Friday, May 29, 2009

Book swap.

We went to the huge book swap and homeschool fair today. It was a really good event. We really got some bargains. We hadn't been there 5 minutes when both of my sons came to show me that they had spent their 5 dollars on video games, one for Xbox 360 and one for Wii, games that they wouldn't have been able to get for $5.00 anywhere else. I picked up several free books and many reasonably priced ones. I got a pre-algebra textbook for my younger 2 next year for $2.00 and a Hank the Cowdog audio book for $1.00. My daughter got 2 of the Warrior books she loves so much. It was really fun talking to the other homeschooling moms too.

I'm really tired now, but feeling less discouraged. My company found an account for me and I'll be starting on it Monday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Remember how just 3 days ago, I was glad to be done with my second job? Well today we found out that we lost the account that I work on for my other job, so I don't have any work to do for them, until they can scramble around and find something for me to type. I'm really discouraged right now.

Thursday, the 28th.

Today may be our last day of 'formal' school this year. I'll decide for sure over the weekend, but I'm pretty sure. (Don't you just love my long-range planning style?) We've got a homeschool event tomorrow with the big group we're a part of and that would be a nice way to end this year. Although, actually Monday, we've got a field trip ... one of several we've already got planned for the summer. One of the members of our group put her kids in private school this year, but we still love them and want to spend time with them, so we'll do as much with them this summer as we can. Next week, the kids and I will be doing some home improvement projects that we've been procrastinating about. Hopefully. Unless we think of a reason to put them off again. We might. We're very creative.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Better today.

We did a minimal amount of school yesterday then went to town and rented movies and got donuts, celebrating the fact that I only have one job now (we were going to get a cake, but donuts were cheaper!). We watched Hotel for Dogs and the mall cop one. I think youngest son is doing somewhat better today. I am too, although I probably won't be setting any enthusiasm world records, I do feel a little bit less blah and more able to cope. I'm pretty sure we are going to be done (or quit!) with school on Friday. I counted the field trips, etc. that we have planned for the summer and we'll be fine as far as the hours go. I'd be happier if all the books were finished and I may need to make a plan for that. Sometimes, a family just needs a break.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I'm feeling kind of blah today. I don't want to step back into my real life (after 3days of working at the hospital and at home) any more than I want to go back to work at the hospital full time, if you know what I mean. I just don't want to do anything. I didn't do my list this morning. Instead, I've talked on the phone (they called me!) and counseled my youngest son who is just going through a phase where he feels sad about death and dying, I guess he's realizing his own mortality and that of those around him. I hope we can have a fun day today and help him feel better.

I revised the lists to take off some of the chores and school work to make them less onerous so that maybe we can get our days in. We'll have 175 days in by Friday and we may just call it quits then and try to get the rest of our hours in this summer with field trips and enrichment activities. We're tired, we're burned out and we are so ready for some time off.

So, so ready.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Free at last!

I'm finished with having 2 jobs! I brought my chair and the picture of my kids home. I left my name tag and parking permit there. Woohoo!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two thirds done.

(Really it's not as bad as the picture would indicate!)
I'm almost 2/3 done with my long, long working weekend. Thank goodness. I've only got one more shift at the hospital! It's been hard because they've been admitting a lot of patients and needing a lot of reports typed. As the only transcriptionist working this weekend, I've really, really been working hard, and been barely able to keep up with the admission notes. I haven't been able to work on the backlog at all. I'll truly be glad when I'm well and truly, completely done.

Wish you were here ...

Last week when all 3 of my kids stayed all night with a friend, I missed them but I missed my daughter the most. See, she's the one Freckles loves best, the one Freckles follows around and the one that Freckles likes to lick. My daughter will be sitting at the kitchen table doing her schoolwork and I'll hear slurping, look under the table and there's Freckles licking my daughter's ankle. With my daughter gone, guess who got to be the very reluctant substitute?

I've been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! Get some hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some iodine! Lucy Van Pelt.

Cooking experiment.

