Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another one down.

We have another kid with the stomach flu. Youngest son started vomiting today, basically right around the time it became too late to take him to the pediatrician. Right now we're just waiting it out. I called the clinic to see what their hours were but I didn't think of that until they were closed too. The only option now is the ER but I don't know that he needs to go. I don't think he's dehydrated yet. We're just going to try and hang in there for the night.

The girl is doing okay now. She just ate some chicken soup and she's been keeping down her Gatorade all day.

What a way to ring in the new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Well, it wasn't over.

Twelve hours after the stomach flu began, we ended up at the pediatrician's office getting a shot.  She's sleeping it off now and my fingers are crossed.  I hope she's better in the morning!

Work at home possibilities.

These aren't for me because we don't have and can't get high speed internet, but I thought some of my readers might be interested. Someone shared these on a homeschooling list this morning.

West at Home

Cloud 10


Working Solutions

Tuesday! It's finally here! Just not like I planned it.

The day I've been looking forward to, my day of rest. The first day I haven't had to go somewhere since, I don't even know when. Weeks ago. It hasn't quite gone as planned though, so far. I was planning on sleeping late, trying to get rid of these dark circles under my eyes and goofing off most of the day, but I was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by my middle child, as she wanted someone to share the stomach flu experience with her. I've spent the last few hours cleaning out her vomiting bowl and holding her hair back. Right now she's asleep and I'm hoping it's over, just an isolated event. (fingers crossed!) Just in case, Dad is bringing home some anti-nausea medication.

I was kind of thinking we might do school today but now we probably won't. The boys will be happy, assuming they don't get it. Doing school, even during the holiday break, is preferable to the stomach flu.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I survived the week. All we've got on the agenda today is a party. I can handle that. My mom's doing better but now her sister is sick in a very similar way. Hopefully she's much better today. Yesterday while I was gone to work, my husband and kids cleaned the house of the Christmas packaging and trash and it looks pretty good, so that makes me feel better. I like a clean house, I just don't like to clean it.

On that subject, I finished reading "The House Than Cleans Itself" and I would recommend it. Of course your house doesn't really clean itself, but it is packed full of good ideas to make cleaning your house easier and more efficient. I am going to get my own copy (this is a library copy) and try and implement the system this January, at least some of the tips.

I'm starting to be able to think past the holidays now and plan for January. There for a while, I couldn't think of anything but Christmas looming and not being ready for it, and then I spent a lot of time worrying about mom, but now hopefully, we can go back to normal.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's probably your walrus.

Believe it or not, this statement made perfect sense this morning as my oldest son wondered what was in the bottom of his Christmas stocking and my daughter, who'd already found a chocolate artic animal at the bottom of hers, offered advice. He said "it's probably my WHAT?" It was funny, anyway.

We are having a good Christmas, although the adults in this family would like to find a way to get some sleep at Christmas time. Our youngest was up at 4:00 then 5:00 and around 6:00 he woke his sister up, who was whiny from lack of sleep and finally, I just let them open their presents and mom and dad went back to sleep for a little while. I've already set up a yahoo calendar reminder to myself, to ground anyone who gets out of bed before 7:00 a.m. next year!

I'm so glad my mom's home and out of the hospital to get to celebrate. We went there last night and my brother and I cooked dinner and had a very quiet low key celebration. Today, we're going to my mother-in-laws for brunch, something we look forward to all year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season.  I am working today (Joy!) but I couldn't turn them down.  One of the other transcriptionists grandma is being buried today.  Can you imagine?  I have things to do, but nothing more important than she does.  I may just throw unwrapped packages at my kids later, but so what?  Wrapping paper doesn't matter.  What we eat doesn't matter.  I think my ICU stay has made me more focused on what really does matter.  Family.  Love. 

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

She's home.

Thanks for all the prayers and warm thoughts. She's home and hopefully will stay home. I went to work tonight and stopped by Wal-mart and did the rest of the Christmas shopping. Just in time, hmm?


My mom may get to come home from the hospital today.  Please pray that she does.  My brother is staying up there today after staying last night so that I can go to work.  (He's on vacation this week.)  I really hate having a regular job with actual hours and as of yet, no time off accumulated.  If she doesn't get out, I'll need to go back up there tonight and relieve him after work and I'll have to find someone to keep the 2 younger kids because my husband has to go back to work today too.  My oldest son has been staying with his granddad while grandma has been in the hospital.  A friend has offered to let the kids stay there,  but her house is kind of out-of-the way and I may see if she'll meet me somewhere or I may just leave them all with granddad. 

On another subject, the 2 younger kids were still awake when I got home last night and we were all so tired, we had a very silly, very funny conversation that included the statement "A blest is thicker than a nubble"  (which actually kind of made sense at the time) and a new expression was coined, which was "oop-oop-a-hey" which basically means "hey, that's mine!" but is so much more amusing, especially when you are sleep-deprived, stressed out and completely exhausted.  Thanks kids, I needed a silliness break.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Out of the ICU.

Mom's out of the intensive care unit, but still not feeling very good and still getting IV antibiotics in a regular hospital room.  Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  I think I can feel it. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spoke too soon.

When I said Mom was better.  She got much worse last night and we had to call 911 and take her to the local hospital.  Then she got transferred from there to a large city hospital ICU.  I'm taking a short break to sleep and am getting ready to head back down there now.,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another crazy day in the neighborhood.

I had to take my mom back to the doctor today and we ended up being there for hours.  Honestly that bugs me.  I think they overbook their appointments.  When my kids were little, we found this pediatrician who would only take a certain number of patients (and luckily I worked at the local hospital or I wouldn't have gotten in!) it was very exclusive and you actually had to have an interview, but they treated us wonderfully and we never, ever had to wait.  We still go there, but now that particular doctor has retired and her replacement, though lovely and wonderful, does make us wait sometimes.  Still, not as long as my mom's doctor though.

Anywho, the kids did school without me again, I totally have not been able to get my house cleaned up all week and now the social worker who was not going to come this month, is going to come next week and my house is crazy messy ... and we've got a birthday party tonight and I've got to work all weekend ... I wonder if I could get a maid for Christmas? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mom's better.

Mom's feeling better today after her trip to the ER.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled scrambling to get everything done by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Difficult day.

Things didn't go as I planned today.  My mom is not feeling well.  I took her to the doctor this afternoon, but her fever spiked tonight and now my brother is taking her to the ER.  If you are a praying person, please do that tonight. 


It snowed last night, about 3 or 4 inches.  The kids are very happy and have been playing outside.  I'm staying in making chili and trying to work on the house a little.  I was going to go get Mr. Cuteness (my nephew) and spend some time with him but because of the snow, I didn't want to risk driving this morning.  It's got some ice underneath it.  :-(  Maybe I'll get to do that another day.

The picture is from last years snow.  I'm too lazy to take a new one.  :-P

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday, December 14.

I'm getting creative with my title again today.  :-)  Yes, it's Sunday.  December 14.  Can you believe how quickly Christmas is coming this year?  I think we ought to rethink the 'slower than Christmas' saying.  It is barreling at us this year.  I've got to re-do some of my Christmas shopping because the place I ordered it from is not planning to ship it until December 26.  Hmmm.  That won't work for some reason. 

I'm sorry about the lack of blog posts lately.  I've been working the last 2 days.  I sat at work last night, typing reports from the same doctor over and over and over since the only reports that were left in the queue were the ones that no-one wants to do, the lowest priority work, and to occupy my mind, I started taking blog notes.  I was going to blog my day at work.  It went kind of like this.

1:00 p.m.  Arrive at work.
1:39 p.m.  Think "Good grief, how long have I been here, my shift must be half over" and then realize I've only been here 39 minutes.
2:00  One hour. 
2:00 - 7:00 p.m. is all a blur, typing, typing, typing.  I did take a lunch break during this time.
7:00   A coworker stops by to say hello.  I'm thankful for someone to talk to.   A doctor drops in to check for charts.  I wish he'd go dictate something so I can quit typing the same reports over and over and over and over with no macros, no word expanders, no shortcuts, only typing the same thing over and over and over and over and over, just for different patients.  Quietly.  Going.  Insane.
8:30 finally arrives and I am free!

Can you tell I'm still not loving it?  Really I don't mind it as much if there is some variety in the work.  Nobody was admitting or discharging patient's yesterday so the only thing I could do was chip away at the backlog of reports and that involved typing nearly identical pain management epidural steroid injections for 7 hours straight, which kind of got a little old.

