Monday, August 31, 2009

Still with the cold, school, etc.

I don't believe it is as bad today. I still feel a little bit crappy. I was going to say I thought my temp was down but then I checked it and it's still 101, so maybe not. We did school anyway today. We've gone back to the first of the History of Science books because the second one needed to be returned to the library and also because the second one had made us want to hear about Aristotle - so we're reading the first one, then we'll finish the second one. I didn't do it that way on purpose, I saw the second one at the library and thought it was self-contained in 1 volume, checked it out, got started, then realized that I had volume 2 of 3. We started the dreaded math today with the younger 2 kids, but it started with review so no one was too intimidated and it wasn't too bad.

I'm still looking for a quote for my living room wall. Here are some I like.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

I'd like to find a good quote about family but I haven't found one yet.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A few more state fair pictures.


I've somehow picked up a cold.  I don't think it's the flu because I'm really not aching all over and I wouldn't say that I feel terrible.  I have a runny nose, a scratchy throat, a cough and a fever, but it's not too bad really.  I'm working this morning because the new account that I am on is chronically behind and since I'm home sick, I answered the phone.  :-)  I'm typing while sipping tea and chicken soup and when I get done with those, I'll have another Cold-Eeze lozenge, although they really don't seem to be working this time.  They might be and I have them, so I might as well. 

I'm thankful it's not a big work weekend, I'm not really having to cancel anything, it's not a school day, the fair is over and I got the entire DVD set of House MD season 5 to watch while I convalesce.  :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Egg on my face.

Okay, not exactly egg, but mayonaisse.  I was eating my daily BLT when the dog catcher finally showed up to get the stray dogs.  I went out to help him catch them and when I came back in, I realized that I had a big old gob of mayonaisse on my cheek.  Oh well.  The dogs are gone and I feel bad having had to call the dog catcher. The man said that he thought maybe they could get them adopted because they are good natured dogs.  I hope so. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another day, another BLT.

I'm really on a bacon and tomato kick this week.  That's all I want to eat.  I did decide to go to the grocery last night after mom's night.  I needed more bacon.  :-)  I figure it's just this one time of year, when the tomatoes are ripe and hopefully it won't do my arteries any permanent damage. 

We're doing school today and then my brother has offered to take us to a movie, so we'll probably go see G-Force this afternoon.  Our school has been a little field-trip heavy so far, but hey, we've got to do them when we can!  I know the public schools sometimes do movies as field trips because our homeschool group have done tag-along field trips with them. 

I guess we'd better get started today.  Science and grammar are still going well, we still haven't started math although the final math book arrived yesterday, so we might today ... nothing like waiting to decide is there? 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to routine and decisions.

We're back to school today.  We're all working on our lists and somehow I've got to try and figure out how to get to the grocery too?  Not sure when I'm going to work that in.  My oldest is out of his lactose free milk and feels that this is an emergency, but I really think the groceries otherwise could wait until tomorrow at least.  I've barely cooked at all this week so I have a lot of food that could be cooked.  I may just stop on the way home from mom's night and grab some milk for him.  I hate to go in there though and not get everything but I might. 

Another decision I'm trying to make this week involves wall quotes.  Are you all familar with these?  One of the blogs I follow, got me interested in them and now I seriously want one for my living room wall, but I can't decide on the quote I want.  I've been looking for days. 

After the year I've been throughI'm thankful that the decisions I have to make today are so very minor.   I'll squeeze it in somewhere.  Right now, I'm going to have a BLT and then do science and grammar.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Fair Day.

We had exhibitor tickets (free!) so we went back to the fair today. Since it was our second day and we'd already seen a bunch of the shows, we mostly walked around and looked at the exhibits. We did see one show, a border collie exhibition that lasted 12 minutes. Of course we had to ride the escalators 3 or 4 times and the shuttle 3 times, those are necessities with my kids, at least the younger 2. We also did the midway for a while, which I kind of regretted, because it's expensive and really hot, but then the kids said that one of the rides they rode was the most fun thing they'd ever been on, so I guess I no longer regret it. I did think I might get heat stroke there for a while, but I survived. Anyway, we had fun.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


On the way to the fair yesterday, while I was pumping gas, I had the kids run into the gas station/convenience store to get some snacks.  They came out with some Hostess cupcakes on sale for 1 dollar a pack (2 cupcakes in a pack.)  Way cheaper than fair food where a hamburger alone will run you 6 dollars (no fries, no drink!), but way more than those same cupcakes would have been at the grocery store.  Our grocery store had them on sale this week for 8 cupcakes for 2.50.  I told the kids this and grouched a little about convenience store prices.  My youngest said "Convenience stores have inconvenient prices."  I couldn't agree more.

The Kentucky State Fair.

We spent 8 hours at the fair yesterday. It was fun and seemed to pass quickly. Here are a few of the things we saw.

The trained pigs show, my daughter's picture which was very hard to find in the 4H display (blue ribbon winner), the juggling show, the acrobat show and the concert. Sorry for the blurriness of the pics. I'm not sure if it's the camera's fault or mine!

Monday, August 24, 2009


We're off to the state fair today. We're not going early because we'll be staying late. I've got my purse packed with sunscreen, band-aids, tissues, camera, phone etc. and the van packed with gatorade, so I think I'm about ready. Oldest son hasn't decided if he wants to go. The last couple of years, it's just been me and the youngest 2. It is nice to have the oldest along because I'm not all that fond of sending the youngest into the humungo bathroooms alone, but if he doesn't want to go, I understand. If he says home, though, he will have to do school. :-p

Saturday, August 22, 2009

End of our first full week.

