Thursday, December 31, 2009

Still in post-Christmas week mode.

We're still not doing that much. We're all taking Cold-Eeze to try and prevent ourselves from getting the youngest's cold. He's better today, no fever, thankfully. We all hate the Cold-Eeze losenges. They taste awful. My daughter was trying to describe the flavor today with one in her mouth and said "Holwible". We did clean a bit and take the Christmas tree down. The living room seems much more spacious without it. My youngest son has been making hot ham sandwiches for which he puts the ham into the microwave, making it pop and sizzle. He has named this sandwich Ham-A-La-Bang-Bang. Overall, it's been a good week, despite the illness and the broken van. I do wish we knew what we were going to do about the van. That worries me a bit since we can't afford anything else. I may be 'grounded' for a while. That might be kinda holwible.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two things we got for Christmas that we didn't want.

One was a flu-like illness that my youngest son has and the rest of us are really hoping not to get. The other is a broken down van. Blah. I guess we have to stay home for a few days. I hope that my son gets better before New Years because we are planning to attend a party. (We can drive my husbands car!)

On the work front, I haven't really started looking for anything. I did get an email a few minutes ago about jobs so I'm kind of looking. A little. Kind of browsing. It just seems like too much effort. Since Christmas everything has seemed like too much effort. I think it would be better for tax purposes to wait until after the new year, so that's a good excuse not too look too hard, isn't it?

I'm really in the back of my mind starting to think about the new school schedules. You know me, I don't want to do the same exact thing since it's a new year. I like to change things up. I want some kind of new math program for my youngest 2 kids and I want to really start preparing my oldest son to take another CLEP test and get college credit. Of course I always want to write the perfect school/life schedule that will get us educated, groomed, organized and where we are supposed to be on time, but that never works out. Still, I keep trying. Hope springs eternal.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A little bit of our normal today.

That's what we are hoping for. No parties although we love parties. No unlimited screen time although the kids love that. We'll work a little at getting the house in order since it looks like a hurricane hit a toy/video game store and then hit our living room. Other than that, we're just going to take it easy today. I might start my job hunting because that is my after-christmas priority but I also may leave that for a couple of days.

I know my going gluten free may not be that interesting to anyone but it is to me so, so I'm going to say a little bit about it. I think it may need to be a permanent change for me. I'm feeling so much better, less aching, less fatigue. Yesterday I went from church to baking, to a party, to work without needing a nap and without feeling particularly tired. This is a tremendous change from just a few months ago. We planned our party attendance to that I would get home an hour before my shift started, with the assumption that I'd need a nap, as usual, but I didn't. This is huge people. Huge. My brother gave me an assortment of gluten-free products for Christmas (very thoughtful!) and I used one of the products yesterday, of course not in the way it was intended. It was a pancake mix and I wasn't craving pancakes, I was craving biscuits, so I made up a little of the batter and baked it into biscuits. They were actually good! My first experience with gluten-free bread from the store was so horrible, I wouldn't even feed it to the dogs, so this is very encouraging. I can imagine making some decent chicken and dumplings now, maybe even chicken pot pie and ooh, ooh, pizza crust! You know what I said about not missing bread, well I kind of do at the moment. There's also several pasta dishes and some brownie mix in the basket, so I'm going to enjoy experimenting with those too.

I now need to decide what to spend my Christmas money on because I did get a little of that. That's always a fun way to spend a post-holiday day. ;-0

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Better day.

Today was definitely a better day. We had a family party with my husband's family. I really love my husband's family, so I don't have any in-law or out-law jokes to make. We just got home a little while ago and I'm getting ready to work. It was really good to get to visit with everyone, hold the babies, eat the chocolate and it even snowed a little while we were there, making it really seem like Christmas. :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today's thoughts.

I went to the visitation before the funeral today. I didn't stay for the funeral for a few reasons. One was that my back was/is killing me. Another is that I have to work (really a lot today!). Also, and probably the most important, is I don't handle funerals well. I guess nobody does. I'm feeling kind of vulnerable right now for a couple of reasons. One is that it is that time of the month and I've recently went off my antidepressant because I was not feeling depressed. I've read a book on cognitive therapy which helped with that and I think maybe getting off the gluten has helped with the depression, so I don't think I'm depressed, but I do feel a little bit down at the moment. There's the after-Christmas slump, the after-Christmas fatigue, the fact that my aunt died after months of terrible suffering and it all leads up to my not feeling like I could do it today. I would have stayed if I felt that my presence mattered a lot to the family, but there was such a huge crowd, I didn't think they'd even notice if I slipped out. So, right or wrong, I did. I feel a little bit bad about it. I'm going to try and get a bunch of work done today and also try to get in a little bit of rest and maybe once I'm not as tired, my back will stop hurting and maybe then I'll get some of my good humor back. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better one. I'll try and think of ways that I can reach out to my uncle and cousins in the coming weeks, to let them know how much I do care about their loss.


I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was nice, until my husband and I had to go back to work tonight. That kind of made reality hit a little too soon, but it's okay really. It was a good Christmas. One thing that was funny was that the kids realized today that all the work their Dad's been doing on computers in the living room in the last month was to build computers for them, so now the 2 youngest have their very own (inexpensive) computers. Oldest son already had one from a couple of Christmases ago. Another funny thing was my daughter wearing a Snoopy Christmas T-shirt and bermuda shorts on Christmas Eve to my parent's house. She thinks 49 degrees is warm, apparently. My daughter made me a Christmas card and I'm going to try and attach pictures of it, it was so cute.

Here's a funny scene from our Upwords game, me versus Mom and she had all vowels except one and I had all consonants except one, pretty typical really


Everyone seemed pleased with their gifts and my youngest son said it might have been the best Christmas ever. (I'd like to point out that I typed this on Christmas night which was when my husband and I both had to go back to work, but it wouldn't actually publish until the 26th).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

100% done.

I got 100% of things on my list done today and 100% of my Christmas shopping is done, just, as Hank the Cowdog would say, in the nickering of time. Of course it helps that my list only had 6 things on it and all of them were pretty easy, clean, color hair, books to library, pick up some things at Walmart, return Freshwater Fred and see the Squeekwel. Uh oh. We didn't actually go to the movie because it was sold out. Do you think that should count against me? Probably. Okay, so I got almost everything done. We could have went to a different movie, but the younger kids didn't want to use up their new movie gift cards on movies they didn't really, really want to see. The older boy and me didn't really want to see the Squeakwel and we were both thinking about attending other movies at the same time (while the younger ones were with their friends) but it didn't matter to us. We ended up going to Grandma and Granddad's and taking their gifts over to their house so we got an errand done that wasn't even on the list. That should be a bonus or something! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I hope to be able to relax and enjoy it.
(The picture is from the Blurry Scenes From Our Christmas Tree series and that is a baby sock snowman. Unfortunately, bad mom that I am, I'm not sure which kids baby socks those are!)

Eve, Eve.

Today's the day my kids traditionally exchange presents with each other, so they made sure to get that done as soon as they woke up.  Good to check things off early.  We're trying to get a few things done, the house straightened up, books to the library, Freshwater Fred package mailed back and a couple of things purchased.  Then we need to go through all the lists and make sure we have a present for everyone that we're supposed to have a present for.  My husband and I are both working every night but Christmas Eve itself so that adds and interesting level to the festivities.  We've also got a big family party this weekend and also a funeral, sadly.  My aunt, who has been suffering from cancer for 14 months passed away yesterday.  It was not unexpected, but it is sad.  I really feel for her family so much. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve.

