Saturday, February 28, 2009

Books and things.

I've downloaded a couple of audio books from our state's digital library.  I'm very excited to be able to do that.  If you are in Kentucky, the site is here.  You'll have to have a library card with a PIN number.  I set my PIN up at my library a long time ago so that I could put books on hold or renew them online.  If you are in another state or another country, ask your local library or do a search for virtual libraries or digital libraries.  I've also been reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, through Daily Lit.   They email a small section to me each day.  It seems like I've been reading it for a long, long time.  I guess it's been about 3 weeks?  Anyway, I'm about ready to give up and rent the movie!  I have collected a couple of good quotes from it though.  Here are my 2 favorites so far.

The first one is about marriage and made me smile:
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life." 

The second was on how to deal with 2 friends who do not like each other or don't get along.  It's very good advice, I think.

"Nothing remained therefore to be done, but to think well of them both, to defend the conduct of each, and throw into the account of accident or mistake whatever could not be otherwise explained."

The library didn't have the movie today or I would've gotten it.  So for now, I'll keep reading it.

Friday, February 27, 2009


My youngest son and I are doing "All About Spelling" for his spelling curriculum.  We just started it this week.  Even though he reads large books (he's reading Deltora Quest right now), he reads slowly and needs to work on sounding out the big words somewhat.  So I started him at the very beginning to make sure that all the gaps get closed in as we go.  So anyway, on the letter tiles, there is a section with ways to spell the sh sound, which can be spelled ti, ci, si and sh.   He was fascinated by this because he hadn't realized there were so many ways to spell this one sound.  Then last night, he wanted to read his book and my daughter wouldn't be quiet (a complete role reversal from the usual) and so he got index cards and wrote "ci" on one, "si" on one, "ti" on one and "sh" on one, and would hold one up when she'd talk to tell her to "shh".  She keep talking and talking and talking and finally, when she wasn't looking, I took one of the cards and wrote "I keel you!"  (from Achmed the dead terrorist comedy routine) and the next time she talked, he held that one up to much hilarious laughter. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

3 days!

I've done my exercise and house cleaning routines for 3 days!  Yay me!  It feels good to have my routines back.  I don't know why I quit them and then have such a hard time starting back.  It's crazy.  Like I said yesterday, the kids aren't doing as well with the new routines and no freebies.  It's been taking them to 4, 5, 6 or even 7 p.m. to finish but that's with a lot of whining breaks.  It's not really that much work, it's just getting used to having to do it again.  We've all been slacking off lately, after I started that job and then mom being in the hospital and the stomach flu and the ice storm, we just all stressed out and couldn't get ourselves in gear.  Hopefully, now we're back and we can stay the course until May.  Summer sounds really good right now, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remember what I said the other day?

That part about the kids working well independently?  Well, forget that.  We did an inventory today and found that a couple of people (who shall remain nameless!) have been slacking on their math.  They've been using all freebies for math, which is not the way the freebies were intended.  The new lists don't have any freebies on them, so everyone has to do everything, everyday.   Can you hear the whining and crying from where you are?  If not, can I come visit you?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What I'm doing today.

I've been thinking about my Homeschool Stuff blog and trying to decide how to organize it better and I've decided to just make a new one for my homeschool links. I've got a couple of entries done this morning. Here's the link, Homeschool-Links. I'm going to try and do one page for each subject area. I'll do math or science next.

Also, I'm trying to get started back on my routines. I made new lists for everyone including myself and told the kids that if I don't do my list, they don't have to do school that day. (Of course they know they'll have to make it up later, but they don't care.) So that means that I'll be doing my housework and exercise routines in the morning each day. Hopefully.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lesson plans link.

K12 Core Lesson Plans from Utah Education Network  This has got a lot of good lessons print and use.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Well so much for not working.

I got called in to type one report at the local hospital.  The other employees there didn't answer their phones and this was a stat report that needed to be done right away so the patient could be transferred.  I hope this isn't a real regular thing although the boss said she'd make it "worth my while" if I came in.  Interesting anyway. 

A Saturday in which I don't have to work.

Woohoo!  I may work anyway because I'd like to pad out my paycheck a bit, but I don't HAVE to.  It's a huge difference.  I've got to go some time today and pick up my teen who has been on 2 consecutive "sleepovers" and probably hasn't slept since Thursday.  Other than that, I really have no plans.  I might clean the house.  I might go shopping.  I might just read a book. 