The other day I was craving something sweet very badly and the only thing we had in the house that was sweet was some butterscotch chips. I did a search on butterscotch chips recipes. I didn't have any real butter for cookies and really needed to get groceries because we didn't have much of anything. Finally, I found a recipe that called for butterscotch chips, peanut butter and marshmallows, plus a couple of other things, melted and stirred together. I didn't have any marshmallows other than some blue peeps left over from Easter, so I threw those in. When the butterscotch "bars" were done, they looked a tiny bit weird, brown globs with bluish green sections of the peeps sticking out here and there. My youngest son came walking into the kitchen, looked at them and said "I am not being the guinea pig for that recipe!"

It tasted pretty good though. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009


This is my last weekend at the hospital. I've got to work, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, then I'll be done, but it is a long time from now until then. I so dread it. The thing is, I stayed working the weekends trying to be nice and I think the boss is mad at me anyway, for saying this would be my last weekend, so I don't think she'd ever give me a good reference. I made a mistake thinking that I should take this job. I was thinking that it would be good to separate home and work, but I've worked at home too long and I just couldn't adapt to being gone so much. Oh well. After this weekend, I will be done and I won't make the same mistake again.


I had a friend lined up last week to keep my kids the night before I had surgery so they wouldn't have to get up at 4:00 a.m. and go to grandmas, but her family got the flu and couldn't do it so my younger kids got the joy of waking up at 4:00 a.m. and going to grandmas. So anyway, she said, since she had borrowed an air mattress, etc., could she have them this week, all 3 of them? We said okay (kind of reluctantly) and let them go, so last night I spent the night in a completely child free home. It was kind of weird. My husband was at work and gone too, so I kind of felt like my whole family had gone on vacation without me or something. I rented a couple of movies, (Failure to Launch which I would recommend, and Yes Man, which I would not recommend that anyone watch.) and then went to bed. I missed everybody. :-(

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Going to the park today.

We've got a park day today with a larger homeschool group that we're a part of in Louisville. This is our first outing with them. There is not anyone close to my oldest son's age in our local group, so I'm networking in this other group to find him some kids closer to his age to hang out with. Today, we're going to have a little meet and greet, do a scavenger hunt and eat snacks at the park, just so the kids can get to know each other. After this, I'm hoping we can get together once a month or so. They've met each other on email, so this will be an IRL meeting. :-)

Last night, the library called and told us that a book called "Math doesn't suck" was in. My library card is blocked because I owe excessive fines (3 whole dollars!) which no one mentioned to me when I was there either Monday or Tuesday, so I can't put books on hold. So, I put the book on hold on my youngest son's card. I told him that his book was in and that it was called "Math doesn't suck." and he said, "Oh yes it does."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I'm doing better. I am getting my list done this morning with no problems and we will be doing school today. My youngest son is kind of disgusted that I keep getting my list done. I think he thought since I had surgery, he'd get a free ride for a couple of weeks.

I've kind of got a summer list idea in the back of my mind. Every year I try to make a summer list and every year, it lasts about a day and a half. (Kind of like every diet I've ever been on, but that's neither here nor there ... ) Anyway, this year's summer list will involve chores and exercise, trying to focus on eating meals together (which we are terrible about doing!). We will be unschooling this summer. We may also do a little bit of what we call funschooling, which is art, science experiments and whatever educational things the kids enjoy. (not math or grammar, in case you wondered, those are not considered as a part of funschooling!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm still a little shaky when I try to get up and do too much.  Hence, I have left exercise off my list for this week and written "EXCUSED" beside it.  I figure I can get a doctor's note if my kids need it.  If not, I can threaten to show them my incision on my belly.  They're kind of squeamish, so this might work.

However, despite my shakiness, I got my list done yesterday and we did school.  I also worked last night, so I'm very proud of myself.   There is no rest for the wicked, as they say, and most home working transcriptionists are independent contractors and do not get paid time off, so back to work is a necessity, even if you are a bit shaky.  Hopefully, I'm doing a good job.  I've been more careful, re-listening to reports, just in case feeling bad might affect my work. 