And guess what?  I've got one more present to get.  We got them out and looked at them all and my daughter was 1 short.  Oh well.  Today's another day.  We've got 4H and it's a cookie bake and a Christmas party and it will probably be a lot of fun.  I hope so.  I might take some gluten free flour and make some cookies for me.  I've already exceeded my Christmas weight loss goal by 4 pounds so I might as well party! 

I wasn't kidding about that math thingy yesterday.  I really do need suggestions.  Anyone? 


Monday, December 21, 2009

After all the whining ...

I'm almost 99% positive that I'm done shopping.  I still need to have a final meeting with my husband and we need to drag everything out of hiding and look at it, just to make sure, but I think it's done.  I went this morning and took something back to Michael's crafts.  Fortunately for me, a thoughtful shopper before me had left a 50% coupon (for any one item) in the cart I used and I got to use it and saved 6.50.  Cool, eh?  We've got a Christmas party tomorrow with the homeschool group and then nothing much until Christmas eve.   The kids and I plan to play some board games and watch some Christmas movies.  The youngest needs to be distracted because he's so excited. 

In the back of my mind, there is a little school planning going on.  I'd like to find a new, wonderful, self-teaching or computer taught math program if anyone can recommend one?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seems more like Christmas now.

It seems more like Christmas now. We went to see a performance of The Best Christmas Pagent Ever and all the kids up to 90 years old got treats, which used to consist of an apple, an orange and a candy cane, but this year we got a banana too. It's a good thing, because I had just come from a lightning fast (not really) trip to the grocery store and I hadn't bought any fruit. I bought groceries for my parents too and I always forget half of my stuff when I get theirs. Oh well. Today's been kind of rushed, we slid into the play 15 minutes after it started and back out the second it was over, but it was worth it. It was really cute.


I totally cannot believe it's December 20, although the kids are counting down the days and continuously telling me. My husband's working extra hours so I may have to have the last of the big Christmas meetings by myself. This is when we pull everything out of hiding and look at it to make sure we've got everything. I need to take what my mom and my mother-in-law bought the kids to their houses so they can wrap them. I was blogging this and calculating and looking at my list and my youngest just walked in here and leaned over really quickly and read the first thing on his list, the turd. I tried to fake him out on what it was, but I don't know if he believed it. I may take all his stuff back to the store, I'm so annoyed that he would do that. It's difficult having PMS so close to Christmas with still so much to do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Okay, I need to adjust my plans.

As usual.  Last night my oldest son had a Christmas party at the youth group and needed a present.  So we grabbed one from under the tree, re-labeled it and sent him off.  Now it has to be replaced, so I'm not done, but that's okay.  I still had to make a trip to Michael's crafts to return something, so I'll just do it then.  We're trying out recipes today, making a flourless chocolate cake.   It's PMS time so it is an excellent time to try out chocolate cake recipes.  I'll let you all know how it turns out.  A friend of mine has made it and hers was good.  To balance out the calorie load from the chocolate cake, we're having vegetable soup for lunch.    We're also going to try and get some presents wrapped, but I'm starting with a headache and last time I had this kind of headache it lasted for 5 days, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.   Yesterday when I ordered the last gift for one of my kids the delivery estimate was 12/24/2009.  That's not cutting it too close is it? 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dare I say it?

I think I might possibly be done with my Christmas shopping!  I'm not sure.  I need to check my list again, get everything out from the hiding places and look at it all again, but I might be done.   Wow.   It's been quite a whirlwind since I started.  I do need to pick up candy for the stockings, but that it best put off until the last couple of days for some reason.   Chocolate, even secretly hidden away chocolate, has a way of disappearing in this house that is just remarkable. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Blogger is letting me post again! 

I realized after I posted yesterday that I never got around to writing about any of "the other things" that I mentioned in the title.  Oh well.  Here are a few of the things that have been floating around in my head. 

It's nice being out of school.  We're doing some cleaning and some Christmas-y type things, wrapping presents, watching Christmas shows, listening to Christmas music.  My youngest son has been making to-do lists for himself.  Last night, his list consisted of saying "I can't wait until Christmas!" 10 times.  It's silly but I told him that I like silliness, it makes life fun.  I'm also happy that he is writing a list - The kid who hates to write! 

I ordered my Christmas cards a couple of days ago.  I was supposed to pick them up today but I forgot.  They're imperfect.  I took some pictures of the kids and they were all kind of blurry, but I just didn' want to do them again, so I'm going to send the cards as is.  Hey, life's not perfect, but have a nice Christmas - that will be the message of my cards this year.  Last year I didn't get to send my cards, because my mom was in the ICU, so this year, I'm going to send out my imperfect cards and be happy while doing it. 

It's a week until Christmas eve! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eating like a bird and other things.

Yesterday, I couldn't find the funnel to fill up the birdfeeder which was empty AGAIN, so I used my hand to funnel some in and used a measuring cup to pour.  I put in 2 cups of seed and hung it back up.  By 5:00 pm yesterday afternoon, all of the 2 cups was gone, mostly to the tufted titmice, who are apparently hogs in disguise as birds.  The kids and were discussing this and started thinking about the phrase "eats like a bird" which I've always taken to mean that someone is picky about food and eats little, but apparently it means the opposite.  So what we've learned from all this is that my 17-year-old eats like a bird.  :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

School's out.

We're done with this semester. We got 85 days in, a tiny bit short of the halfway point. If we start back January fifth and stay on schedule we'll finish easily by the end of May. And to tell the truth, we need a break. We need time to clean the house, participate in Christmas-y activities and enjoy the season. My youngest son is hoping that it starts snowing tomorrow and snows a couple of inches every single day until Christmas so that we'll have a bunch of snow on the ground, but it won't overwhelm the snow plow people or the power lines, so we'll be able to travel through the woods to grandmother's house, and we'll have electricity. He's very practical this boy. (At least about some things he is.) He remembers a few years ago at Christmas time when no-one for miles around here had electrictity.

Our bird feeder is getting some traffic. Besides the tufted titmice, we've been getting black capped chicadees, cardinals and juncos. I didn't realize that we had all these kinds of birds around here. I've learned quite a bit myself. The picture above is a dark eyed junco. Cute, aren't they? Also, they eat all the seeds the titmice throw down onto my deck so they're my favorites now.

I'm frustrated with my job to an unbelievable level and am going to do everything in my power, after Christmas, to find a new one. That's my mantra these days 'after Christmas'. That's when I'm going to get so much stuff done.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting there.

I got my stuff returned this morning and spent several hours shopping and crossing things off of my list.  One item that I had been searching for endlessly it seems, I found first thing this morning, in a tiny little store, exactly what I needed, the size, the color AND the price. I could almost hear the alleluia chorus as I walked in the door.  It's coming together now.   Thankfully.  Just a few more odds and ends to pick up and I will be done.  It feels great.  Now I'll be able to concentrate on other things, relax and enjoy the season.  After the shopping is done, I become less scrooge like. 

In my travels today while looking for something else, I saw a new used bookstore in town.  Since I had time, I went in and spent some time browsing.  It's a great store.  Everything's organized and she has a great selection of books.  We'll definitely go back there. 

I've been in the mood to take pictures.  I haven't taken one for my Christmas cards, but that's beside the point.

This is our Christmas tree.   It's been up since Thanksgiving day.   My youngest son taught me how to take dark pictures with my digital camera so that it won't flash. 
Here's one of Freckles, my constant companion who is currently under my desk.  I like the way the no-flash pictures come out. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ice skating and some progress.