Anyway, today I'll be Christmas shopping again I guess, after church.  Hopefully I will find all of the things I still need to buy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

42 degrees.

Yesterday, before going to play outside, my daughter looked at the temperature on the thermometer and announced "42 degrees.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just right." 

They've been playing outside a lot lately, which surprises me, but I guess they like the cold weather.

Clumsiness and other things.

I have been so clumsy the last couple of days. I know some of you are thinking so what's new, but even for me, I've been clumsier or maybe just less lucky?. I tripped in the kitchen yesterday and fell into the table and hurt my arm and my back. A shelf in the mudroom fell on my head when I was trying to get something off of it. I knocked our crayon bowl off the shelf this morning and it shattered and I had to clean up all the glass before I'd even had my coffee. (I have no idea why are crayons were in a glass bowl, my daughter did that at some point and we just left them.) I knocked over my tea glass yesterday. Monday, I spilled a Coke at work. Maybe I'm just not paying attention to what I'm doing. (!) Anyway, it rubbed off on my oldest son and he slipped on the back stairs and fell yesterday. He's pretty sore today.

As for homeschooling in the midst of all these calamities, yesterday, we wrote out observations about the bacteria and we grew crystals from borax on pipe cleaners and made Christmas ornaments with them. They turned out cute and I hung them on the tree this morning. I don't think they'll last until next year as the crystals tend to fall off. Anyway, they're pretty now. They sparkle in the tree lights.

Today, we're doing school, just the regular lists. I'm going to have to modify them again now that my work schedule is the way it is. It's hard to get used to. I'm not sure what to do with myself on the days that I'm home. I have a lot of things I need to do, but I'm not good at prioritizing. I need to work on that. Yesterday, I got some more shopping done but not all of it. Still not all of it. Maybe today?

One good thing that happened is that I requested a bunch of books at the library and yesterday they came in. Our library purchased 3 of them and got another one for me on interlibrary loan, so I've got some books to read. I love books. The most interesting one I have now is called The House That Cleans Itself. I've brought it home and hopefully now my house will start cleaning itself soon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


An update on the bacteria cultures. The toilet culture is growing a ton of stuff. The other ones, the kitchen sink and the phone are growing a tiny bit (probably 100,000 or so!). Max's mouth culture has one little spot and mine, as far as I can tell, doesn't have any visible growth. Maybe all that tooth brushing does pay off!

Not much.

That's what I got done yesterday.  Not very much.  I started out to go to the grocery and took a couple of kids with me.  One of them wanted to go to Family Dollar, so we went there.  Then the other child wanted to go to Walmart so we went there and ended up staying for a long, long time.  Then, we finally went to Kroger where we grocery shop, got that done and came home.  I also got the pictures done for the Christmas cards and got them uploaded so that I can pick those up tomorrow.  That's something I guess.    I really need to do better today!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


For the first time since starting my job the first week in November, I'm working the planned schedule.  Every week there's been something going on and I've had to change something, but this week, as far as I know, I'm going to work it as planned.  I'm still not sure if I'm going to keep working there.  Yesterday wasn't too bad.  I'd still rather work at home at least part of the time.  I guess most people would, especially in the wintertime. 

So anyway, I don't have to work today, tomorrow or Thursday and I'm really looking forward to the time off.  I want to get the house in order, finish getting ready for Christmas and do a lot of school stuff.  I really need to look at my youngest son's work and do some more focusing on some of his basic skills.  My oldest has finished his computer class and I need to find him a replacement.   He wants to do computer programming now, so I'm looking for something reasonably priced for that.  I've also got a doctor's appointment today.  I may postpone that until after Christmas.  I don't know.  It's not an emergency or anything, just a check up.

Anyway, hopefully I'll get done even half of what I need to do these next 3 days!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Busy weekend.

I pretty much got all the Christmas shopping done this weekend. I made one trip to Wal-mart and then shopped online the rest of the day yesterday. I'm not sure where we are going to hide things this year though. Some things are pretty big and it's going to be a challenge keeping them hidden for the next, what 17 or 18 days? The Christmas tree box is a possible location, but I don't know if it is big enough. I need to get some of those bicycle bags to put gifts in because I do not like to try and individually wrap them and that is the compromise I've come up with. It helps the kids, especially the boys, identify whose gifts are whose, because sometimes their stuff overlaps.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Tonight we were playing the game Love it or Hate it.  The category was books and we had to name a book and then whether we loved it or hated it.  Every single one of us wrote the exact same thing:
"Books, Harry Potter, Love It. "

Is that crazy or what?   All 5 of us.  Exactly the same thing.

Trying to get my shopping done!

Because our internet is so slow, it's taken me 3 days to get my online shopping cart filled up.  Actually, I've been working on it for 3 days and I'm still not done.  Maybe today I'll get it.  It's not that I'm buying that much, it just takes a long time for each item.  Still, it's better than going to a mall and trying to find everything.  I guess.  Christmas is just coming too quickly this year!  The kids said last night it was 19 DAYS!!!!! 

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A few words.

My Dad had cataract surgery yesterday and today he's seeing everything in "high definition".  That's a direct quote.  He's very happy he had it and it was pretty much pain free. 

I worked last night and I'm off to work again today.  I'm still not thrilled to be there, but I'm surviving and tolerating it.  For now.  Kind of hoping I'll win a lottery though.

Our daughter had her first sleepover last night and is sleeping it off right now.  I think they slept a total of an hour and a half? 

It seems like I've only got a few words on each subject today, I'm just not very wordy   Weird.. 

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A few things.

Yesterday we did get school done.  We are still working on microscopic science, but we left both of the science books we've been using and used a few pages from a Klutz book my son got last year for Christmas, it's a science museum in a book or something like that.  Anyway, it had some agar in it to grow bacteria and examples of where to get bacteria from to grow some, so now, instead of mold growing in our kitchen, we've got bacterial cultures from the various places around the house and,  what the kids are most interested in, a bacteria contest to see which is cleaner, mom's mouth or the dog's mouth.  Both Max and I got swabbed yesterday and we'll see who wins, me who brushes and Listerines daily or Mr. Max, who chews on every disgusting thing in the yard. 

We also went to the library and ran some errands yesterday.  Today, we've got skate night, game night and a birthday party at skate night (I love it when outings are combined!).  I may do some Christmas shopping earlier today.  We need to do school, yes, but we can always do it in late May and early June.  I really can't do my Christmas shopping then!!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I had a halfway decent day at work yesterday, despite being in a really bad mood when I went.  I hate leaving the kids home and going to work.   I know they're big now and my husband was here but sleeping, but I still hate it.  They did their schoolwork mostly on their own and had it done and all checked off when I got back.  We've got a lot of school related things to do today and hopefully, we'll get them all done.  I hate when we get behind or I feel like we haven't done enough.  We still haven't really looked at the mold we're growing in our petri dishes and drawn pictures of it like we are supposed to do for our science book.  We'll do that today and then throw it out.  I'm going to keep the petri dishes to grow some bacteria later though. 

Work was okay, I guess.  I just type and type and type.  The computer is old and mean and grouchy and the dictation system is identical to the one the hospital had that I started working at 15 years ago.  It's antique!  All the books I'm supposed to use are dated 1999, but thankfully I can use Google and Onelook, otherwise, I'd be going crazy (more crazy, I mean).  Since the spellcheck is pitiful and there is no autocorrect, I'm discovering 2 things about myself.  There are a ton of words that I can't spell, like aneurysm and Z-Pak (?)  and I've started listing these on the side of my monitor after I look them up on the internet.  There is also a set of words that I can't consistently type correctly, things like "hospital" and "patient" (which come up surprisingly often in medical transcription!).  These come out as "patinet" and "hopsital" most of the time.  Even with all that, I'm hanging in there for now.  I know (having learned recently) not to make any decisions while PMS is even a remote possiblity and I really want to give this job a chance since this is the closest hospital to me and it's my best chance for a job with paid time off and retirement, so I'm not going to quit now.  If I still hate it this much next spring, I will try and find something else. 


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We need to start focusing on school again.

We've been barely doing the minimum for weeks now and we need to get going again.  I could probably go back and read my blog over the last few years and see the pattern of doing well with school and then slacking off, doing well and slacking off.  I know we do it.  I'm not sure why. Sometimes life just gets so busy.  The trick is to make sure at least the basics are always being covered.  That's what we try to do and then when everything's going well we add in the enrichment activities and fun stuff.  I hope I hit my stride soon with this job, but it doesn't seem likely.  Maybe in 6 months?  If I don't quit before then.  It seems like too much on top of all the other things I do.  Every one of the days I have off, I have something else planned, it seems like.  There don't seem to be any blank days on the horizon at all.  I need my down time!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Pretty good day today.