Today, I've done my list mostly and I'm taking a little break to blog and read, then I'll finish it and we'll get on with school and work for today.   There's game time at the library this afternoon and we're meeting the homeschool group at Fazoli's for supper, so  some socialization time, and then it's back home to work.  I'm kind of tired just thinking about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What about socialization?

This is the question that all homeschool families are always asked and we are no exception. This was the first question the nurse asked the other day when I told her that I homeschool. I guess that people assume that we stay home all the time and they also assume that good and important socialization occurs at the public and private school buildings.

Socialization: A continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

Let's start with the second of these 2 assumptions: I don't think that largely good socialization is occuring at schools these days, I think a lot of it is negative. I've seen a kid in our homeschool group, who used to be the funniest, most relaxed happy kid ever, who was always right in the middle of the other kids having a great time, after a year in private school, start hovering on the edges, self-conscious, quiet and miserable looking. It's like he's a whole nother kid. I think that's what constant peer pressure does to kids. It could be a product of growing another year, but I don't see it happening to the kids who are continuing to homeschool, several of whom are already teens and older than him. Of course, there may be something else going on with him that I don't know about so maybe he doesn't count?  Regardless, I don't really see a lot of behaviors amongst the kids I see out in public that I want them to teach my kids.  And finally, don't you remember being told while in school "We're not here to socialize!"

Secondly, we aren't home all the time isolating our kids from other people (even if we were, my husband and I could probably teach them how to behave without their teen and tween friends having to step in and do it!) In the mornings, we are usually home, but in the afternoon, we're skating, we're at the park, on field trips, at 4H, at the pool and at the library, the grocery, Walmart, or the movies. The point is, we get out of the house. I'm not even the slightest bit worried that when they are adults they won't know how to act around other people.

To the nurse I kept my explanation simple due to a lack of time (and the fact that she probably wasn't really interested but just making polite conversation) , "Oh we have a homeschool group that we do a lot of things with."


Let's call this one, gotta get it done Monday.  One way or the other, we've got to get something accomplished today.   It's a cool day and it would be good, I think, to paint the kitchen, if I hadn't just had surgery.  I might feel up to it.  I feel pretty good today.  On the other hand, we really need to do school and get that done.   I may do the 15 minutes of painting every morning that someone on the Flylady list was talking about a few weeks ago, just do a tiny bit each day, but once I get everything out, I might be tempted to keep going and going and wear myself out. 

For now, I'm just going to have some more coffee. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Itchy me.

Apparently, I'm allergic to surgical tape.  Actually I already knew that certain band-aids break me out.  Guess what type they used at the hospital the other day?  I now have an 8 x 4 inch rectangular rash that is very itchy.  Fun.  Hopefully I can go to church this morning.  I'll take a shower and see if it makes me weak and dizzy all over like it did yesterday.

I am proud that I was able to work yesterday.  It took me all day, but I got enough reports typed to get the weekend bonus.  I'll be doing that again today.  Thankfully, I'm not in much pain so I can skip the heavy hitting pain pills and take regular Tylenol. 

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling great and we'll be able to jump in and get the rest of this school year done!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Our kids have saved up their own money and bought themselves a Wii.  That's what's going on at our house right now.  As soon as noon gets here, which is the screentime end time on Saturday, they'll be in here begging for more time.  I haven't decided if I'll give it to them or not.  It's wet and rainy outside (AGAIN), so I may let them have a bit more.  It's different from other video games in that it is at least a little bit active.  They've got Wii sports and Wii play.   I need to think of a  plan for when they ask ... make them clean the house or something for more time.   Hey, a mom's gotta get some benefit from this thing, right?  Yesterday, before I'd let them go shopping with their Dad for it, I made them find a library book that they had lost and was overdue!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Excuses, excuses.