We went ice skating today, well, the kids skated and I sat, but it was fun.  I enjoyed watching everyone skate around with the Christmas music playing the holiday decorations up, it made for a very Christmasy scene.  Only problem with it, was it was COLD.  I thought probably it'd be somewhere around 30 degrees, just enough to keep the ice frozen, but not cold enough for anyone to be miserable.  Was I wrong!  I bet it wasn't even 20 degrees in there and the benches were metal, so I was doubly cold.   Next time, I'll wear more layers and bring a thermos of hot cocoa.   Afterwards I made some progress on my lists and took the kids to get a free ice cream at Chick-fil-a.  I didn't want any ice cream myself for some reason, maybe because I was still frozen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update on Thursday.

I didn't work at all and went shopping only to get an email when I got home that made me realize I have to take 2 things back. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. We're going ice skating in the morning and I might do some shopping afterwards since I'll be in a town. I don't know. It's difficult trying to fit it all in, especially when I end up having to take things back and trade them and if I've got the kids with me that's an added difficulty. I'll have them with me tomorrow, of course all except the one who is still hobbling around. I've got 8 items that need to be purchased and 3 that need to be returned. I'm making list after list after list. It's kind of crazy around here. Or I am.

Anyway, I made progress today and I will get it done. Eventually.

Thursday, My Day Off.

Woohoo!  I love my days off.  I probably will work some, but only for a couple of hours and not on any particular schedule.  That's huge.  So, I'm going to try and get some of this Christmas stuff out of the way.  First, we're going to clean the house up, at least a little.  The, I'm going to take my oldest to pick out a coat which, I've decided, will be his Christmas gift from his grandparents (they're fine with whatever I think) and drive the long drive to the nearest Target because some of the things we need are there.  I so wish our town would build a Target.   Then, I'll come home tired and NOT HAVE TO WORK UNTIL 11:00 p.m.  See.  It is huge, not having to work tonight.  I may even watch some Christmas shows.  I need to see A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas sometime this year. 

School is not in my plans for today.  I'm being flexible with it because I don't mind doing school on the 22nd, but if I don't have my shopping done by then, I'll be apopletic apoppletic nuts.  I need to have it done soon.  Once I finally get started, then I need to get DONE. 

I know I'm weird.  It's not a surprise to me. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


It's very windy here.  I made the comment that it is a blustery day and my youngest said "Well, it is Windsday".  Brings back memories of Winnie the Pooh.  We used to watch a lot of Pooh around here.
 ;-)  We need to dig out the Winnie the Pooh Christmas special and watch it.  You never get too old for Pooh.  My favorite part is when Gopher picks up this giant tree and says "Tell me where you want it.  TELL ME WHERE YOU WANT IT!" 

Yesterday I took the kids to Walmart to get presents for their homeschool friends, cousins and each other.  It was a pretty successful trip.  Then, last evening, my daughter got out the presents from her, wrapped one and left the other just lying on the floor for her younger brother to see.  She wants him to be surprised by his present so it just ruins it for her that he knows, so they worked out a deal so that he'll pay her for the present and get to keep it and she'll buy him something else.  Sounds weird, I know, but they're happy.  The toy he got is some kind of gyro racer.  He's been playing with it this morning.  He told me that the 3 main parts are called the gyro racer, the gyro and the ripcord, but that he's probably going to be referring to them as "the spiney thingy" and "the fast thingy".   Whatever you want to do son.

On the presents front, it turns out this may not be my year to get presents. :-(  Oh well.  I guess maybe I'll have to get myself a little something.  :-)  I' m very thoughtful in picking out presnets for myself, though kind of cheap. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book review and other things.

I just finished reading a book called Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.  It's very good.  It's based on a fairy tale by the Brother's Grimm that I had never heard of, but I enjoyed this book very much.  I am considering it as a read-aloud with the kids.  Might be too much romance in it for the youngest though.  :-)  It's a wonderful adventure and a very sweet book. 

We might go Christmas shopping today. We're trying to rush through school so we can go.  The kids have to shop for their friends in the homeschool group and their cousins and each other.  I still need to get my thinking cap on and figure out what to buy my oldest from his grandparents and a few other things like that.

The good news is that of the 2 parents of this house, this year is MY year to get presents.  We alternate.  So, here's my list in case my DH is reading this at work.

1.  A housekeeper (or at least one visit from Merry Maids?!!!)
2.  A motorized Dirt Dog vacuum sweeper.
3.  A new toaster oven would be nice, but not exciting.
4.  Chocolate.
5.  All books Katie Fforde has written.
6.  Household projects done.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Christmas Shopping Timeline.

This is how I do my Christmas shopping each year.

1. 1st week of November, begin whining that it could not possibly BE November.
2. 2nd & 3rd weeks of November, continue whining, same tune, but with a tad more urgency.
3. 4th week of November, browse Black Friday ads, realize they have nothing I want enough to brave the crowds, draw names in various families and groups, start to feel a little bit desperate.
4. First day of December. Start to panic but otherwise take no action.
5. Second day of December. See first day of December.
6. Third day of December - Frozen panic, continued.
7. Fourth day of December - Start to browse online stores.
8. Fifth or sixth day of December - Go to local stores and finally BUY SOMETHING.
9. Start to whine about how much I hate Christmas shopping. (This is December 7 because it's what I am doing today.)
10. Sometime between December 7 and December 20, just finally do it.
11. January - Regret spending the money.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas shopping.

I'm going Christmas shopping today!  I'm always enthusiastic before I start but then by the end of the day, I'll be kind of deflated.  It's such a difficult thing.  I think I may be an amateur shopper.  I mean, I like shopping, but I'm not all that good at it and I get tired easily.  Still, I gotta do it.

It's time for my yearly plug for my store.  If you need gifts for grandparents, shop here.  If you don't see exactly what you want, ask me and I will make it/customize the design as much as I can.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Surprising to me.

I remember before my kids were born (back when I knew a lot more about parenting) thinking that really only kids under about 6 were cute to me.  I thought and said that I only thought kids were tolerable until they were about school age and then they became obnoxious.  I expected my kids to do the same, go through an obnoxious period from about 6 to 18 and then hopefully become okay again.  This is not what's happened.  They are delightful people even at the ages of 11, 13 and 17. Of course, I'm their mom and I would love them anyway.  The thing that is more surprising to me is how much I enjoy my kid's friends.  They are just wonderful kids, polite, funny and a joy to be around.  I'm privileged to know them and surprised that I feel that way.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A funny question.

Yesterday my oldest son actually said this to me.

"Hey mom, do you care if I do an extra load of laundry today?"

Hey, knock yourself out bud. Do all the laundry you want.

I'm such a good, generous mom.


Time moving so quickly!

I've really got to get on this Christmas shopping thing! So far, I've bought one item. I did write out my list though, so I'm proud of that. It's progress anyway. Today, we're going to try and focus on school. It's really not the kids who haven't been focusing. They've been doing the school work that they do on their own, which includes all the essentials but we haven't been doing group time, our enrichment kind of activities, in other words, the fun stuff. So today I'm going to focus on school until about 2:00 p.m., then focus on Christmas shopping! I'm going to be ordering most things on line, so I need to think about shipping times. I've been downloading some Christmas music from Walmart and really enjoying that. I'm feeling Christmas-y, but I'm also feeling kind of pressed for time.

Still, physically I'm feeling pretty good. I've lost another pound. I'm not having as many headaches. I'm not taking as many naps. I think maybe I'm not as crabby, but I need to ask the kids'. :-)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Doing school today.

