yelled "hey it's a snake, hey it's a snake, hey, its a snake, hey, its a snake (repeat 20 times)" Did anyone say, "no honey, that's a rope and you need to be quieter" Of course not. I was so annoyed. Actually, everyone in the theater was annoyed, you could see the heads turning. The family got up and left about 30 seconds before it was really over, I guess to avoid angry comments? If they can't afford a sitter, maybe they should wait until it comes out on DVD, trade off with some other friends with young kids. Anything. Honestly. I think it's disrespectful to the other people in the theater but also, it's disrespectful of your kids to take them to a move that is totally inappropriate for them and then expect them to sit still. That's not what kids do.

Okay. Done.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nothing much.

There's not that much going on this week. The kids are doing VBS at a friend's church and I've been driving them. We still haven't gotten the sidewalk outside finished. We still haven't got the spring cleaning list done. I have gotten everything ordered for this coming school year, which actually wasn't much, just a couple of things for my oldest. The younger 2 will be using the same materials as last year plus some free things I've downloaded and some things I already own and haven't used yet. Anyway, nothing exciting. If I can find the camera cord, I'll upload some pictures from our mini-trip last week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pulling things together.

I'm trying to get organized. I've kind of decided what we will do for school this year, now I need to decide how to pull it all together, give myself and each child a schedule and be ready to go at the first of August. Uh oh. I'm starting to feel the need to make a bunch of lists again ...

I may need to use my old standby, using the kids education as a motivator for me to get my work done. I might tell them that if I don't get the house organized, they don't have to start school ... Hey, maybe I'll get my desk cleaned off. Maybe I can get my husband to clean off his desk using the same method?!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What I'm doing this week.

I'm working and doing the usual stuff around here, chauffering the kids around and also trying to turn myself into a reading tutor. I had an opportunity to speak with a reading tutor at a homeschool book sale a week or so ago and she inspired me (by telling me how much she charges an hour!) to become a reading tutor for my youngest son. He's reading, but not at grade level. I've been doing a lot of research on learning styles and it seems that he is a right-brained, visual learner and so that's how I'm going to approach teaching him. It's funny, because I think I'm the exact opposite style, so I'm having to really think this through. I guess I'll let you know how it goes throughout the year. Now I'm off to find an assessment tool so I can assess his reading on the first day and then test him occasionally to see if he's progressing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

So that's why!

We're thinking of setting up kind of an expense account for each child. They'll get so much per month in their virtual account and this will be their spending money for activities (not field trips, just extras) and snacks. It seems like everywhere we go they are begging for snacks. We ate lunch at home yesterday, then went to the movies, then wanted popcorn and a coke which costs quite a bit. Theorectically, we'd give them this expense account for snacks and whatever and they'd quit begging and start thinking about managing their money so that they have some left at the end of the month. I'm thinking an added benefit might be that they eat fewer junky snacks. We might even have to include clothing purchases for the older two. The younger one doesn't care what he wears or what he looks like and would probably spend his entire budget on toys.

We were discussing this the other day and the youngest said "But that's why we have parents, so we don't have to buy things ourselves!"

I knew there must be a reason. Hey, you know what? My parents have been slacking for a few years! I might just have to call them!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fireworks, etc.

More summer fun, we went to a belated July 4th party tonight, with grilling out and getting in the pool and fireworks. The kids love it all, especially the fireworks, but I guess I'm old because I kind of feel like if you've seen one firework you've seen them all. They're pretty, but my attention span for them is pretty short. I would rather be reading a good book.

Another thought about fireworks - they're illegal to purchase in Kentucky but boy, do people sure get a lot of them here. Every other house in my brother-in-law's neighborhood was setting them off tonight!

Happy belated Independence Day.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Feeling out of whack.

The good thing about vacations is also the bad thing about vacations. You kind of step out of your life and do things differently for a few days - eat unfamilar foods, live in a different place etc., but then when you have to step back into your own life, it feels weird. I guess I'll get used to it.

I sure wish someone had finished my spring cleaning while I was gone though.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Break.

We did something out of character this week. We went on a spur of the moment trip for a couple of days. We didn't go far, only to a nearby city. We stayed in a nice hotel and went to a science center and we were going to go to a lake beach, but with it being the fourth of July, it was too crowded. We had a very low key nice time. The thing, I think, about a vacation is not where you go, but who you go with. We had a lot of family bonding time. No video games. We all watched the same TV and slept in the same room. We went out to eat and talked to each other a ton. We read Hank the Cowdog in the van.

I savor the little things about traveling with the kids; the conversations, the joy they have over things like hotel room keys, elevator buttons and luggage carts. We had the pool completely to ourselves one night and the kids got to show their Dad how far their swimming abilities have increased since last year - a lot. They're like fish now, swimming, doing flips and handstands, jumping in, swimming underwater. It's fun to watch.

Anyway, we had a good time and now it's good to be home.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My Tan.

Yesterday I took the kids to a local aquatic center that has a pool and water slide. I didn't feel like swimming or even like suiting up so I wore a pair of pants and a shirt and sat down in a lounge chair to watch the action. I did kick off my shoes to be more comfortable. I ended up getting a slight tan/burn on my feet and the lower section of my shins and on the top of my head, in the part of my hair. It's very interesting. I guess to even it up next time, I'll need to wear a bathing suit, a hat and a pair of crew socks. :-)


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