Friday, February 20, 2009


As usual, I've got no title as I just ramble on and on about this and that in most of my blog posts.   I do have a funny comment from one of the kids to share.  My youngest greeted me as he stepped in the back door yesterday.  He explained why he had went outside (not that I was concerned, really).  He said "I was going to go outside and talk to myself for a while, but I really didn't have much to say" 

My oldest is gone on a sleepover so he's getting the day off from school today, but it's just much easier to trade kids when we're at Thursday night skate night.  I might make him make it up on Sunday. 

We took our youngest cat, Zelda Ziggy, to get neutered this week.  I'm happy that we have 6 neutered pets now and we are doing the responsible thing, but I'd really kind of like to have puppies and kittens around since they are so fun.  I love to watch kittens play, especially.  I wonder it we could be a foster home for kittens?  I'd like the kids to have the whole experience of seeing them as newborns and how quickly they grow up.  I enjoyed that so much when I was a kid.

We should get started on school, it's nearly 11:00 o'clock and we've done nothing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The 4H art class went really well.  The lady who is donating her time to teach it is really good.  She kept the kids interest almost the entire time.  At one point, she handed out these erasers that can be molded like play-dough and for a few minutes, no one was paying attention to her, just making aliens, fish, mice, etc. out of their erasers.  Anyway, she got them back and gave them some homework to do some still lifes, although, I really don't think she gave them enough instruction in shadowing and vanishing points, etc. to do a much better job than they would've done anyway.  We'll see I guess.

After school, we went to one of the regular 4H classes, which was woodworking.  I guess I had visions of making bookshelves or something, but they'll each be making a birdhouse.  I shouldn't complain because the class and all the materials are free, but I really don't particularly want 3 birdhouses.   Oh well.  If they have fun with it and it's free ...

Update on Max:  He smells better, but his collar still smelled bad so I got him a new one today at Dollar Tree.  Freckles got one too, just because they had pink camo.  :-)

Homeschooling, The Ideal Versus the Reality Tidbit For Today:  On Why Homeschool a while back, they had a whole article on this.  I don't have a whole article, just a description of our less than ideal day today (hey, just keeping it real!) I had to work last night to what was supposed to be 11:00 p.m. but I couldn't get done on time with all I had downloaded, so it was 12:30 by the time I packed it in and went to sleep about 1:00.  I had to get up at 7:00 to take my mom in for a fasting blood test (just routine) and when I came home, I was tired, sleepy and felt awful.  So I took a nap pretty much the whole time the kids were doing their schoolwork, waking up every now and then to walk through the house and remind them to "do school" as we call it.  Somedays are just like that but fortunately, I've got them trained to just do it (mostly) on the days I can't sit right with them. 

Two Book Recommendations:
Thursdays at 8 by Debbie Macomber and The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson.  I've read both of these this week and really enjoyed them. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today's the day!

Finally, our long-awaited 4H art class is today.  I hope it goes well.  It sure was a bugger to arrange.  Anyway, today the kids will be doing charcoal drawings.  We're all kind of excited about getting to take art classes from an actual art teacher. 

Update on Max:  After approximately 9 washings and rinsings yesterday with various products, he smells better, enough so that he spent the night in the house.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Latest Drama.

In the wee hours of the morning, I let Max out and guess what he did?  He aggravated a skunk and got himself sprayed.  Right now he's having a bath (my daughter apparently loves him more than I do) in tomato juice and then hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and then hopefully he will smell good enough to re-join our household.  If not, he may have to find alternative lodging.  He seriously stinks.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The tooth fairy saga, part 3.

Okay, so the tooth fairy put some more money in the bed last night, kind of on the edge, trying to make it look like he'd missed seeing it before. He didn't see it this time either. Finally, I pretended to notice it for the very first time. He looked down at the money, past the money on the very edge of the bed and saw .... his tooth, there on the floor. So, he and his sister decided that that dollar bill couldn't have been from the tooth fairy, since of course the tooth was still there, it must be hers and must have fallen out of her bunk. (I can see how she'd go along with this, can't you?) So now, she has an extra dollar and tooth fairy had to remember AGAIN this morning to put a darn dollar under the pillow and this time get rid of the tooth FOR GOOD.