It feels weird after all this time off, but we're doing school today.  I got up and got busy and did my chores and work early even though I felt kind of bad.  I thought maybe I'd accidently ingested some gluten and sure enough I had, I finally got the gluten-free menu of the restaurant we went to yesterday and it turns out the sour cream sauce had gluten in it.  I really think that the gluten free diet is the way for me.  I'll just have to adjust to it.  I do not enjoy feeling bad.  Although I also don't enjoy having to give up some of the best of the yummy foods, it is better than feeling like cwap all the time.  Today has been a good flashback for me, to realize how much better I've been feeling.

The kids are not getting back into the groove of school very well.  They've already asked for extensions on getting their priorities done ... I hope we'll be able to get some really good days in before Christmas, despite all the distractions of the holiday season. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Really, really, really.

I'm working this weekend. I really need to send in some more applications and try harder to get another job, but I really don't want to just jump out of the frying pan into the fire (again!), so I need to be careful what I choose. I'd really like to get out of the field of transcription and into writing, but I'm not sure how to do that. Really, I'd kind of like to see what's like to be unemployed. I went from school to work with not a break, other than when my oldest was a year old and I stayed home a while. During that time, I wrote a book, took a course in medical transcription and ended up babysitting for a friend's baby so I wasn't exactly idle ... my book was not published and was not really any good, but it was something I wanted to do so I did it. I'd like to be able to write novels, but I don't really think I have the gift. I do think of book ideas all the time. Maybe if I had a ghost writer. Or maybe I just need more self-discipline to sit down and write every day.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, even if I did have to work, except I did not enjoy my stuffing today. I didn't do a good job making it. I really need to work on adapting the recipe or something. Other than that, it's been really nice. Tomorrow I get to go with the homeschool mom's group for our Christmas party. It seems a little early since it's still technically November, but I'm really hoping it will help get me more in the Christmas mood. I did write a Christmas list (for me, it has to be handwritten, not computerized) and just put the names on there, but no gift ideas because I don't have any. I'm sure I'll get inspired soon. Really.

* After I wrote this post, I looked back at it and realized how many times I'd used the word "really" and changed the name of the title from something about working on the weekend to this one. I think it fits, don't you? I REALLY need to work on my vocabulary!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Part of Thanksgiving Postponed.

We had a great T-giving dinner yesterday, good company, cute babies, great food.  Today we were going to have another one, but my brother has got some type of upper respiratory infection so we figured that he'd better stay home for a couple of days and get better.  We postponed it to Sunday.  So today, the kids and I (poor DH has to work) have been playing the Sims, eating leftovers, watching Christmas movies and generally having a pretty good time.  I'm working tonight but the kids are still holidaying.  I would be if I could.  I got another shipment from Freshwater Fred, a bunch of things that looked interesting to me.  I haven't gotten time to look at them yet, been too busy goofing off.  (I also went and played a game of UpWords with my parents.)   I haven't done any Black Friday shopping.  I simply cannot wrap my head around the fact that Christmas is so close!  Even though we've drawn names, even though the Christmas tree is up!  Still.  Can't. 

I've so gotta work on that, get myself in gear, and do some shopping.  I have gone over to look at CurrClick's Holiday sale and giveaway.  (Look for the link in the margin, I'm too lazy to make one!) 

I may also look at a couple of clothing stores online to see if there are any good bargains.  I desparately need some clothes!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the midst of the festivities today, take a minute (or more) to count your blessings!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve 2009

That's what we call it around here.  Thanksgiving eve.  I'm going to do a little bit of cooking today, make myself a gluten free sweet potato pie and also some stuffing without gluten.  I'm trying to make it to the 4 week mark on this diet and see if I feel better, but I do really think it's working.  I've been taking fewer naps and hurting less.  There are some things I'd really like to eat, like the broccoli soup that I made sure we were out of before I started this and then my husband re-stocked because he likes it too, so it's in there, calling to me and so far, I'm resisting, though it is not easy.  I haven't found a recipe that comes even close to Kroger brand cream of broccoli soup, but I have tried.  Maybe someday.

The son with the sprained ankle hasn't awakened yet.  I suspect the good pain meds he's on have something to do with that.  Hopefully it is way better today because the boy is not good with crutches.  At all. 

I don't think we'll do any school today.  We've discussed it.  The county schools are out today and since we've got one kid down with the sprained ankle, so we may skip it.  Or I may do a bunch of Thanksgiving-y activities with the younger two and call that a day.  I haven't decided yet.   Don't you love the way I plan things in advance? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's always somethin.

At 4H today my oldest tripped and sprained his ankle.  We had to go to the immediate care center to find out that it's a sprain, not a break.  We were at the clinic for a couple of hours then at the Kroger pharmacy for an hour and finally, we got home.  I've been working since we got here and keep getting the worst of the worst dictators.  I'm getting kind of tired of today.  My youngest summed it up on the way home "This has turned out not to be so great of a day."  Yeah, I hear that.  Not really that bad in the whole scheme of things, but just long, tiring and kind of annoying. 

4H and then other things.

We've got 4H today and the assignment the kids were supposed to have done since last month was filling out a paper about the birds at our feeder and taking a picture of one. Guess what they're doing right now? In their defense, they did try the day after the last 4H class, then forgot about it until now. We've only really had 3 kinds of birds at our feeder, tufted titmice, cardinals and some kind of chickadee ( the kids could tell you). The cats think that this feeder is facinating. They'll sit under it and watch the show but so far, haven't jumped or harmed any of the birds as far as we know. This is a tufted titmouse in the photo. The second photo is our calico cat, Zoey.

So I'm doing a few different things this morning, blogging, bird watching, fixing lunch, trying to help my husband with fixing my foot pedal, cleaning and getting ready for the 4H class. I'm on day 5 of my menstrual headache so that's fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I guess a post titled M-O-N -D- A-Y

would be too soon after the F-R-I-D-A-Y one? Okay, here's what's going on today without making an acronym poem. I'm trying to think a little about Christmas and trying to think a bit about possibly earning more money to pay for Christmas. Last night my footpedal would not work properly and I have no idea why, so I was going to see if I could get my in-house tech support to take a look at it. I really don't want to have to buy a new footpedal. I feel like nothing, not. one. single. thing., has gone right since I went back to this job. It has been a constant struggle to barely get by and I have been desparately trying to keep my head above water. Not fun. The writing job I applied for hired someone else, so I'll keep looking.

I've got to teach 4H tomorrow so today is the day I'll pull the lessons out and take a look at them, just to get a little bit prepared. I think tomorrow's going to be a fun lesson, as we'll be talking about flight and making gliders. We should probably do school here at home too. We've been doing the bare minimum for a while and we need to get back to the regular, full routine.

That's it. Can you believe this is Thanksgiving week?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun and yummy.

I know that this has been going around the internet for a while and maybe everyone's heard of it but me, but tonight we made the 3 minute chocolate cake in a coffee mug. It was so much fun. I made mine gluten free and from what my daughter says, mine wasn't as good as theirs, but it was still very good. Here's the recipe and some pictures.

Original 3-Minute Chocolate Cake )
4 tbsp flour

4 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp cocoa

1 large egg

3 tbsp milk

3 tbsp oil

In a coffee mug, mix flour, sugar, and cocoa. Add egg, milk, and oil. Mix well.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let sit in the microwave for 3 more minutes more as the cake will still be rising and baking. Then take it out and dig in. You can also add chocolate chips. We added icing.
All you have to do to make it gluten free is use a gluten free flour. I used the rice flour and corn starch mix that is featured on

Movie Review.