We had Mom's Day Out with the homeschool group today and it was fun.  We went to The Cheesecake Factory again and out shopping.  I actually bought 2 Christmas gifts, so I offically have started Chrstimas shopping now! 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I've just been informed that it is officially

Christmas eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve eve.

good to know.

Post-Thanksgiving, and thinking about Christmas.

Our 2 Thanksgiving celebrations were nice. We enjoyed good food and good company. I got to hold my beautiful new niece and get her to sleep. I know I keep saying she's beautiful, but I am totally not exaggerating. She is. I had to work Thanksgiving, but my boss let me split the shift and work in the morning, then go have lunch and then come back in the afternoon. It worked out well for the hospital too, because I typed all the priority work in the morning that there was, and then left and when I came back there was more priority work and I got that done too. I've found that I really don't mind work as much on the weekends and holidays when it is quiet in there. I don't like it when everyone's around. I guess I've been at home too long. I am absolutely not interested in getting involved in office politics or office gossip. I just want to get it done and come home.

I'm finally trying to get started on Christmas shopping. I ventured out yesterday on Black Friday for just a little while. I went to the local Wal-mart in the late afternoon to see if they still had any of the $10.00 trivial pursuit games for a gift I need by Monday, but they didn't so I got something else. While I was gone, the kids got started on putting the tree up and decorating for Christmas. I tried listening to Christmas music in the van to try and put me in the spirit, but it's not there yet. No excitement. I may be able to be happy about the season once I get the monumental list knocked down some, but right now, it just seems like one more thing I need to do.

All of the kids lists contain a bunch of video games and to me, buying those things is just a chore. I'd rather buy them art supplies and cool toys and things like that, but that's not what they've asked for, for the most part. I do get to help my Mom and Dad with their shopping and I think Mom and Dad will be doing their shopping at Rainbow Resource this year because we got their Christmas catalog and it has tons of cool things in it. I was just reading a blog a few minutes ago that said that Christmas is a great opportunity for parents to buy things that will encourage our children's gifts and talents and I think that's true. All of my kids are artistic so I may get Grandma and Granddaddy to get them a bunch of art supplies this year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've tried to post a bunch of pictures and it's not working. It's frustrating. Otherwise today is okay. I don't have to work. I'm going to be making some sweet potato pies and getting the house in order a little bit. (I guess) The kids are doing school (kind of) and I've been trying to think of Christmas ideas, looking a little at the Black Friday ads and wondering how in the world we are going to pull it off this year. Every year it seems to be harder? The kids are getting older and their tastes get more expensive and it's hard to figure out what to get them and everyone else. I can see why older people just give money. Maybe my kids would like a gift card this year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm off today and tomorrow. I'm still trying to get used to my job and to be honest, I've been a bit crabby. I come home from work exhausted and wondering if I should've taken this job. I'm working very hard. Yesterday though, I started using the built in keyboard tray which is adjustable in many different ways and I did okay with the back pain. It was better. I hesitate to say that because it was better the first day with my new chair and then horrible again the next, so who knows? I'm going to try and enjoy these 2 days I have off. I've got a list of 14 things I need to get done (some of them can wait a while) and I may see how many of those I can cross off the list. We may go to the library today. I have a ton of things I need to request the library to get for me, either on interlibrary loan or for them to purchase. I've gotten to the point that I always ask the library first before buying a book. We also need to do school today. Even though my work schedule makes it weird, we still need to get it done. The temptation is when I'm off to go places all day and not do school. We do have mold growing in our petri dishes though and we need to look at it under the microscope, do the rest of our science, language arts/art, novel way and geography. I'd like to hurry up and get it done though so we can go to town this afternoon. The library is calling to me. I need my book fix.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why is it?

That during the middle of the night when I get up to go to the bathroom, I can think of about 10 blog post ideas, but in the cold light of morning, nothing? 

Let's see.  Hmm.  I was thinking about the dogs and how they want to go out if I get up in the middle of the night and if I don't immediately let him out,  Max will pace with his toenails going click, click, click, click on the floor until someone lets him out.  (like, for example, me.)  They want to go out about 25 to 30 times a day.  It drives us all kind of crazy but we'd rather err on the side of letting them out than having them have an accident in the house.  We'd install a doggie door, but we'd have cats in day and night and several of us are allergic to cats.  Living where we live, we'd probably also have possums, raccoons and skunks in the house.  Not good.  So we live with it.  In.  Out.  In. Out.  In.  Out.  Who let them out last time?  Does anyone love the dogs enough to let them back in?  (We all do, we just don't want to get up.)  Whose turn is it? 

This picture of them is last year, during the big snow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I think I shocked a bunch of people earlier today when I said that homeschooling was easier than public schooling.  Another mom was talking about how I must have so much patience, that she couldn't possibly homeschool her kids, etc. and I said, without really thinking about it, "oh it's so much easier."  True, some concepts are hard and sometimes my husband and I are really searching around for a way to explain something (usually math), but overall I do think it's easier.  Let's see if I can explain it.

First of all, we don't have to follow anyone else's schedule and get up earlier than we'd like.  I read the other day that one reason kids are getting obese in this country is that they don't get enough sleep.  Our kids get to sleep later and I think that's good for them.  Of course, theoretically, we could go to bed earlier, but that's one of the  areas of parenting  that I'm horrible at.  My kids are experts at avoiding going to bed at night for "just one more minute".  If they were in school, I'd have to fight that battle harder.

Secondly, there's homework.  By the time my oldest son was in 5th grade at the public school, he would sometimes have 3 hours of homework a night.  A lot of it was stuff that he already knew, but he just had to keep repeating it and repeating it.  I found it harder and harder to force him to do it when I knew that there really was no reason to.  He already knew the material so what was the point?  Other times, we would struggle with difficult concepts that he had been explained at school but hadn't "gotten".  That part is about the same as we run across those difficult concepts in our homeschool, but we can realize right away that he doesn't understand instead of finding out that he's been behind for several weeks or months and now is failing.   Sometimes I'll realize that he doesn't have the background he needs to do his Algebra work and I'll have him do a couple of weeks of background work, something he missed originally, until he understands that and then he's back into the Algebra textbook. 

The point is that it is a personalized education.  We spend as much or as little time as the child needs on the concept and then we move on.  If we need more background studies, we do those.  If we need to just jump ahead a chapter because they already know it, we can. 

I'll have to explain this to everyone I was talking to this morning so that they can realize why I think that homeschool is easier.  I don't want them to think that we're not doing the work, that we're just sitting around eating bon bons or something and our kids aren't learning.  They are.  It's just such a more efficient method of education than educating a large group. 


Saturday, November 22, 2008

So many things to do ...

I really need to get in gear. I had planned to paint the kitchen this fall. I need to BEGIN my Christmas shopping. (I can't believe how close it is getting!). I'm trying to start a homeschooled teen network for my older son to find some kids he can get together with and play video games and hang out. Although our homeschool group is wonderful, the next oldest kids to him are the large group of 12-year-old girls. I've got to get Christmas pictures of the kids done and cards made. I'm supposed to be making myself an appointment with an allergist to address my food allergies, but I think that's going to have to wait until after the new year if I go at all. I don't know. I did START the Christmas list last night, something I usually do in October or so, but that's as far as I've gotten. I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed at the moment. I know, I need to make a list and start checking things off.

A really long list.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm going to put in a plug for my store. I have a store on Cafepress where I sell gifts for grandparents. I also have some items that aren't grandparent related, but fun. Here's the link.

Friday, November 21, 2008

( ) insert clever title.

I am starting this blog entry this morning with very little idea what I will blog about. It is my second day off in a row and I'm really enjoying that fact. I have to go in to work again tomorrow. School went okay yesterday and we got quite a bit of work done on the plot outlines for the novels. It's amazing working with them on these. I'm trying to facilitate their writing, help them write without really giving them any of my ideas because I want this to be their work, not mine. I enjoy watching how their minds work and how imaginative that they are. It's cool. In science news, we're trying to grow some bread mold in petri dishes on the windowsill. I think anyone who came to our house would be able to tell we homeschool; there are microscopes, petri dishes, science kits, time lines, posters about animal kingdoms, and of course homeschool schedules and checklists hanging on the wall. We have found that we need to hang them on the wall or we will lose them, especially youngest son. He can lose 5 to 6 lists a week.