I'm happy to report that this morning, she was successful. Two of the kids in this house are a bit richer, one dollar is still missing and tooth fairy is out 3 bucks for 1 tooth, when her going rate around here is 1 dollar. And, this is all for the tooth with the cavity in it, which really should only get part of a dollar, since it wasn't well maintained.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's day.

Friday the 13th was good.  The moms night out was a ton of fun.  We went to a very good restaurant and then to one of the mom's new house and played games and got a house tour.  I'm so jealous.  Its really a lovely house.  We played Imagine If which can be hilarious and was. 

Tooth fairy update:  I left the money kind of in the middle of the bed, thinking maybe he'd think he just missed it, but it disappeared.  He couldn't find either the tooth (it's long gone!) or the money, so he thought that he wasn't going to get money because the tooth had a filling in it.  That's actually kind of a good idea, but I didn't want to break his little heart, so I put some more money over there (this has been an expensive week for the old tooth fairy!) and we'll see if he can find it.

I'm working this weekend for the hospital.  It's okay working on the weekends, because it's quiet.  I don't mind it too much.  Tomorrow though, I've got to work at the hospital, then come home and work at my home job.  From 11 am to 11 pm with only a short break between.  I don't know about that.  I've done it once before, but I managed to get a nap in between.  It's all going to hinge on that nap ...

Anyway, that's how we are here.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009.

It's Friday the 13th.  I hope that's not really a bad omen.  I've got a relatively easy day planned for today.  At 1:00 we have to take 2 cats to the vet and this evening is mom's night out with the other homeschool moms.  In between, we'll do school.  I doubt going to the vet can count as a field trip.  ;-)

The tooth fairy has had a really, really busy week here.  Three of my youngest son's teeth have fallen out.  The tooth fairy is very forgetful and son has had to wait 2 days both times for his money.  This morning, she got the tooth first thing, before coffee even, put it in the pocket of her nightgown  fairy outfit and didn't realize that the pocket of her nightgown fairy outfit has a hole in it.  So now the tooth is AWOL and I am  she is trying to decide whether to just throw the money under the bed or something ...

All that she/I stuff reminds me.  I'm reading this book about personalities called Personality Plus for couples and I seem to be a combination of 2 dominant personality types that aren't supposed to be in the same person.  That would explain a lot, wouldn't it? 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not bad.

Today isn't blank but it's not bad. We've got a valentine's pizza party with the homeschool group and I've got to work for my home transcription company. That's it as far as preplanned activities go. I just realized last night that I've scheduled too many things for Monday and that they overlap somewhat, so I'm going to reschedule the vet visit for the cats to another day. Another phone call. Yay.

The 4H meeting went well. One of our difficulties as a homeschool group this year has been finding a place to meet and so we are combining the art classes we had planned with a 4H art club in order to have a meeting place, etc. The kids can make projects for the county fair which is something 4H wants us to do, so it's a win-win. We're also going to participate in several of the regular January-June classes that they have ( some of which, this year, are going to be February to July). We are thinking about the woodworking class and the safety class (for CPR and first aid). Because of the director's illness this year, there's been somewhat of a delay on getting these classes going, but we had so much fun with it last year. About half of our cool field trips last year, including the one where the kids got to hold the chameleon, the one to the humane society, the vet and the dog groomer and the one where they got to let the homing pigeon go, were with 4H and we were just in 1 club! This year we may join a couple more, like I said, woodworking and safety. My sons also expressed interest in a robotics club, so we'll see about the meeting times when it gets started.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Our electricity went off for about 5 hours again tonight, due to high winds. I was a lot more whiny this time than last time because I kind of expected it to be really short, like 15 minutes or so and it wasn't. Finally, the kids and I went to the store and to Burger King because they were hungry and we didn't want to open the fridge in case the power stayed out a long time and we lost the fridge food (again). When we got back with bread, peanut butter, fritos and queso dip (the necessities of life!) the power was back on.

Thank goodness.

A blank day on the calendar.

I love it when that happens!  We're going to concentrate on schooling and cleaning today.  I'm sure the kids will be as thrilled as I am about it.  ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We have our long awaited 4H meeting today.  The lady who works at the 4H office and I were talking at the county fair, in July, about our homeschool group starting our own club.  We'll one thing and another has happened, the poor lady has had some health issues, but finally, today we're having our meeting to see what our group can do through 4H.  I think it's going to be a good experience for our group, but we'll see I guess.