We went on a field trip with the homeschool group to see Disney's A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carey. It was not well thought out. I should have known my children better and did more research. We don't have television anymore because of the whole digital TV thing and so I hadn't seen a preview, and I just didn't think when this movie was mentioned. I should have realized that it would be too scary/intense for my younger 2 kids or at least wondered if it was and checked it out. But I didn't. We just went. About 5 minutes in, I'm starting to get a vibe that this might not have been a good idea. It seems dark and forboding, not funny as I would have expected from a Disney/Jim Carey movie. Anyway, it was too scary for some and my youngest son got up and walked out. We spent some time in the theater lobby sitting on a bench. (While I'm thinking how much money I spent, having paid extra for the 3-D effects which gave me a headache which I still have 10 hours later.) We finally came back in and watched the happy ending. Later on, we were talking about something else and I said something I wish I hadn't done and my daughter said "I wish we hadn't seen that movie." My older son did like it and really enjoyed the 3-D effects. I just wish I'd read a review like this one.

This is totally my fault. I hope my youngest can sleep tonight.


Book Review.

I think it's probably no secret that I dislike my job lately and have been looking for something else. I picked up this book It's called Will Work From Home by Tory Johnson and Robyn Freedman Spizman. It's an excellent general resource for working at home. It has a lot of good ideas. It does not tell you completely how to go about getting started in each one, but it will give you a starting place. It mentions medical transcription and gives a couple of web sites to go to. I personally would recommend and and in addition to the ones listed in this book. This book lists every kind of home job from babysitting to housesitting, photography and virtual assistants and gives a ton of web site links to get you started. I would recommend that you read it if you need to make an income but also need to stay home.


Feels like November.  The weather is finally getting cold.  I've been leaving sweaters here and there and everywhere, thinking I'll need them because after all, it's November, then getting warm and taking them off and leaving them there. 

Really annoyed at my job right now.   I got a report last night, back from the quality assurance editor, that had some really odd things on it.  I emailed it back with questions and I'm waiting for a response.  Meanwhile, I'm thinking of where can I apply for a new job ...

Internet connection=Bad.  I've been having trouble getting pages to load.   Everything takes so long because we are the only people in the country still on dial-up.  (Okay, maybe not, but it seems that way.).  This seriously limits the jobs I can apply for as an MT.  Seriously, like down to about 10% of the available jobs. 

Debating whether or not to do my school list.  I mean we've got a field trip this afternoon, so is that an excuse not to have to do it? 

A All of my passwords are having to be replaced this week.  My husband has done some kind of update to my browser and I am having to try and remember every password I've ever used for everything and it's not going all that well.  Maybe I should just use the same one all the time? 

Yikes!  I don't feel ready for the holidays.  I haven't even THOUGHT about shopping yet!  They're coming and there's no way I can get an extra week, but wow, I'm so not ready.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What we are up to around here.

It's Thursday.  I don't have to work today but as usual, I'll probably do a little to help my line counts.  They've been kind of dismal this week because I've had some really difficult work.  Also, I'm going to write some articles for Helium because I'm trying to get an on-line writing job and I'll need some articles here and there for people to look at.  For school, we've been on a break from reading The Story of Science and today we're going to start back.  In the meantime, we've been watching DVDs and video tapes from the Freshwater Fred Lending Library.   We watched a facinating one on the brain yesterday.  it showed a woman who was very organized, a neurologist, who had a stroke and then had to use her right brain more because her left brain was damaged.  She was less organized but more creative.  I think maybe there is more than one right brainer living in this house.   

Our lives have been going on in kind of an uneventful way which is kind of nice.   I like it.  We've got skating tonight and tomorrow we've got a field trip with the homeschool group to a movie.  We're going to see A Christmas Carol.  I hope it's good.  The last movie I saw in the theater was G-Force and I was not impressed.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A chance to do some good in the world.

I saw this link on the Starfish blog and thought I'd pass the new along.  For every comment they get on the blog, this family is going to donate a dollar to the Starfish children's homes in China.  Chinese Starfish - Made a difference to THIS one.  Here's the blog in case you  want to go directly to it Lots O Kidz

Here's a web site where you donate rice to hungry people just by answering trivia questions.
Free Rice

And here's a link to The Hunger Site to donate free food, the amount varies each day.  The food is donated by sponsors of the site. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You know how I love these!

It's a blank day on the calendar, a blank day on the calendar, oh yeah.  I almost want to burst into song.   I'm doing my morning list this morning and finally getting to pay attention to the housework that I've been neglecting all weekend.  Friday I went shopping, then work, then Saturday work, then Harvest Party, then Sunday, work, work, work and yesterday, I finally got the grocery shopping done and got reaquainted with my parents whom I hadn't seen for quite a while and now, today, I get to do things I need to do.  It's not that I'm excited about cleaning the house, but I am going to be glad when it's clean.  Well, cleanish.  Cleaner anyway. 

After school is done, we may go to the library.  I really don't need to go, but I sort of want to.   I signed up to get their new book lists emailed to me and there are some interesting looking new items on there.  Plus, it's Tuesday, which is dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins ...

Can you all believe how quickly the holidays are coming?  Yesterday when I was at the grocery store, they were playing Jingle Bells on the Musak.  I'm not ready.  I really have no idea what to get anyone and even more important, how to stretch the budget to fit it in.  My youngest started going through the Lego catalog and his total of what he wanted was 700 dollars on the THIRD page of the catalog.  I told him he better go ahead and close it now. 

Anywho, I'm off now to enjoy my unscheduled day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I think of all kinds of good blog posts

while I'm in the grocery and in the car but then when get home, whoosh, nothing in my brain.  I think there's some kind of brain eraser device in our driveway.  Or maybe it's the van itself.  That would explain a lot.  Anyway, I'm home now and I've got nothing to write about.  We're doing school and work and the usual stuff.  Nothing too exciting and some days, that's exactly what we need.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


I can't think of a title. We've had kind of a busy weekend around here. I've been tired because of not sleeping (it's a long story) but not feeling horrible and aching all over since I went gluten free last week. I think it might be the way to go for me. I also think I'm doing pretty well with it. There is gluten in so many things that it's not easy sometimes to figure out what to eat, but plenty of yummy things are gluten free naturally so I don't feel deprived or anything - - - most of the time. Last night, we had a harvest party with the homeschool group and there were some things that were a little bit difficult to resist, but I just thought about all the muscle pain that I'm not having and that made it easier. When Thanksgiving gets here, I may have to try and make myself some gluten free gravy and stuffing. :-0

Have I mentioned lately that I love my homeschool group? This has been one of the best things about homeschooling - finding this group. It took a while but it was so worth it. A good homeschool group gives support, gets together to do classes, gets field trips at cheaper group rates, can use Boxtops for Education, and Pizza Hut Read to Succeed, but most of all, they provide friendship for the parents and the kids.

Anyway, I'm working tonight and I'd better get started!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Teacher Rejuvination Day.

Today is an official teacher rejuvination day.  I'm going shopping.  The fun kind of shopping, when you go out with the girls and just piddle around looking in the stores and talking.  Not the kind of shopping where you are looking for something not fun like groceries.  This is part of our 'Take a day of fall break whenever you need a break" plan.  I could use a break today. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Busy and dizzy.

Those 2 words totally should not rhyme, but we have an odd language, a hodge-podge of other languages with their own spelling and pronunciation rules. My 11-year-old who is not a good speller, gets frustrated with it. Anyway, that's what I've been, a little bit busy and a lot dizzy. Last night we went to Walmart to get a couple of things and when I was putting the bags in the car, I felt dizzy and started stepping sideways. I was very, very dizzy for a couple of hours after that, even after taking one of my Dad's prescription dizzy pills (Antivert). I was still dizzy when I went to bed, but now I'm doing okay. The trouble is though, I took a pill that "may cause drowsiness" and that made me sleep until almost 10:00 a.m. There's no way I can get my list done today before noon, since I haven't started yet and I don't feel all that energetic, so maybe there's no school today? Unless I can thing of a loophole in THE RULE. I'm thinking ...