Doesn't having surgery yesterday count as an excuse for not getting my list done?  One would think so.  My youngest thinks that it should excuse me from only 3 things on my list.   My morning list consists of cooking, cleaning, dishes, showering, exercising and putting 2 things in the goodwill box (very gradual and easy decluttering).  The doctor's note I brought home did say that I could walk (but I don't think he meant strenuously!) and that I could shower, so that's 2 things on my list I could do.  I've already washed the dishes, but haven't cleaned the rest of the house.  I gave it an especially good cleaning the day before surgery, so it looks okay.   I think I'm excused from my list, but school is on for the kids.  If they'd had surgery, they'd be excused! 

That decided, I'd better not try to teach anything too strenuous today, I am in a serious brain fog from the anesthesia.   Way out there, spacy.   I'm reading a book from the library that's marked as 3rd grade reading level and having a little bit of trouble staying focused on it.  Probably better not work tonight.  ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I survived.

I came through my little medical procedure quite well. I feel pretty good actually, now that I've spent the entire afternoon sleeping, a little sore, but not too bad. I am a little afraid that some of the numbing stuff might wear off soon and I will have some pain, but right now at least, it's fine. I may even be able to work tomorrow night and not have to take any days off. Maybe the numbing stuff is making me overly optomistic?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cultural notes.

I'm reading a bunch of books by British writer Katie Fforde and enjoying them very much. After about the 8th one, I've started to notice that the British way of saying things is kind of creeping into my usual vocabulary and I'm saying things like "I need to go to the loo." or "Brilliant!" and I'm pretty sure I called the dogs "daft" this morning at 5:00 a.m. when they wanted out. (Way before coffee and therefore, way before complete consciousness). It's funny how those words are just coming to my mind. Tomorrow morning I'll be in hospital (at least briefly). I wonder why they don't say "in the hospital"? I guess they wonder why we say an extra word, which really isn't necessary. Sometimes the cultural references go completely over my head and I have no idea what they are talking about for a paragraph or two!

Trying to get some things done.

I'm going to have a small medical procedure done tomorrow, which means I have to get up a couple of hours before the crack of dawn.  I wonder why they always schedule everything so early?  Anyway, I'm trying to get the house in order, cook some things and get a bunch of laundry done today because I don't know how I'll feel for the next few days.  We'll have Thursday off school, but I'll have to decide about Friday when it gets here. 

Next week, we're going to devote some time to finishing some books, the science book, the math books and the language arts books need to be done.  It's not easy to make myself do it, because my mind is on summertime already.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


september292007 005

A dead mouse in the driveway led to this discussion about the cats. The kids were wondering which cat may have killed it. They figure it was probably Sammy, but possibly could have been Zelda. I asked why they didn't think Zoey would have done it. The youngest summed it up "She's teeny and poofy and she doesn't go anywhere."
Apparently, the other cats wander a lot but Zoey stays in the yard. I'm not sure what being "teeny" and "poofy" has to do with anything.

Finishing the school year.

We've only got 18 days left to do, if I have counted right.  The problem is, I'm still not sure how to proceed.  I planned yesterday to work on our Language Arts book, but didn't do it, instead I went and got my hair cut and had my 12-year-old daughter highlight it.  It looks pretty good.  She may be able to have hairdressing as a career some day.   Then, I picked up my holds at the library and did some extra work at my job last night.  I have to take Friday off so I'm trying to get a little bit ahead before then.  Today, I really, really need to do my list and then get some school things done, but I also have a ton of other things I need/want to do!  I'll be glad when those 18 days are done and we can take a break from school.  There.  I said it.  I love homeschooling and I think it is the best thing in the world for our family, but I get tired and want some time off from it too.  I'm ready for summer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What to do today ...

I don't know.  I was exhausted from yesterday and so I slept in.  I still have a little time to do my list, but it's not looking likely.  I want to get my hair cut.  I kind of want to just take the day and get the house in order.  I'm not sure what to do.   I know I've got a couple of holds at the library and I want to pick those up. 


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not too bad.

This weekend wasn't as bad as the last one when I had to work both jobs.  Thankfully.  I got through it and although I'm tired, I feel like I might live.  I was very productive on both jobs and got a lot done.  I took a break in the middle and had a Mother's Day dinner. 