Monday, February 09, 2009

So much to do.

I don't have to work today but I have a huge list of things I need to do.  We're getting our kitten neutered tomorrow and she's got to spend the night in the house with no food after midnight.  We don't have any kitty litter so we need to get some.  I need to pick up some other things in town, make about a bazillion phone calls (you know how I love that) and somehow get school done.  On top of that, I slept in this morning and even though it's nearly 11:00 I'm still having coffee.  I've got to get out of that habit.  I need to adjust the hours of my telecommuting job now that I'm not working both  jobs, so that I'm not working until midnight.  I worked until midnight last night and that's my excuse for sleeping so late this morning.  I'd better get started. 

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Some tree damage from the storm of 2009.

Hopefully this will be the only one we have this year and can keep the title of the storm of 09.   I don't know if you can tell but our street is one lane still in places because of the tree branches on it.


Mom and Dad got to move back home last night.  The kids and helped them carry things and move from one house to the other.  I think it was 11 days for them?  I've lost count.  I really hate ice storms.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Okay, yesterday was supposed to be my official last day at work, but she talked me into today.  That's one reason I'm leaving, I have such a hard time saying no.  So I'm going in for a few hours today, not long.  After today, I will have until next weekend until I have to go back and then 1 weekend in March and 1 in April, etc.  It will be a little extra money.  It will help me keep a good relationship with the local hospital in case I ever desperately need a job. 

This week, I'm going to (hopefully) help my parents move back home and then focus on homeschooling.  We've got a 4H meeting planned for Tuesday and a Valentine's party planned for the homeschool group on Thursday.  Hopefully, we will be able to start feeling like ourselves again, the 'work at home, school at home' family we've been for the last couple of years until I started this job.  It just didn't fit our family. 

The picture is a drawing of a sunrise on canvas with oil pastels that my daughter did during the storm/power outage,   She recycled a canvas that had a drawing of a flower on it.  The sun in this one was the flower center in the other one. 

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's so wonderful being warm.

My parents are still living at my brother's house. They're doing okay. Their house is a special case because a tree fell on it and knocked the electric meter off, so we're not sure when it will be fixed. My mom is cleaning my brother's house top to bottom for something to do. I may have to move them over here for a few days before they go back home. ;-)

The other day we had our foster care recertification visit from the social workers. We're still not sure if we are going to continue but the recert was pretty easy so we're doing it and then we're going to try and decide later, when we're not under so much stress (if we ever get to that point). So, basically, we've just procrastinated on making the decision. Anyway, the new caseworker asked my kids this question. "If you get a foster kid in your house who is school age and they get to go to school and you don't, will you feel jealous?" The kids have laughed about that for days. No way will they feel jealous. They know what they are not missing. Been there. Done that. Really, really don't want to go back.

Anyway, we're warm now. We've got lights in the bathroom and everything. I've discovered that it is really difficult to put contacts in by lantern, candle or flashlight.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's back on!!!!!!

After 9 days our electricity is back on.

Thank goodness. 

Did you hear us yelling from happiness?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Today, my youngest son was cold inside the house, but the temperature was 68 degrees, which is what we usually keep it on when we have electricity. He decided to go outside, get really cold, then he could come back in, the better to appreciate the warmth. That's kind of what I did with my job situation. I had a good job but was unappreciative of it, so I took the other one and now I'm back where I was, but now I realize what I've got.

Day 8.

Still no power.  It got down to 51 degrees in our house this morning, which doesn't seem cold if it's a spring day and you are completely dressed and out taking a hike, but in the bedroom, when you first wake up, it's cold. 

We're trying to do school this week, but honestly, not doing very well.  I've got a lot of extra work to keep the house going, heating water for dishes and baths, etc. and it seems like that's about all I get done but we're still plugging away at it.  There has been some whining, not all of it from the kids.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

About work yesterday.

I went to work yesterday at the hospital. I have given my 2 weeks notice and my 2 weeks is up on Friday. So yesterday was one of my regularly scheduled days and I showed up to work and one of the at-home transcriptionists was there at my workstation working. It's the only workstation that there is at the hospital for transcription, so they didn't need me and didn't bother to call and tell me not to come in. Very annoying. I really think I'm doing a good thing by leaving this job.