My youngest son just woke up and the first thing he said was "Hey, it's Thanksgiving eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve, eve."

Monday, November 09, 2009


We spent the day Sunday doing screen and clean which is just about my best inspiration ever.  We clean for an hour and then we get an hour of screentime.  I spent my screen times yesterday watching old episodes of Whose Line is It Anyway.  Laughter always helps when you are cleaning.  Our dogs have had fleas which have been driving us CRAZY and we have been spraying and powdering and fogging and washing all the stuffed animals and all the afgans and pillows, basically everything in the house.  I stacked up a pile of laundry in the bathroom yesterday that was literally 5 feet high, Mount Washmore is what Flylady calls it.  I'm not sure why, after 4 years of having Max, and having no trouble, all of the sudden we've got problems?  Maybe the damp weather we've had outside has made them get in the yard?  Anyway, now the yard has been sprayed too.  Sigh.

Good news from the weekend- I picked up a kitchen island at a yard sale for 25.00!  Cool, huh?  I'm not sure if I'll leave it the way it is, which is pine, or paint it or something to make it fit in more in the kitchen which has oak cabinets.  Anyway, my daughter and I are making pizzas today, side by side, one with gluten and one without, using the island and we feel like we're on a cooking show.  We keep laughing and we're having such a good time.  I think occasionally, that if she were at school, I'd be missing this.  We never seemed to be able to create much of that kind of fun after they got home from school because they were so tired and had so much homework.  So, I'm thankful for homeschooling today. 

I changed up the schedules a little today too.  See, I implemented THE RULE a few weeks ago, the one that says that mom has to get all her stuff done in the morning or the kids don't have to do school ... but I didn't actually mention it to the kids until today.  Today, I gave them a schedule that said "Check Mom!" so they checked me today at noon and I was done.  I'm not sure if the gluten-free is making me feel better.  I do feel like I've had less aching in my muscles so maybe.  Could be a coincidence though.  We'll see.  It's not proving too difficult now that I'm into it more so I'm going to give it some time.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Still here.

I had hoped to go on a little mini-vacation this weekend, maybe just overnight somewhere to recharge our batteries, but that didn't happen and we are still running on nearly empty around here. The kids and I are facing an unprecedented week of very little planned. This is the most blank week on my calendar since I got the calendar in July. It's weird. I'm not sure how that happened. :-) I'm going to try and get a lot of things done, some fall cleaning and winterizing. I'm hoping to feel more energetic this week as I've been doing pretty well on my gluten free diet. I've managed to be gluten free (as far as I can tell by reading labels) for 3 days. So far I feel pretty good - not fabulous or anything, but I do think my muscles are aching less. That's good.

Since I wasn't able to take a real vacation (none at all for this WHOLE year) I've read a lot this week. I was going to take a picture of the books I've read this week but my cameras are not working so here are pictures I've listed from Amazon. (If you want these books shop there!) . Anyway, here they are, the books I've read this week. Keep in mind, I don't watch TV and I read very fast. .

Yes. I do realize I have a book addiction. I need to work on that! I may have to see if the library will put me on a 3 books a week ration or something.

Friday, November 06, 2009


I'm not grouchy, like I was yesterday, today. Going to the skating rink and having the night off last night helped me I suppose. Whatever. I'll take it. The only thing is, my back is doing one of those things that it does sometimes, just to remind me that I'm middle aged. I stretched yesterday afternoon and my back kind of went into a spasm and now I can't really turn my head or look down ... it's so fun and interesting.

We're doing school today I guess. We've got one more item from the Freshwater Fred lending library to look at/listen to then we'll be done with those and I'll send them back. (and get some more!!) The copywork thing is going well. He's doing really good with it. Unfortunately, he's still reversing his numbers on math. I may have to make him do another problem if he reverses numbers in the one he's on. I don't know. That may take his concentration away from the math problems and just make it overwhelming. Any ideas?

Youngest son's word of the week this week is "menacing". It's not an official thing, I've just noticed him using that word a lot this week. He told me that when he gets up and sees his list of things he has to do with no marks on it yet, it's menacing, but then later after he gets a few things done, it's not so bad.

I'm reading a lot of fiction this week. I had a lovely browse in the Young Adult section of the library the other night. There weren't any young adults around so it was free and clear. I'm reading a book now called, believe it or not, Fat Cat. So far, it's pretty good. ;-)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Awfully crabby today

I got up on the right side of the bed this morning, but in a crabby mood anyway. I'm doing my stuff this morning, working, cleaning and teaching math. I made a pot of gluten free chili and it's pretty good. I need to try and get in a better mood for the afternoon and evening activities, so I won't be whiny at the skating rink tonight.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Field trip!

We had a field trip yesterday to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.  It's a very cool place in my opinion.  We did a tour and looked at some amazing quilts and other art and then the kids did a polymer clay workshop.  They seemed to have a good time.  After the workshop, we went to Target.  We don't have a Target in our hometown ( unfortunately), so we love to go in and look around.   On the way home, we were getting tired and the kids were getting sleepy.  The younger 2 were stretching in the middle seat of the van and had this conversation, which I thought was funny.

Kid 1 - You know, when you stretch, you've got to make some kind of noise.

Kid 2 - Right!  Otherwise, it's just not satisfying.

Kid 1 - You've got to at least grunt.

Kid 2 - Yeah.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Love it!

We got our materials from the Freshwater Fred Lending Library today. Excellent. All free and it includes a list, when it is due back to them and a postage paid shipping envelope to send it all back. No cost to us. How cool is that? Since I'm teaching the 4H science class on birds, we got Eyewitness videos about birds, video, computer games about birds, a complete unit study curriculum about aeronautics from NASA, which looks like it would cover a few weeks of science. I probably will add some of the experiments in it into the 4H classes, if we get time.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wow, November 1.

It will be Thanksgiving before we know it.  I'm starting to crave turkey and stuffing and also starting to feel the urge to get started on my Christmas shopping.  If this hadn't been such a financially difficult year, I'd be looking forward to it more.  I'm really not enjoying this recession.   Also, I'm tired of working on Sundays.  Blah.  I have managed to be gluten free for the last couple of days though.  That's good. 

Except, shoot, I just ate a couple of pieces of Halloween candy my daughter shared with me, a KitKat and some Whoppers and they aren't gluten free.  Maybe tomorrow?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A mystery solved.

The kids and I left the house about 3:00 p.m. today, went to my parents house and had cake and ice cream for my brother's birthday, then we headed out for some Halloween festivities, leaving my husband at home, but sleeping. In case he woke up and had trick-or-treaters (not too likely in this remote area but sometimes we get some), we left a bowl of Kit Kats and Milk Duds on the bookcase in the entry area where he couldn't miss it. When we got home my youngest son went to check and see if any candy was missing, just to see if we'd had any trick or treaters. Sure enough, about 5 or 6 boxes of milk duds were gone. Oddly though, my husband was still asleep. Maybe someone came by and walked in and helped themselves? No, the door was locked. Maybe my husband did some sleep eating? I've never known him to do this but who knows. Maybe Freckles and Max got into them? I said no to this one, knowing that there'd be milk dud boxes all over the floor and there weren't. Then, I opened my bedroom door to put my sweater away and I saw them. Six milk dud boxes beside my bed - chewed in such a way that I was pretty sure my husband hadn't done it. :-) (He tends to open boxes with his hands instead of chewing them open.) Apparently, one or both of the dogs had gotten a milk dud box in the entry way, carried it through the living room, the kitchen, the laundry room, the bathroom and into the bedroom and chewed it up, then repeated it 6 times. Hopefully, whomever it was won't have a tummy-ache tonight!