I'll still be glad when my next (FINAL!) weekend is done. 

Friday, May 08, 2009

I don't want to work the weekend

but I have to work tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. It's the next to last weekend at the hospital. I will really be glad to say goodbye to it, except for one thing, the extra money is kind of nice. I was thinking about it earlier, wondering if I might work Saturdays there and earn the money to get someone else to clean my house. When it comes right down to it, as much as I don't like working there, I'd rather do it than clean. I really hate cleaning. I don't know if I'll do it though. I don't know if the supervisor there would go for 1 day a week. I do work 5 days a week at my other job though and I don't want to give it up. They were so good to take me back after I quit and it is a good job in many ways.

Anyway, that's what's going through my mind tonight as I work and dread the weekend.

The good news about school is that the kids got their school work done the last 2 days with no one getting grounding level 47! :-)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A new level of grounding.

For a long time around here we've had grounding levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 but yesterday Mom made a new threat.  I told my youngest that if he didn't get his school work done today in a timely manner, he was going to be at grounding level 47.  It was just the first number I thought of.  We've been silly today and thought of 47 things you can't do when you are grounded to level 47.  Here they are.

Grounding level 47.

1. No reading books

2. No reading magazines.

3. No reading newspapers.

4. No going outside.

5. No listening to music.

6. No listening to anything on CD.

7. No listening to anything on MP3

8. No listening to anything on tape.

9. No radio.

10. No eating sweets.

11. No eating junk food of any kind.

12. No drawing.

13. No painting.

14. No coloring.

15. No markers.

16. No writing lists of things you want for your birthday or Christmas.

17. No playing with the pets.

18. No video games.

19. No instant messaging.

20. No texting.

21. No TV.

22. No email.

23. No phone calls.

24. No talking.

25. No playing cards.

26. No games.

27. No toys.

28. No playing with substitute toys, like rubber bands, cups, strings, pieces of paper, pieces of wood, silverware or anything.

29. No dancing.

30. No singing.

31. No watching anyone else do any of these things.

32. No smiling.

33. No laughing.

34. No relaxing.

35. No daydreaming.

36. No whispering and/or muttering to yourself.

37. No looking out the window.

38. No doing anything fun.

39. No chewing bubble gum.

40. No making mouth noises.

41. No whistling.

42. No making faces.

43. No making rude noises.

44. No jumping.

45. No bouncing.

46. No wiggling.

47. No whining.


I'm sure it won't take him 5 minutes to figure out a loophole.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Does _____ count as ____?

I get this question in many forms all day long every day. Mostly regarding exercise. Does jumping rope count as exercise? Yes. Does jumpinge bouncy thing count as exercise? Yes. Does counting my bioncles count as math? No. Does playing the guitar count as anything? Music.

Just for the record, lying on the rug in front of the TV, wiggling, does not count as exercise.

School blahs.

I admit it. I've got a case of the school blahs. I can't really call it 'spring fever' because it's not like the weather is nice and I want to be outside. The weather, with the exception of yesterday, has been rainy, rainy, rainy, rainy and rainy. I'm just blah. I got up and did my list today, walked in the rain and everything, but I really didn't want to. The kids have got some blahs/crabbiness going on too, so I did the only logical thing and set the bouncy thing up in the living room. It's one of those inflatable bounce houses, one of the smaller ones, about 7 feet x 7 feet square. It has been known to cure bad moods in this house. We pull it out about once or twice a year. I would post a picture of it, but blogger is doing odd things with picture uploads, trying to save something to my computer when I try to upload a picture. It's very weird.

Anyway, I guess we'll do school today.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Art class.