Today we will be focusing on school and housework. Hopefully we'll get the first draft outlines for the novels done, some mold will grow in our petri dishes and we'll have a good day of learning and start the weekend with a relatively clean house. Can you all believe how quickly the end of November is coming? It's almost Thanksgiving!  We went skating with the homeschool group last night and we moms sat around and worked on planning the Christmas parties, one for the kids and one for the Moms.  :-0

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It worked.

The chair worked to help my back feel better! Yay! I was not in pain when I came home for the first time. Now that I've settled in somewhat I am kind of appreciating the separation of work and home. I've started reading Knit Together by Debbie Macomber and in it, she's talking about how she was writing at home and couldn't wait until her writing could help fund an office so she could separate her work life and and her home life. It's interesting to hear about someone else who felt the same way I did. I still don't enjoy the job exactly, but it is getting better.

Today, we'll be working on homeschooling, doing Learning to write the Novel Way, Learning English though Art and our 2 science curriculums (curricula?). Our geography study has went by the wayside lately. I haven't wanted to do it. I may make myself do it today or I may officially postpone it until after the holidays. I haven't decided yet. It's nice to just be able to devote most of the day to homeschooling, instead of having to work too.

Now I want to share something I thought was amusing last night. My daughter and I were having one of those conversations where she says "What are you going to get me for Christmas?" and I answer all kinds of crazy things. I don't know why she enjoys this, but she does. So it goes like this.

What are you going to get me for Christmas?
Pork chops.

What are you going to get me for Christmas?

What are you going to get me for Christmas?

At which point my youngest son interupted and said "Hey, if you get toothpicks for Christmas, can I have them?" He was totally serious. He'd love to have a box of toothpicks to play with. LoL.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've got to work today. My chair has arrived, but I'm not sure if I can put it together and my husband is sleeping so I'm not sure if I'll get to use it tonight. I can't do laundry because our laundry room is still a construction zone because of the hot water heater repairs still going on. It's in a temporarily fixed condition right now, until next weekend when my husband can work on it again, so I can take a shower but I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I also have no idea what I'm going to take to eat because we don't have any bread for sandwiches. I'm getting my morning list done and then I'd better get to work on assembling my chair, finding something to wear and finding something to eat. I don't want to have to visit the vending machines.

After I typed the first part of this post, my daughter found a loaf of bread. I don't know if my husband brought it home or if my teen had it stashed in his room, but whatever, I'll have a nice sandwich for work. There's a microwave and fridge there, so I could cook something, but I want something simple and quick so I can go out and walk since that worked so well for me the other day. Also, my wonderful kids are assembling my chair. They begged to do it and they seem to be doing a good job. They have enough experience helping their Dad do things I guess. Anyway, it looks like I'll be heading off to work in reasonably good shape. I hope it goes well today. The kids will be on their own for a while today while their nocturnal dad gets some sleep, (not home alone, just doing their lists on their own and hopefully, quietly.)

I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into the logistics of a dual income homeschooling home. Homeschooling with both parents working can be done, but some days are more difficult than others. It is definitely worth the effort to have them home. There is no question in my mind about that. I am going to switch my work days to the weekend and cut this midweek one out because it seems to be the most difficult one to manage. Wish me luck today that my chair is comfortable. It felt good in the store, but that's not a real test. Tonight's 7 hours will be the real test.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I will be able to adjust to my new lifestyle of working outside the home and won't do TOO much whining here or in real life. I need to change my blog header so that it no longer says "work at home". I'll get to that one of these days. I worked last night, 7 hours, and I did okay with it. At one point, I was getting tired and sore and stiff and sleepy and I took my lunch break then and ate a sandwich and then took about a 10 minute walk outside in the cold. That woke me up and helped with the stiffness too and I was able to get it done. I also worked up my courage to call the IT help desk and request that a word expander be installed on my computer. Hopefully they will be able to do that for me. That will help a lot. I ordered a new chair and that should come in the next couple of days. Little by little, I'm getting things together.

Today though, the focus is school. I've got to get busy on my new list which includes cleaning and exercising, because if I don't do my list, the kids get the day off. Just a sneaky way to get myself to do the things I need to do but don't want to ...

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've been tagged for 7 random facts about me.

1. I once wrote a book, a romance novel, and sent it to a publisher but it wasn't published. (It wasn't very good.) I may someday write a homeschool book.
2. I love to vacation and love to plan vacations. I plan a lot more than I ever go on.
3. I am cold natured and have a little heater behind my desk to keep me warm. In the summer, I go outside and sit in the sun to get warm. (We have central air and it's cold in the house.)
4. I like chocolate. (I bet that's surprising to everyone).
5. I have a group of friends, most of whom I've never met, that I have been emailing with for 11 years next month, ever since I found out I was pregnant with my youngest.
6. I have been a member of the Flylady group for several years. This has helped with decluttering, but it's an ongoing process with all the packrats I live with.
7. I love to read and hate to be without a book as I am now.

I was tagged by The Bishop's Wife.

I don't want to choose, so if you want to participate, you're tagged!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trying to adjust.

I need to stay at my new job and give it a chance. My old job has already hired someone to replace me (Yes, I checked!) and so I need to focus on the good things about my job and try and get used to it. It's not horrible. The main bad thing is that chair and so I'm going to either bring my old one from home or get a new one. I need to do that today before my long shift tomorrow. I found out yesterday that we have access to a coffee pot, fridge and microwave so I can bring lunches. There's a walking track so when the weather is good, I can go outside and walk. There are paid days off, health insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits, even though it's only part time. I'm going to try and stop whining about it now.

At home, we're working on replacing the water heater and the subfloor underneath the water heater where the old water heater leaked, which also involves a thorough clean and sort of our laundry/mud/storage room. Lots of fun for the whole family.

I'm also going to work on writing new schedules to reflect my new work situation, so that we can do things together on the days I'm off and on the days I work, they can do their independent work. I've been planning to do it for days and putting it off, but today I really need to do it since we really need to start it tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Friday.

I've got to work today. Since I missed a couple of hours for the funeral the other day, I have 9 more hours to get in this week and so I'm dividing it between 2 days and doing 4 1/2 today and 4 1/2 tomorrow. I guess. I can't say I have ANY enthusiasm for it at all. Also, my boss told me Wednesday that I'm the one who has to work Thanksgiving. Fortunately, the office closes on Christmas so at least I won't have to work that day. All of this plus the fact that at the interview they told me I'd be at the top of the pay range and then at orientation, I found out that I wasn't at the top, but more towards the bottom of the pay range for transcription, has made my old job seem better and better. I'm trying to remember why I applied for this job in the first place, lack of work on some days, lots of weekend work, self-discipline issues ... they all seem kind of trivial now.

I guess we'll get school done before I go. This job thing has been all I can think about lately, although we did do some school this week, it wasn't up to par. I did get my oldest to take a practice test for CLEP yesterday. He needs to study some more for that one but it's good to know before he goes into it. I'm going to print out some lesson plans from this site. Clep Prep and see if we can't get him better prepared to do the next one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Work went okay last night. I'm getting the hang of the computer system a little bit. I put a post-it note on the monitor so that I can remember which weird key to use for each function. Let's see, is it F12 or the right arrow key, shift F1 or control F1? Eventually I might get pretty good at it. I switched torture devices chairs 3 times last night. The boss said that it was okay for me to bring in my own chair so I might do that. I hate to give it up at home though. (I'm sitting in it right now you know, so my blogging might be affected.:-)

I'm still missing my freedom and I'm going to have to call in tomorrow because of the funeral, but I can work Friday instead or just go in late. That's the part I don't like, the part of having to call and let everyone know what my plans are, no longer being free to set my own schedule. I'm spoiled, I know it. My husband says that all I did was complain about my old job and now I'm complaining about my new one but hey, I whine about other things too, not just my job. The truth is, I'm burned out on being an MT and I want to do something else.

We've got the funeral home visitation today but maybe we'll get school done first. The youngest has got a bad cold and I don't know about taking him tonight, so I'll have to think about that.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Okay, Monday is no longer my favorite day. :-) Today is my first time working a full shift. It's going to be hard to type for that long, in that chair. I may need to take 5 or 6 more pillows. ;-) I have a list of things to ask my supervisor about, including breaks, lunch, bringing my own chair and word expanders. I still don't know if this is going to work out. I miss being home. I miss my freedom and flexibility.