Happy Halloween.

Can ya'll believe October is over already?  This year has just zipped by!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Updates - Two things I'm not doing well. Okay. Three.

1.  I'm not doing well on my gluten free diet adventures, although I'm doing pretty good losing weight.  I really want to go gluten free to see if it helps with my chronic fatigue.  I guess you could say I'm in the research stage.  I've been working on having a few meals that are gluten free.  I'm looking at ways to modify all my recipes.  I've printed out a list of gluten free foods by brand name that hopefully I can use tomorrow to grocery shop and maybe, possibly this week will be the week.

2.  I'm not doing well on getting the kids to bed earlier and getting up earlier.  Last night, I took my son to a youth event and then didn't get home until 8:00 pm so I had to work later to make up that time and since the kids didn't get to sleep until after midnight I let them sleep pretty late this morning. 

It's always something.

3.  I'm not doing well with my exercise routines, even though it's only a 3 minute routine.  I've been skipping it the last few days.  Pitiful.   Sad really.  The kids are doing the 90 second fitness routine thingy and have been doing well with it, so I guess that's something.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I shook off my inertia today and got a few things done including repainting the front door where the stray dogs had scratched the paint off and painting the kitchen arches (I guess they're not arches because they're rectangular, but they are entryways into the kitchen from the living room and they are door shaped, but have no doors in them. Arches? Rectangles? Doors?) Anyway, we'd decided not to do them originally, but my youngest thought we were and painted part of one of them, so now they're painted the same color as the kitchen which is the same color, just a couple of shades darker than the living room. Anyway, it looks better now. I also have been working off and on and now on for the rest of the evening. I really hate my job now. There is no other way to describe it. If I had known we were going to lose my 3 primary accounts that I had been on for 8 years in May, I wouldn't have quit my hospital job 3 days before we lost the accounts. As much as I didn't like that job, I hate this one more with the new hospitals that I'm on. The main one I'm on is so, so, so, picky, and the other one I'm on is also picky, but in a completely opposite way, so that if you're doing something right for one, it's wrong for the other and I'm constantly being switched back and forth, so I'm trying to deal with no abbreviations on one account, but abbreviations are fine on the other account (even expected), lists okay, but not okay, bold or not bold, capitalized or not capitalized. It's seriously driving me crazy and I think we all know that is not a long drive.

Also, since the accounts that I had before were some kind of premium accounts with bonuses and now I'm no longer on them, I'm making less money too.

It's very frustrating.


I really don't want to do anything today. Actually that's not true. I want to read and drink coffee while wrapped in a blanket. Do you think I could get by with that for an entire day?

Probably not.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ADHD but not the H really.

I sometimes think I have ADHD except for the hyperactivity part. I'm certainly not hyper, but my mind jumps from one thing to another so quickly sometimes it gives me mental whiplash. Right now, I'm typing my blog post, but I'm also listening to a song I downloaded yesterday (which is NOT Muskrat Love :-p ), browsing the Freshwater Fred library, thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month next month, reading other people's blogs, keeping up with my email, thinking about the class I'm supposed to teach this afternoon while simultaneously thinking of T-shirt designs for my Cafepress store, even though they basically don't pay me anymore and thinking of opening another premium shop to sell dog T-shirt designs (It seems that I'm always thinking of new goofy shirt designs for dogs these days for some reason), thinking that I really should get going on my list, printing lists for the kids ... and procrastinating about cleaning. Talk about multi-tasking and yet, not really getting anything done ... it's a gift, what can I say?

I'd better stop the virtual multitasking and get started on the real thing. I've got a lot going on today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Easy kind of day.

We did school today, but it was really laid back and easy. For group time we went out and tried to make a little fire and burn our pine cones we had dipped in different chemicals to make different colored flames. This was not much of a success because we couldn't keep the fire going. It has been really wet around here lately. Tomorrow maybe we need a lesson on how to build a fire. We did see some purple flames and some dark red ones but that's about it. The kids spent as much time as possible outside today because it was such a beautiful day. I took some outside time and worked on planting some flower seeds that I got from my mom. I've decided that perennials are the way to go. I keep buying and planting annuals every year and usually by the middle of summer, I've let them die from lack of water or something. After that, I spent a little time working on the 4H science class I'll be teaching tomorrow. Hopefully that will go well. I'm not too good at teaching in groups but I'll do the best I can. The materials are very good, Home Science Adventures, so that will help.

Back to busy tomorrow, I suppose.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The way we do it around here.

Since Carolyn asked what 'freebies" are in relation to our homeschool, I thought I'd take a minute, in a main post and explain what we do around here.  This is our sixth year homeschooling and at first we tried a variety of things that didn't work well for us, different schedules and finally we ended up with a list based system. 

Our list has each child's and mom's name across the top.  Then below our names, we each have our list of things to do.  All of my things involve housework and exercise at the moment.  Sometimes I get more creative and add something else to mine, but mostly, that's what I have motivational issues with; housework and exercise, so that's what on my list. 

For the kids, they've each got about 5 school subjects, 5 chores, exercise and personal hygiene, like brushing their teeth, which is something that they will forget if its' not on the list.   They each have 3 'freebies" each week and they can use those for anything but math and hygiene, so that means that they don't have to do it that day.   Also, they can't use it for the same thing more than one time each week.  Usually, the freebies mean they have a light chore day on Friday, pretty much.  Of course the pets still have to be fed, so they don't use them for that either!  We have 'group time" at some point in the day and we do our science/biology, grammar, notebooking and anything else that fits in at that time.  The rest of the time, it seems we kind of unschool.  We watch a lot of educational DVDs, play some educational computer games and they learn things from mom and dad like how to cook and how to change the oil in the car.  Last year we did an art class and a woodworking class through 4H and this year we're doing a science class and a cooking class through 4H.  We also do about a 45 minute read-aloud each night and no one ever wants to use a freebie for that.

I would like to add that all of the kids need a bit of nagging reminding to do their schoolwork from time to time.  The older 2 are good at getting it done before screen time, but the youngest does not always.  Several times lately he's been lucky to get it done by bedtime, much less screentime.  It's by far not a perfect system, but it mostly kind of works.  It's the best thing we've found for us, anyway.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Certain songs

I think certain songs should be banned from being played in stores where people are innocently shopping, just going about their day, not suspecting that they soon will be the victim of a song that's going to be stuck in their head for the rest of the day, possibly longer.

Today's selection at Kroger?

Muskrat Love by The Captain and Tennille.

My new favorite website.

I got this great tip from Freakmom. A free lending library for residents of the states around Indiana. Freshwater Fred

A new kind of Tylenol.

I had a terrible sinus headache yesterday.  While looking for the Tylenol Sinus I asked my husband where it was and accidently called it Tylenol Silence.  Hey, what a concept.  Take this pill and have 4-6 hours of peace and quiet. 


Friday, October 23, 2009

Maybe ...