We've got our last art class today.  I hate to say goodbye to it.  We've learned a lot.  (yes, I'm including me!)  I guess maybe we'll schedule park days or something for the summer?  We've got a planning meeting for the homeschool group this week on Thursday.  We plan about 8 weeks at a time now.  We used to sit down and try and plan a whole year at a time and that did not work out at all.  Everything changes in a year.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Here it is.

september292007 1016

I uploaded it to Flickr instead, since blogger was giving me trouble.  You can't really see it very well here, but there is a master schedule for the whole family including weekends and meals for each day, then each child has a chore list section and an academic list section.  You can see that I've scheduled myself a nap in the middle of the day.  I don't always take one, but I've got chronic fatigue and sometimes I need a nap.  My list is very simple and small and is in the top right corner.  It takes me about an hour and a half to get through my list, which includes cleaning, exercise, cooking, goodwill and shower.   I abbreviated things like shwr for shower and gdwl for goodwill (we put something in the goodwill bag every day, trying to declutter.), so that I could get it all on one page. 


I was going to post a picture of my wonderful master list today, but the upload to blogger didnt' go well.  Anyway, it's very nice, almost a thing of beauty. 

This weekend was okay, my last free one for a while.  I have to work next weekend at the hospital.  I had some kind of stomach upset this whole weekend and consequently didn't get a lot done.  I did manage to spend the rest of my birthday money on paint for the kitchen, gardening stuff and books, so I'm a happy camper.  I've got tomatoes to set out this morning which will count as exercise, then I'll take a shower and be done with my morning list, much to the kid's disappointment.

I also started a novel this weekend, I got a book about the National Novel Writing Month or NA NO WRI MO (weird abbreviation) which is supposed to be in November, but I thought, what the heck, I'll start now.  I've written a book before, but it was pretty bad, now I'm trying again.  According to the rules of the book, I'm not supposed to share the details of my book, just write every day.  I probably won't finish in a month, but I am motivated to try and finish it, at least get the 50,000 words in.  So far, I've got 2000.  It's fiction.  Later on, at some point, I'd like to write a nonfiction book but I have no idea what about. 

Anyway, I'm off to set out my tomatoes and then the school week for the 3-D Academy will begin.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Finally I worked on the lists.

This time, I made one master list for us all. I added in a meal plan for every day, separated the chores from the school work for the kids and wrote a weekly schedule for all 7 days of the week. I'm pretty happy with it and since the kids chores got cut back a little, they are too. That really just means they have to do more cleaning on Saturday, but they don't know that yet. :-) I tried to include all our weekend and evening activities as well, so that it is pretty comprehensive. We'll see how it goes. We've never had everything scheduled before and although this is a very loose schedule, it will probably take us a while to adapt to it. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 01, 2009

He's the Man.

My 10-year-old gets the man award for yesterday.  We had a spider about the size of a small dog in our shower yesterday.  It crawled onto my leg.  (Eeek!)   I can tell you that my heart is very strong and I have no need for any expensive cardiac stress tests.  I took care of that at home.  The spider was not so lucky.  I scared it literally to death, either that or it drowned.  Anyway, I spent yesterday  unshaved and unconditioned because of my hasty exit from said shower.  A little while later when it was time for my daughter to take a shower, we had a discussion of who would get the nasty thing out of there so she could get in.  Not her.  Not me.  Even 16 year old son who has often taken on such jobs in the past, could not stomach getting anywhere near this large spider.  Daddy was unavailable.  So youngest son took the dustpan and broom and bravely did it. 

We're so proud.


Things are going okay this week.  I finished reading Twilight and now I feel like a person who has come out of a 2 day coma.   School has been going okay.  No one's been grounded this week for school reasons, although I have been easing up on them a little, letting them do art instead of math one day (although it was geometric art so that might count!)  

I got a textbook the other day on science and my daughter, while flipping through it actually said this sentence:  "Oooh, Egyptian heiroglyphics!  I love Egyptian heiroglyphics.  They're so cool!"  I told her she sounds like a homeschooler. 

Last night we went to a 4H awards banquet.  The food was really great but we didn't get to stay until all of the awards were given out because we had to go pick up my oldest from the library.  Anyway, I'm glad we went. 

I'm not doing very well with my blog post this morning, it's taking me a long time and it feels stilted or something.  I guess I should've known better than to try and write before coffee!


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