I guess we'll get started on school before I have to leave.

In other news, my husband's grandmother passed away yesterday, so be thinking of him and the rest of his family this week, especially his grandfather.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A day off.

I'm off today, my first Saturday off in a long time. Probably my last Saturday off in a long time too as I've signed up to work Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at my new job. I'll make a bit more money on Saturdays with the weekend differential pay and I honestly don't mind. As for the pain of sitting there, I did better yesterday. I took a gel wrist rest that my husband had that is attached to a little platform and I was able to shove the little platform part underneath the keyboard and use it, so that worked. I also took my daughter's little gel back support pillow and that helped my back and shoulders, although after sitting there for 4 hours, I was stiff and very tired. I'm getting the hang of the crazy computer system at least enough to do a little transcription. I've still got a lot of studying to do. One of the hospital's independent contractors came in yesterday on her own time to explain some of it to me and helped me a LOT, bless her heart. I'm also going to search the internet for tips. I've found something on a MT discussion group that said that the word expander I use at home is compatible with the system they have at the hospital so I am going to try and get my supervisor to let me try it. I think I might be able to cope with it.

Hopefully, once I get settled, I'll be able to think about homeschooling again. I haven't spared it much thought this week at all. My husband did school with the kids 3 days this week and the other 2 days we took off. I did look at our attendance records yesterday and it looks like we are on target to get about 90 days done by Christmas, which is half of the days we need this year and it sounds good to be halfway done at Christmas. We never did find any protozoa in our protozoa sample thing so we may have to try again. My husband and kids cleaned all our "science experiments" out of the fridge this week so we can't look at those ... :-) We'll find something to look at and get back into our studies, maybe Tuesday? I'm going to have to re-write their schedules (AGAIN!) to reflect the days I work so they can do more independent work on the days I'm gone and more together work on the days I'm here. I wish I didn't have to work a job and could just homeschool, but that's not possible.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rough week.

I'm still having a rough week. New job. Difficult decisions. No sleep. Stomach flu. Needless to say we did not do school yesterday and today's not looking good either unless my husband takes over. I've got a doctor's appointment and work today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bad day.

I had a bad day today. First I learned the outcome of the election when I got up this morning. Then I went to work. Today was my first day actually doing transcription and I had to sit in that really uncomfortable chair and try to type. The desk is a board attached to the wall and is not adjustable and not wide enough for the PC, the keyboard and my gel wrist rest so even though I took it I couldn't use it. The result was that after 4 hours of typing I was in PAIN. Arm pain. Shoulder pain. Back pain. Leg pain. I'm not sure how or if I can continue. Also, the computer system that they use is horrible. For some reason, it just has random keys for functions, like the right arrow key is to enter a document and F12 is to exit it. (???) Who thought this up? There's not a very good spell checker and no word expander. I realize it's only the first day of typing. I AM planning to go back tomorrow. I just thought a lot today about my old job, the one I quit technically last Sunday, but they haven't removed their program for my computer ...

The kids are very much not happy with me working. The youngest was sad about it from the beginning and he really doesn't like it now. Both of the older 2 said today "I really don't like your new job." The only thing they like about is my cool stretchy nametag holder. They hate me being gone and coming home dead tired.

Maybe this was a mistake?

I have a new niece!

She's very beautiful. We got to see pictures this morning.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Good day.

I started my new job today. There are 2 days of orientation at the beginning. This first one went really well. This hospital really treats their employees well and I think I'm really going to like working there. Of course, I haven't gotten into my department yet and I'm not sure how the atmosphere is going to be there. I hope my co-workers are a bunch of upbeat people who have a good time at work while getting a lot done. That would be ideal. Hopefully I'll like it and be able to stay there for a long time.

While I was gone, my family cleaned my house including thoroughly cleaning out the fridge. That was a really nice surprise. Now I'm going to expect that every day. :-)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Another one.

The kids were playing charades this morning. Actually they started to play one of their crazy wrestling fighting games, but I said, 'here, play charades instead." and gave them some charades cards we got at Target a long time ago. They played for about an hour, laughing a lot. One of the times it was my daughter's turn, she was trying to get the boys to say "collar" and pointed to her neck. My older son said "neck" and my younger son said "thyroid". Hey, how many 10 year olds know where their thryoid gland is? He's a funny kid.

A couple of quotes.

I forget about 3/4 of them, but here are 2 I remember.

Thursday, we went to Walmart and they were putting up their Christmas banners, the day before halloween. My son said it's like the 2 holidays are blending now, it's Chrismaween. He loves to put words together.

Then on the trip home, he was slumping over in his seat. For some reason, my daughter wanted him to sit up. She kept saying "sit up! sit up!" and he wouldn't. Finally, she made a fist at him but it was too dark in the van for him to see it. She said "sit up or else". He said "I can't even see what you are threatening me with!".

I really hate my job.

This is my next to last day working for this particular company doing medical transcription. I start the new job on Monday. Unfortunately, my new job also is going to include medical transcription. I've been doing this for 14 years now and it has gotten so boring, I can hardly stand it. I am hopeful that the new job will be more interesting, with the addition of different work types. Now I only do discharge summaries and consultation notes and there I will do a lot more work types including surgeries and emergency department notes. Maybe that will help. If not, I'm going to have to find something else to do for a living!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This is Freckles wearing her witches outfit. She doesn't like it at all, hence the "help me!" eyes you see here.

I'm feeling better today (thank goodness). The kids didn't get around to carving the pumpkin yesterday so they are doing it right now while I finish up working. After that, we'll get dressed and be off trick or treating.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keeping on.

We're hanging in there. I'm still not feeling great. I hope I feel better by Monday when I have to do orientation at work. I don't think it would make a good impression if I showed up loopy on painkillers. Tylenol will have to be all I get. Today I'm working and the kids are doing school. When they finish, I told them that they could carve the pumpkin. They've decided that they'll carve it and light it up for only a few minutes, take a picture and then make it into a pie. They've got their priorities right, my children.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So far, so good.

I seem to be feeling a bit better this morning. (Of course I haven't done much yet!) I managed to make it to the homeschool meeting last night then came home and took my pain pill, read to the kids and went to sleep. We finished reading "Peter and the Secret of Rundoon" last night, which is the last of the Peter and the Starcatchers trilogy. Great books. We enjoyed them very much, even the older son who said he didn't want to read anything about Peter Pan. Now they want to read the original. I've never read it. I wonder how it will stack up to these newer novels? A few years ago we read the original Swiss Family Robinson and although it was good, I was disappointed. The style of writing has changed in the few hundred years since that was written.

In homeschooling news, I seem to have perfected the method of getting the kids to homeschool themselves. Yesterday when I was in such pain, I walked through the kitchen and they were in there doing science experiments that they'd seen on Fetch, having finished their morning lists, which include all the basics of math, reading, writing, exercise and chores. We were supposed to have a session of working on their novels yesterday and we should have looked at the protozoa (s?) under the microscope to see if there are any yet but we'll do all of that today. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. If we don't get to it now, we'll get to it later. Even if we don't get to that specifically, they'll learn something today. They are interested in so many things and they will read, look up, discuss, ask and experiment on their own because they love learning.

Homeschooling is so cool.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not up to par.

I'm not sure why, but I'm not feeling good this week. I don't know if it is related to the procedure I had done Friday or not. I've got some weird pain that is kind of in my abdomen and kind of in my back and kind of in my hip. I'm not sure where it is originating from but it really hurts. I've got some pain killers that the doctor gave me the other day for my procedure, but if I take them, I can't work or drive, so I've not been taking them. There's really, truly nothing I want more than to just take 1 and lie down and be left alone for a few hours, but instead, I'm typing 18 minute long renal consults by a doctor who says "um" a lot and urging the kids to get their schoolwork done. We've got a homeschool group planning meeting tonight that I want to go to. I don't want to go to the doctor, but it might come to that if I don't feel better. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A blank day!

There's nothing on the calendar today! I still have a week before I start my new job and only a couple of things on the calendar all week -- okay, 3 --- no 4. Nevermind.