Maybe we'll get in one of our regular school days today.  We've been flexible and adaptable all week, sometimes getting most of it in, sometimes only the priorities.  Sometimes no school at all, like yesterday, which was another day of fall break.  According to my records, we've taken 3 of them this month.  The public schools got 10 days, and we started later than they did this year, so we should have about the same number of days in.  We've got 53.  According to the count I just did from the county schools website calendar, they're doing day 50 today.  So, we've gotten ahead of them.  Interesting.  Anyway, today I've got a conference call for work and then this evening I have to work, but other than that, we should have time to get school done.  I've got to sew the hood on a Ranger's Apprentice cloak today but I think I'll use some freebies for some of my other chores, since it's Friday and freebies don't carry over to the next week.  :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bad Mom Confession.

I was raised to be polite, not interupt, show interest in others by listening to them talk, nodding encouragement.  I was taught not to say "shut up" because it's rude and before I had kids, I just knew I'd never say that to them.  But I have. 

Let me explain.  I have the most wonderful children in the world.  I really do.  But two of them, the boys, are talkers.  They'll talk for hours if not interupted.   About video games or Yu-Gi-Oh cards or legos or robots.  Some of it is interesting.  Some of it is really facinating.  They have great minds and I love a chance to gain insight into their personalities.   I love my sons dearly and want to listen to them.  I realize they'll be grown up before I know it!   However, no matter how interesting it is or how much I love them, I start to feel a need, after about half an hour, to have one of my own thoughts, to think about my stuff, to plan what I'm going to do.  To go to the bathroom or maybe to go to sleep.  I start to feel like the words are just flowing over me, flowing past me, going on and on. 

When my oldest was little, we had a toddler bed in our room that he slept on.  I was pregnant with his sister and working at a hospital.  My husband was gone to work at this time (He always has had horrible work shifts.)  We'd lie down and I'd immediately go to sleep.  Instant sleep has, until lately, been one of my gifts.  Then my son would wake me up by talking.  Then I'd go to sleep again.  Then he'd wake me up again.  This would happen about 20 times in half an hour (not kidding).  I'd wake up, say something like "Honey, mommy needs to sleep so you need to stop talking now."  then a minute later "Sweetie, you need to stop talking."  At one point I remember actually crying and saying "please, please, just STOP TALKING" and finally one fateful night I said it "SHUT UP!"  He really had no experience with the words and his goal was to keep me awake until he went to sleep so he was undeterred.  He paused for a second, then went on.  So really, even though this felt like a big deal to me, it wasn't to him. 

My youngest son is the same way.   Talk, talk, talk.  I had some trouble grocery shopping the other day because I took him with me and he talked the entire time, when we were driving, through the parking lot, into the store and back home again.  Non. Stop.  I forgot a lot of things because I just couldn't think.  I went to Mom and Dad's to tell them something and I had to interupt him to be able to do it.  I told him to go watch TV.  (They have cable.)  Another bad mom moment.

Anyway, I just wanted to confess this because I feel bad about it.  I feel guilty every single time I have to interupt someone to say what I have to say or answer the phone or go to the bathroom or work or get back to the subject in school ...

So there's my confession.  Just keeping it real.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


There's a new Ranger's apprentice.  We had to make a prototype of the Ranger cloaks I am making and guess who it fit?

It's been kind of an annoying process.  The kids are such perfectionists when it comes to their Halloween costumes.  It drives me a little bit crazy.   

A free day!

I love a day when I have nothing in particular on my calendar and today is one of those days. Of course we have to do school and I have to work tonight, but in between ... no plans. It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining. I hope to get a lot done.

And to make sure I get a lot done, I am implementing the rule today. You know, the rule that we had last year in this house, that if Mom doesn't get her list done by a certain time, then no-one has to do school? I think I'm going to modify it to say that they have to do nothing but the 4 priorities. That will give them some reward so that they will check on me every day. It's a shame that I'm such a slacker that I need to do this to motivate myself -- but sadly, it's true. This is the only way I've been successful in making myself follow my routines, exercise, etc. Otherwise, I'll just not do them, doing only the bare minimum of housework and not exercising. The Flylady calls this voice that tells you to just not do it the 'inner brat". I definitely have one.

Anyway, I'd better get started or there will be consequences.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Field trip report.

The field trip was great yesterday.  The farm is really a pretty place with the most awesome corn maze I've ever seen.  It had a quest for the kids to complete inside of it.  The only ones I've seen before have been kind of random and you just walk around until you find your way out.  They actually have this map in the store that you can look at before you go.  Anyway, although I spent probably a little more than I should have, it was a very nice day.  Right as we were leaving, the kids wanted some apple cider so I said okay, reached in my purse, pulled out the first bill I touched and it was a 10.  I handed the 10 to them and sent them in thinking they'd buy either a gallon or a half gallon, but hey, did you know with 10 dollars, they could afford a gallon and a half gallon.  So we got a little more cider than I was planning on but they love it and a gallon of it is gone already and it's healthy so I guess it's okay.   It's a good thing I didn't hand them a 50 though, not that I had one.  :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Field trip today.

We're going to a Farm/Orchard, one we haven't been to before. I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoy our homeschool group so much. I really love a good field trip. It is one of the major joys of homeschooling. I always get to go (although my husband doesn't but that's because of his yucky work schedule, not because we make him stay home!). When my kids were in the public schools, they couldn't take many parents on trips and so you had to be chosen or win the drawing. Then, you had to meet at the school and drive yourself because parents weren't allowed on the busses (buses?) and your kid had to ride the bus and wasn't allowed to ride with the parent. (So no family bonding time on the trip down.) Then once you got there, you were assigned other children to be in charge of. Once at the zoo, my youngest son's teacher tried to assign me and my husband all the trouble kids in her class and then she and her assistant could walk around unencumbered. We gave at one of them back because he proved in the first 5 minutes that he wasn't going to listen to anything we said. I went on as many field trips as I could when the kids were in public school. I hated it when they went someplace really cool and I didn't get to share it with them. Then they'd come home and give me the "fine" answer and no details. I like details people!

Anyway, I'm glad we're homeschooling and I get to go today!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thinking ...

I've been thinking this evening too. I've been on one of the yahoo lists that I'm on about homeschooling and on the homeschool lounge. There were a couple of issues being discussed. On the email list, they were discussing a child not fitting well with the curriculum that they had chosen, whining, crying and complaining the whole time. People were suggesting all different kinds of things for the mom to do, everything from more structure to less structure or totally no structure at all (just let him play video games all the time). On the homeschool lounge a young mom, homeschooling a kindergartner was upset because he wasn't learning to read yet and some people were telling her different curriculum books to buy, different methods to teach and there were several people (me included) telling her to take it easy, because he's just not ready. Some kids are not ready to read at 5. Some are not ready to read at 7 or 8. I read once that the NORMAL age for walking for a baby is from 8-18 months - a 10 month range, which at pretty large considering how fast kids are learning at those ages. I think the average age to learn to read is probably 5-10 years. I think there are all kinds of different ranges for things that are perfectly normal. After all, in order to get an average, somebody has to fall at the low end and somebody else at the high end. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. Some kids are sensitive to every noise, bright lights, tight clothing, itchy clothing, the seam in their socks being not quite straight ...(I've got 2 of these.) and other's aren't. We can't all be just alike.

It's really difficult for a mom to know when to worry, when not to, when to intervene, when to wait it out. I guess that's when we all need to do what these 2 moms are doing and ask the voices of experience around them for advice. One of the most difficult things about homeschooling is trying to find a curriculum to use and then if it doesn't work with your child's learning style, figuring out when to toss it. My only advice is to use as many free things as possible to supplement! Here's a link to some of the best freebies I've found

This is interesting. Follow this link to see a group of olympic female athletes showing normal size variations between people. 


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