A week.

It will be a week at about 7:00 p.m. tonight that we've been without electricity.  The generator is worth it's weight in gold.  Yesterday, my oldest son and I ventured out to the laundromat and washed 4 loads of laundry.  That's expensive and interesting.  It's only the second time I've been to the laundromat in my life, that's how spoiled I am.  I talked to a lot of people up there who were in the same boat as us, looking at a week of no power.  Still, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't so bad.  It's inconvenient and expensive, but it's not life threatening or heartbreaking.  One of my fellow bloggers is dealing with losing her father this week.  She's on my mind today.  

We're doing work and school today and trying to live normally despite the small inconveniences and the fact that our feet haven't been really warm for a week. 

Monday, February 02, 2009

More of a pain now.

We're without power still. It's actually more of a pain right now than it was last week, because I have to go to work and we can actually get out so we've had a lot of things to do, only to return home to our house, which is only functioning at about 40%. Maybe not that much. We have a hot plate that I can cook on with the generator, but it doesn't work very well. I can cook on the kerosene heater if it is cold enough outside to run the heater. Same thing with heating water for a bath. It's just really getting old. My parents are still living with my brother and it's getting very old for them too.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Camping in notes and pictures. (Hopefully).

I'm hooked up to the generator now.  I needed to connect my laptop up to it so I could update for work tonight, so I thought I might as well blog.  I must be missing the first couple of pages of my camping in diary because the first entry I see is labeled “48 Hours In”. I thought I was writing a lot of good stuff, but when I went back to look at it, it wasn’t all that profound, just day to day details. Anyway, here’s a summary.

This is a picture of our deck, with a tree lying over on it and our outdoor table and chairs, which are kind of toast now. 
The first couple of days, our concerns were getting out of our driveway, keeping warm, and making sure our families were warm and safe (tons of phone calls) . I’m not sure what we could have done if they weren’t. If my brother hadn’t come in from out of state to get my parents and take them to his house, we might have had to get the police or someone to give them a ride! During this time, we got the 2 ½ trees cleared out of our driveway, the kerosene heater started and our lanterns set up. We read a lot and played a lot of board games. Fortunately, our board game cabinet selection is extensive.

So by Thursday, 48 hours in, my husband had to return to work. My boss from the hospital called to see if I’d work Friday, but the only way I was getting in there was if my husband drove me in the truck and he wasn’t willing to do that after sleeping about 20 minutes and then working a 10 hour overnight shift. Apparently, the hospital was over capacity with a lot of people admitted for carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the other MTs was MIA and they really needed me, but there was no way my van was going in there and you have to be used to the brakes on my husband’s truck to drive it, even on good roads.

I didn’t want to go back to work. I was kind of enjoying the pioneering, cooking over the stove, finding creative ways to entertain ourselves, reading a book about people trapped in a snowstorm. We played Farkle, Racko, The Game of Life, Clue, Apples to Apples, Cranium, Zeus on the Loose, Uno, Outburst, Password, Chinese Checkers, Fluxx and Mad Libs. The funniest Mad Libs we did was one night when we had one about a cruise ship and the phrase turned out to be “our chefs will prepare wonderful pickled desserts that will melt in your pants”. and then when I was reading them, I was supposed to day look at your waxy face and I said “look at your waxy adjective face” (I read the word underneath waxy!) Anyway, I was tired, that’s my excuse. It was so funny. About midnight after your power has been off for 3 or 4 days, everything is just so much funnier. It’s because you start to get hysterical.

It was weird walking outside. I could hear the neighbor’s generators running. Our ‘fridge” was outside now so we had to go out quite often for milk and stuff. It’s good to open your doors a lot to let fresh air in when you’re heating with kerosene. I don’t like the smell of it, but I like being warm, so I dealt with it. I finally did go back to work on Saturday. Our power came back on for part of Saturday and I got to take a nice hot shower before heading in. It went back off again after I got home …

Maybe it will come back on again soon, but the generator makes life more normal anyway. I can work this evening and maybe the kids can have screen time. We didn’t do any school this week. We should have, but we just didn’t. I think they learn things from experiences like this. I know I do.

It's back off.

Our power was on for 14 hours, then went off again. No idea why. At least we have the generator going now.


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