Still, there's today. We can get the house cleaned up and get some good quality school work in today. We've gotten bogged down in our study of Learning to Write the Novel Way because my youngest son has so many characters to write character sketches for and since he doesn't write fast and I do his writing for him. It's kind of a long, drawn-out process. We may flesh out the remaining characters today, with me typing and him dictating. That may work better and faster for us and then he'll be caught up with the other 2 and ready to proceed. My daughter is loving this novel writing study and wants to do it every day. My youngest is convinced that he's going to be able to publish this novel and get startup money for his invention company that he's going to start. Hey, he may do it. He's got some interesting ideas. They all do. I'm interested to read their books when they get them done, hopefully next spring.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I'm okay. I don't feel 100% yet. I did some work yesterday and then we went to the Hallelujah-ween party at church last night. The kids did some trunk or treating and then we had a chili supper. I won one of the door prizes which were some very cute little decorative pumpkins. I can't believe it's this time of year already, almost the end of October. It's been a crazy fast month. Sooner than we think, it will be Christmas!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Still feeling fine.

Other than feeling like I spent some time doing some very amateur sword swallowing, I'm fine. I guess I'll be back to work and everything else as usual tomorrow. I've kind of enjoyed the afternoon today, after it was all over and after I took some pain pills and had a nap, I worked up the energy to clean up the kitchen, cook some chili and enchiladas and now I'm watching house MD on my laptop while updating my blog and working on my Cafepress store. (You see what I meant the other day about switching back and forth a lot?)


I had a little medical procedure today. It's fine and I had no complications, but we had to be there at 6:30 am, an hour's drive away, which means we had to get up at 4:30. Guess that what makes it time for? Definitely time for a nap.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I've been tagged.

Here are the rules: 1. Link your tagger and list the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog-some random, some weird. 3. Tag 7 people at the end of the post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. I was tagged by Amy at Little Treasures. So let's see, 7 random facts:

1. I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Child and Family Studies, which was basically useless and then I got a transcription diploma from a correspondence school.
2. I find it very difficult to think of random facts, even though my brain is a very random kind of brain.
3. I love to play the Sims 2 and play it too much.
4. I have double jointed hips and can put my palms flat on the floor from a standing position without bending my knees.
5. I used to hate onions but now I crave them. I know, it's weird.
6. I have a store on Cafepress. (Sorry, just had to throw in a free ad!)
7. I use a lot of exclamation points when I type emails and blogs. (!)

If you want to be tagged, you're tagged. I know, it's cheating, but I really need to get to work today! (There I go again with the exclamation point!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lots of things.

Okay, this is one of the days when I have lots of things to say. There's no rhyme or reason to it. It's just one of the things that comes from being scatterbrained. I read the other day that people who switch from screen to screen on their computer all the time are not doing a good thing for their brain and it makes them more scattered.

That really explains a lot.

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the things that have appeared in my scatterbrain overnight that I felt the need to blog about.

The cat that would run in my house and pee has disappeared. In retrospect, I think maybe her crazy peeing was kind of a cry for help and maybe she had kidney or bladder problems, but I didn't think of this until it was too late and she was gone. Now I feel kind of bad, but I still don't really miss her, sad to say. It's hard to miss a cat who pees on you.

Another cat story:
My Mom and Dad have 4 cats at their house, also outside, a collection of strays from here and there that they just started feeding. They've always had cats because I like them and Dad likes to give them clever names. Over the years they've had a succession of Toms, Big Toms and Little Toms and Even Tiny Tom. They once had a cat called Old Blue Eye because he (or she, I can't remember) had one blue eye and one green eye. Currently they have a Tom, Sasha (named by a grandchild), Cat of Many Colors (who is a calico, named by Dad) and one cat who has several names. Mom and Dad told my kids to name her so they started calling her Sally. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad forgot they told the kids to name her and started calling her Abby (after a cat we had a long time ago, of similar color, named Abner). Then, the kids and started reading the Hank the Cowdog books and started calling the cat Sally May after the lady in those books. So the cat is called Sally, Sally May and Abby. My daughter said the other day "We ought to call her Cat of Many Names."

Book recommendations:
We're still reading the Peter Pan series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I can't recommend these enough. They're cute and funny and very adventure filled. Every night when I stop reading, I hear "No!" The kids don't want me to stop. "One more chapter!" "Please!!!" Last night I even heard a "no" from oldest son who is usually more subdued. They are very fun books.

I've been kind of unenthusiastic in my posts about homeschooling because I've had other things on my mind and not been very 'with it' with homeschooling. Fortunately, though, the curriculum we got this year is very good, we are settling in to homeschooling very well now after 5 years and my husband is very good about taking up the slack when I don't feel well (I had a really bad headache for 3 or 4 days last week). All that said, there is a lot of learning going on around here. We've been doing the Earth Science which is very good, learning about habitats, biomes, kingdoms, species, etc. and the microscopic explorations kit which is even better. We've been looking at all kinds of things under the microscopes, crystals, fabric, money and other things and we're going to start growing protozoas and looking at them. We've learned about similes, metaphors and oxymorons in our English Through Art curriculum. The younger 2 kids have been doing a measuring unit study from Math Mammoth and have been measuring everything in the house in inches, centimeters, liters, gallons, quarts, grams, ounces ... every way to measure. They've really enjoyed it. Meanwhile older son continues with Algebra 1, computers, and all that high school stuff. I'm planning on having him take some more CLEP tests this year, but I need to discuss when with him and his Dad and have him take some practice tests. So we are doing school even when I don't blog about it.

I think that's all for today. :-0

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sometimes I just don't have all that much to say.

Like this week. I don't know why. Sometimes I've got all kinds of things to write about and sometimes I don't.

This is next to my last long Sunday working at this job and I've got to work all day. I'm enjoying the cool weather we're having this weekend. I love fall. We've been doing some fall-y things, which mostly seem to involve food. We made caramel apples. We had a family soup and sandwich party at my cousin's house. This is a great time of the year for chili. We've been trudging along with school, getting some things done, but it's not been one of our "up" times for school, I don't know why. One thing is that the weather has been so nice that the kids want to go outside a lot and I like to let them. I think playing outdoors is really good for kids, exercise, fresh air and all that, so I have been letting them as much as I can.

We did morning school most days this week and on Wednesday, we did several sessions of afternoon school activities but no morning activities, so we did basics four days and enrichment activities one day. It balances out. The kids have worked on their home maintenance skills and car maintenance skills this week, we've been doing our read-aloud which is Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. (If you haven't read the series Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, you should!). I've heard that reading aloud is very good for kids, and we do about 45 minutes every night so that's got to count for something, right? We are instilling a love of reading in our kids, that is for sure.

I should have known that if I titled this post something about not having anything to say, that it would end up being a long post ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cat Nap

Here's our kitten, Zelda, sleeping on a box in our backyard. We had originally put the box out there for her to sleep IN, but she prefers ON.

Learning to live without my word expander.

I use a word expander for my job called Shorthand. I used to use SmartType and loved it, but it couldn't work with the software I have to use for my job, so I got Shorthand and now I'm quite happy with it. Unfortunately, though, at my new job, they don't really use a word expander; well, they said they had one but it wasn't any good. In preparation for working there, I've been trying to type this morning without mine. I've found that after just one report, my arms and wrists hurt. I guess I need to do it all the time now, to train my arms and get them used to it? That is one part of the new job I am NOT looking forward to.

For an example of how shorthand works, here's what I type:

sod 139, k 5, chl 108, bi 20, bun 92, cre 7.2, glu 128, calc 7.9, albu 2.6. Wbcc 7, hg 9, ht 27.1, pc 173.

and here's what the report looks like after Shorthand expands it all.

Sodium 139, potassium 5, chloride 108, bicarbonate 20, BUN 92, creatinine 7.2, glucose 128, calcium 7.9, albumin 2.6. White blood cell count 7, hemoglobin 9, hematocrit 27.1, platelet count 173.


I'm gonna miss it.

Trying to get things done.

We've got the social worker coming today at noon and somehow, we need to do school and work too. It wouldn't be a big deal if I were one of those highly organized people whose house is always clean and neat, but I am not, so when the social worker comes we have to clean and straighten up. She has to tour the entire house every time she comes so every bit of it needs to be clean. We can't just shove things in the bedrooms and close the door, not that we'd ever do that. ;-) While I've been cleaning, I've been day dreaming about winning the HGTV sweepstakes and hiring someone to clean my house every day ... (hey, a girl can dream!). I was also wondering, as I went through the house, what I ever cleaned up before we got dogs. It seems like I just clean up dog hair all the time now. It's a full time job in itself. I guess I should stop blogging now and get back to work. I also need to give notice on my current job since I'm starting my new job in a couple of weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The lady from the hospital finally called and I'll be starting working there on November 3. I think it will be good for me to get out of the house 3 days a week and having 4 days off per week will be great too.

Now I'm off to watch Dancing with the Stars.


I'm kind of crabby today. The kids are supposed to be doing school but the 2 younger ones are in my office whining and procrastinating. Some days that bothers me more than other days. Today, a lot. I still haven't heard finally from the job offer, which is frustrating me to no end.

On the school front, hopefully I'll get in a better mood and we'll have a good afternoon school session today. It could happen I guess. Maybe if I had some chocolate ...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This and That.

We're doing a little of this and that this weekend. My sister is visiting from out of state and is at my Mom and Dad's so we're spending a little bit of time visiting over there. There's a big art and craft fair in town and I'd like to check that out a little bit. I'm also working a little bit. I haven't given notice on my old job because the other day when the lady called to offer me the new job, I told her that I needed to call her back and let her know. Since she called almost a week later than she said she'd call, I'd given up and forgot all the questions that I was planning to ask. After I got off the phone, I remembered the questions and decided to take it no matter what, then I tried to call her back. It was only about 10 minutes later. Anyway, she didn't answer the phone and I got her voicemail. I've left several voice mail messages since then (1 per day) and she still hasn't called me back, so I'm starting to get a little worried. Hopefully, she'll call Monday and I can quit my old job and go on with my plans to aquire a work wardrobe, something I haven't had for a while.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yes, I'll still be homeschooling.

To answer some questions in my comments section, this job is only 20 hours a week and we will definitely be continuing with homeschooling. We'll homeschool in the morning and I'll work in the afternoons. One of my concerns is that I'm the only one who drives the kids to 4H, skating, game night etc. and I will try to work around that as much as possible. So our lives are going to change with me working outside the home again. The younger 2 kids are worried a little bit but I think they'll be fine. They don't have any memory of me working outside the home, so it will take some getting used to.

In homeschooling news, more of our constant adjustments, I took out some chores and added in more exercise for the kids. Getting enough exercise and eating right is a constant struggle around here, so we're always working on that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Well ...

I was wrong about the job. They have had some kind of computer glitch and just called and offered it to me today. I was surprised and couldn't think of any of the questions I had in mind last week so I asked if I could let them know in the morning. There's really no reason not to take it. It will be more money and I will have benefits including paid time off. I will have to commute, but I think that after 10 years, I'm ready for work and home to be separate again and anyway, it's only about 8 miles. The thing about working at home is, you're always at work and you always feel, at least I do, that I should be working. I'm kind of excited about it and a little nervous. I haven't worked among the public in 10 years and it's always hard being a newbie, but I'll get used to it, I'm sure. I will need a work wardrobe because I don't think my current homeschool mom clothes will do. :-)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I've kind of had no wind in my sails for the last little while but I'm still here. I'm still working at the same company, the hospital that I interviewed for did not contact me. They may have had trouble getting through to me by phone. I've tried to keep the phone line open but since we have dial-up internet, it's almost impossible. I kind of expect to get a letter from them saying we tried to contact you but couldn't so we hired someone else. Either way, I'm okay with it. My current job is okay.

School is going okay too, not great, but okay. We've had trouble generating much excitement but we've been getting the basics done. I've realized in my few years of homeschooling that's just how it goes sometimes. We'll get back in our groove soon. We always do.

I had titled this post something else, but when I started typing it and realized how many times I had used the word "okay" I decided to make the title that.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Grocery Shopping.

This is one area of my life where I just cannot get it together. I would like to be one of those people who go in with a complete list and coupons, having already planned out our meals so that I don't buy anything we're not going to use and don't waste any money, buying only healthy foods, etc. However, I usually just go in, with no plan and grab some things, spend a ton of money and come home feeling awful, only to be confronted with my family's disappointment because I forgot something. Sometimes its something I had no idea we were even out of, sometimes I knew but just forgot. Sometimes I just can't find it in our newly remodeled store. Anyway, it's depressing, especially with the prices going up every week. Today, though, I did realize something. I wore my most awful jeans that look bad on me and make me feel fatter than any of my other jeans do and I ended up buying less junk food, so I'm probably going to wear those horrible pants every week from now on. I figure they saved me about 10 dollars.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wild Times At The Library.

We went back to the library yesterday. This time, it was for a reptile program. A reptile expert brought a bunch of them, along with some insects to show the kids and tell about each animal. He had lizards, spiders, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, snakes, an alligator, an alligator snapping turtle, an African box turtle and many other animals. Near the end he asked for a volunteer. My daughter's hand went up. Then he said "I need somebody who can follow directions really well". She put her hand about 1/4 of the way down when he said that. (She gives direction very well, I'm not sure about following!) Anyway, she was chosen. I think maybe he'd been watching the crowd throughout the show for someone who wasn't afraid or something, I don't know. She went up to the front and he told her to be still like a tree, to not turn around and to remember to breathe and then he put a 4 foot long python on her shoulders! She seemed fine with it, just stood there talking and laughing. I was impressed. The librarian took a picture but I don't know if she'll remember to send me a copy or not. I had not taken my camera, of course. After the rest of the show, all the kids could line up to hold the python and my younger son did it too. My older son loves snakes and would have done it, but he was off in search of books at that time and missed it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


We're trying to get back into normalcy this week. We went to the library for craft day yesterday and it was okay. My daughter so impressed the librarian with her ability to make friendship bracelets that she asked her to make one for her (the librarian) and her twin sister. Youngest son wasn't interested in learning complicated weaving/knot tying techniques so he just kind of twisted the strings together and then talked to the other kids. Still, it was fun. Today they are having a presentation about reptiles so that should be interesting. The library is doing this all week because the local schools are on fall break. The librarian asked the kids if they were enjoying fall break and my daughter gave me the evil eye. Then as soon as she got a chance, she came over and asked me when we were going on fall break. I said "remember the first week of September when we were off and went to Rough River? That was it." So needless to say, we are not on break this week. We are doing school.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I've been quiet here on my blog. We've been wrestling with a decision about a foster care placement but we've decided that this one is not for us. It was a very difficult decision and it was exhausting trying to make it. I feel like a wrung out dish towel now. Exhausted.

I just wanted to let you all know I'm still here, though quiet. I guess now that this drama is over, we'll be resuming our regular lives and I'll update the blog as usual.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's my oldest son's 16th birthday. I cannot believe it. I've been in denial and every time I say it, it seems so weird. I remember 16 years ago this week when I had to call the doctor and make his first doctor's appointment, how weird it felt to say "I want to make an appointment for my son". Now we have to start thinking about driving. Gulp. I'm not ready.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Homeschool Group.

If you are a homeschooler, I think you should definitely try to find a homeschool group in your area. I think it's worth it. It took me a while to find this one. I had joined 2 different groups before I found this one that fits our family the best. It, unfortunately, doesn't have anyone else my oldest son's age though. I'm thinking of starting my own high school homeschool group or network but I haven't got my courage up yet. I should work on that.

Anyway, our group has things like Mom's nights out, field trips, 4H meetings and art classes. It's very helpful to have that kind of support, not to mention group discounts for field trips. We also collect Boxtops for Education, participate in Pizza Huts Book-It program, do the 6-Flags Reading program as a group, get group state fair tickets and group movie theater discounts. As we've gotten to know each other, we also compare curriculum choices, share videos, books and other resources and even hand-down clothes from kid to kid. It's really been a win, win, win situation for us.

As with any group, we have had to be a little tolerant and overlook some differences in opinions, differences in ways of doing things but we've managed and I think we're all richer for it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Puffball dude.

As part of our new schedule, we are each putting one thing in the Goodwill bag to get rid of, in my ongoing attempts to declutter. This morning, my daughter a little toy in there. It's a made out of a puffy little ball. My youngest son walked by and looked in and saw it in there. He said indignantly "Hey! Who put Puffball Dude in the Goodwill bag?" The rule is if someone else puts something in you want to keep you can trade for it so he did. Good thing Puffball Dude is safe to clutter another day.

Anyone else have trouble with these things?

I have to type these at least 3 times, every time, before I get them right. I wonder what that means? Better not dwell on it too much. :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another funny clock story.

Last night my youngest son was looking at our bedside alarm clock. He confessed that when he first started reading, he thought it said "on, off, alarm, time, HORROR, minute" He said "I wasn't going to push that button!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My clock.

I got a clock at a yard sale a few weeks ago because I had been wanting a clock that chimes. I love the sound of the chimes for some reason. The only problem is that this clock is confused. It is either several hours ahead or behind so it never actually chimes the right number of times. It does show the right time on the face, but the chimes do not match it. I find this funny so it's good for a chuckle several times a day. The other day at 2:00 it chimed a bunch of times and we all lost count. When it finally got done, my daughter said "I think it's fifteen o'clock.". :-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Last night.

Completely out of character I went to the library and didn't check out any books. How strange is that? I did look at some books on microscopic creatures, but they didn't have anything really good, so I spent the rest of the time utilizing the library's high speed internet to put some new designs on my Cafepress store. It's much easier to work on it up there than at home.

After the library, we had skating. It was good for me to talk to the other homeschool moms. We haven't gotten together much because everyone has been busy getting started with school and our leader has been out of comission after back surgery. The good news is we have 2 new families joining our group. I'm excited about that. More families means more opportunities.

We're also thinking of starting a 4H group for our club. I need to call the 4H leader today. I think I'll procrastinate about that for at least a couple of hours. You know I hate using the phone! Still, I'm excited about the 4H possibilities so I will do it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I had a job interview yesterday. The local hospital here was advertising for a transcriptionist so I went to see what it was about. Actually, yesterday's part was just a test to see if I could actually do transcription. I'm not sure I want to go out to work instead of working at home. There are good things and bad, either way.
I've never once had the option of not working, although I would like a break.

Good things about working outside the home and being an employee rather than an independent contractor:

I might actually get vacation days.
Hourly pay, so that if the computer is not working and I'm desparately trying to fix it, I'm still getting paid.
Fewer interuptions maybe.
Bosses to supervise me and make sure I'm actually working and not exceeding my goofing off goal.
Doctors who speak English (we have very few of those where I work now.)

Bad things about working there instead of here.
Really, really uncomfortable chairs.
Driving there/gas prices.
Maybe being unavailable to family when they need me. :-(

Just some things I'm thinking about. I haven't been offered the job yet, I have no idea what the pay might be or what the hours might be although I do know they'd be second shift so I could homeschool in the morning.

If they do offer it, I've got a lot to think about.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A few more State Fair pictures.

I can't believe it's been almost a month since we were there. I didn't get any pictures of the alligator show, regretably. It was really good but I guess I was too mesmerized to think to get out my camera.

Some state fair pictures. Finally.

A funny thing.

My daughter has decided that she loves this Michelena frozen entree, Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken and broccoli. I mean, she LOVES it. She would like me to buy about 10 of them every week. Originally, I got them for myself but I never get to eat them anymore. They're hers.

The other day, she was eating one and remarked, "These don't fill me up. I don't feel any more full after I eat one than before I eat one, but I do have a better taste in my mouth."


Updates on all my schemes.

I have these plans and schemes in my continuous quest to organize, clean, and homeschool. I'm always coming up with new plans. Some of them are keepers and some aren't. Here are some of the latest things I've tried. You'd think I could just pick something and go with it, but the things that worked well when my kids were 5, 2and 0 don't work now and parenting, as life, is constant change, so I'm always trying new things.

The Dishes Scheme - My plan was to assign everyone a bowl, a cup, a plate and have them wash them themselves to decrease the amount of dishes that I had to wash. It worked like a dream for the first few days, but lately, the dishes have started piling up again. We may need to reassess. I think other people besides me may be cheating. I know I am, but I'm the dishwasher to maybe I have dishwasher's immunity? Like diplomatic immunity? Above the law. That's it.

The Continual Changing of the School Lists Scheme - I've changed them again, but only slightly. Adding in Sheppard Software for Geography, adding in decluttering 1 item a day for each person. Everyone has got their math, spelling, reading, science, computer, art, language arts, geography, civics, algebra etc. covered by the current lists. Nonetheless, I'll probably change them again in 6 weeks or so. That's just what I do.

My Exercising By Working Outside Scheme - This one has lead to a lot of chiggers from working out in the yard. I may need to postpone so much working outside until after the first frost or just spray on some OFF. However, the huge gravel pile is slowly diminishing and the pool area is getting gravel so I may continue.

My Screen Time Limits - After struggling with each child having a certain number of hours a day and my never knowing how much they'd used, if they'd saved up and trying to be on the honor system, I finally put the computer and TVs on a schedule. This is working well. You can tell when it's screen time because most of the noisy interaction and running around stops and everyone gets engrossed in the various screens. As soon as it's over, the running around and noisy interacting starts all over again. This one is definitely a keeper.

The Homeschooling with Checklists Scheme - This is an old one so I forget about it sometimes, but this one works well for us. When we first started homeschooling, we tried schedules and lists, deadlines and every time management system I could think of. We've ended up using simple checklists for everyone. They can do these checklists in no particular order (which my youngest likes) as long as they get them done by a certain time each day, usually 1:00 pm but sometimes we push it back a little depending on circumstances.

If only I could get a housekeeping scheme that we would all love ... dreaming, I know.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


My youngest son finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone today. I promised him I'd read the last chapter and I did that today, so he's done. His first novel!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Iced Tea.

I love tea. My whole family loves it. The trouble is, we like it sweet. We put 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a gallon of tea. So according to my calcuations (you might want to check this!) 774 calories in a cup of sugar plus 382 for the half cup = 1156 calories for the whole gallon. So 1156 calories divided by 124 ounces = 9.32 calories per ounce or about 75 calories per 8 ounce glass of tea. I figure I'm probably getting 200 calories a day from tea alone, so I'm going to try and cut that out and see if I can lose this weight that has been creeping on since May.


I'm not good with things that require self-discipline, but here goes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In a good mood today.

I'm not sure why I'm in a particularly good mood today, but I am going with the feeling. A few good things have happened. I went to the doctor yesterday, a trip I had been dreading for over a month and got it overwith. That's always a good thing. My mom's CT scan results came back without anything really bad, some gallstones and diverticulitis, which we can deal with. I got the first disk of House Season 4 last night from Netflix and watched the whole thing last night. (We don't have cable or satellite, so I just wait for the whole thing on DVD). I was laughing a lot at House and Wilson's antics. Best of all though, my daughter decided to do a bunch of the paid chores on the list I always keep on the fridge and cleaned the bathrooms and swept and mopped in the kitchen and living room. Cool. She's planning to do a bunch more things today including bathing the dogs and scooping the poo out of the yard. These are jobs that I am really, really, really glad not to have to do myself. Also, sales have picked up on my Cafepress store. (one of my newest designs is pictured above) Since gas prices went up, my sales had gone down and just this week they've been pretty good again. I hope the trend continues.

On the homeschooling front, it seems to be going pretty well. Yesterday because of yet another doctor's appointment I had to go to, the kids only did morning lists (AGAIN). Morning lists though, include writing, spelling, math, math review, chores, reading and exercise (PE) for the younger 2 and Algebra and computer, chores and PE for the high schooler. The afternoon subjects are language arts, writing, geography and science. If we end up getting too far behind in the afternoon subjects because my relentless outside obligations, we'll just make it up by doing only afternoon list subjects for a while. It all evens out. I'm very pleased with their progress right now. The older 2 read all the time and the youngest is getting into it too. He's on chapter 14 of the first Harry Potter book. (YAY!) My daughter is becoming a good speller even though we've abandoned our spelling curriculum for the past 6 months and she's just been reading, reading, reading. Overall, I am pleased with how it is going this year, despite how crazy my calendar looks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rethinking again.

Of course I'm rethinking our schedules again. I always do. I've gotten to the point that when I make a schedule, I realize it will only be for a few months and then I'll change it. There are just so many things I want to include and only so many hours in a day. So next week I'm going to switch things around a little, add in a game a week, the typing/spelling program I got last year, and changing our exercise routines. I've decided that I'm going to try and make my exercise routine more useful, instead of just doing leg lifts or whatever, I'm going to work in the yard. The kids and I are trying to move this huge gravel pile from the driveway area into the pool area, 1 bucket or wheelbarrow at a time. I've decided to do more of it each day to try and get the pile moved quicker and to get more exercise. I think I might make an "exercise jar" for the kids with suggstions like Frisbee, badminton, baseball, etc. in there, in case they can't think of anything. I'm kind of hoping they'll get interested in what they're doing and stay out longer and keep playing and of course get more exercise.

Pictured above is Zelda Ziggy, my constant companion when I'm outside. I think I should have named her something like Cindy named her dog "Lucky-he-ain't-been-stepped-on" except change it to "she" because she winds in and out of my feet while I'm trying to carry the gravel. Sometimes I just pick her up and carry her too, cause it's easier.


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