We had our first full week of homeschooling and it went okay, not perfectly but it was okay.  The first of the 2 math books finally arrived Thursday.  My daughter, after winning the fight to open package, pulled out the math textbook and said "Fantastic."  with basically the opposite of enthusiasm.  We didn't start math yet though.  We've got the state fair 1,  possibly 2 days next week, depending on if we get more free tickets.  We learn so much at the state fair that it totally counts as a field trip.

I didn't start the more difficult notebooking page idea yet.  I told them a little bit about it, but didn't make them start doing it yesterday.  The mood in the house yesterday, was kind of like 'hey, it's Friday, let's don't start anything new."  I may hold off a couple of weeks. 

These pictures are from the state fair a few years ago.  The Frasier Museum had an exhibit at the fair and would let people try on these authentic replicas of medieval helmets.   We had a ton of fun with them. 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do I have to?

l don't want to do school today. Or anything, really. I have gotten hooked on the show "Burn Notice" which we've got from Netflix and I just want to watch that. I will though. Most of the time I behave myself.
Grammar is going really well. My daughter especially loves the "Grammar with a giggle" book and although I don't think we're really giggling much, it's really painless. I've had to print out and brush up on my comma rules, because I just usually put one in whenever I feel like it and apparently there are more rules than I remembered.
We're doing "The Story of Science" instead of biology right now because I own the biology book (yard sale!) and the science book has to go back to the library very soon. We're also notebooking it. I've been letting them do whatever they want for their notebooks but I'm going to start today making them choose a format (maybe draw it out of a hat), so today, we'll be reading about Sir Isaac Newton and so the notebook page will be about Sir Isaac Newton, but maybe doing the page about him as a manga or a drawing or a poem or a paragraph, possibly using similes or metaphors or alliteration. This way I can teach two things at once, the science and language arts or art. They'll probably whine about this because it will stifle their creativity and basically make them work harder. I predict that the boys will whine the most. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great quote.

This is by Claudia at Never a Dull Moment.

Lord, give me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the person I can
and the wisdom to know it's me.


I feel like I've been rushing around all day. I really didn't rush all day, just the last couple of hours. We got school done today and I took my daughter to the dentist for her first filling ever. Now all 3 kids have have one. Hopefully, they'll brush better from now on. I'm planning to get the plaque detecting rinse. I know that helps my youngest brush longer. After the dentist, we went to my mom and dads for a while, then back home, then picked up the oldest and took him to a local church that has a youth group meeting on Wednesdays. Then back home and to work. Right now, I'm typing this while I'm transmitting work.

When bedtime gets here, I will be ready to drop. Only a few more hours of typing! Whew.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Today we went to a teen event at a library.  The kids shared books that they liked and played games.  It went well, although not very many kids showed up.  Really, only the group leaders kids, but we're working on it.  We may have to move our events to a different day than Tuesday to avoid conflicting with co-ops in the group.  There are a ton of co-ops.   I've asked the director if she knows of a good date/time.  We'll see. 

Anyway, in other news, I finally called the no-kill shelter last night and the guy that I talked to basically told me that in order for them to take these stray dogs, we'd have to pay up front all the money that it would cost to feed them for the rest of their lives, plus life long veterinary care.   He didn't get to saying how much exactly, but did indicate that it would be something like the 'cost of a used car'.  I contacted animal control after that.  We tried.  We really did.   The kids are a little upset, but we can't take any more.  The dogs chewed the pool filter thingy, scratched the front door paint off and pooed pretty much everywhere, not to mention eating us out of house and home.   They're still here at the moment.

We didn't do school at home today because we were going out.  We meant to do a 1/2 day at home first, but no one was very perky this morning and we just didn't.  

Monday, August 17, 2009


We'll be doing at least half a day of school today.  We've all got dentist appointments at 1:00 p.m. and that will probably take a while.  I am printing this week's list as I type my blog post.  The trouble is, I wrote notes to myself about improvements to make to the list, then threw the list away, so those notes are not helping me now.  The only one I can remember is to add some 'freebies' which means there are 3 things on our lists we don't have to do each week and we get to choose what they are, except math.  (It can never be math!)

Our weekend was really good.  We had a birthday party for my mother-in-law yesterday, though her birthday is actually today and it went well.  We had some yummy food and played some games. 

I guess I'd better get started on today's list.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This, that and the other thing.

There's not that much going on here.  We finished 3 days of school.  The dogs are still here, but we may have found a place in a no-kill shelter for them.  I need to call them today.  I think I finally got all the math books ordered.  The kids won't be as happy next week.   I think it's going pretty well.   I'm glad I quit procrastinating about starting school.  Every year, I think I'll get the house completely cleaned, organized and spotless and then we'll start school, but it never works out that way.  Oh well, I guess it's passable.  I think maybe I need to accept reality?  School done in a  messy house is still done.  I've read that messy houses are good for kids brain development.  We're not talking filth, just a little mess. 

Okay, sometimes it's a lot. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

It went okay.

There was a little bit of arguing during the course of the school day, but they ended the day with PE in the pool, so it ended well. Everyone is doing really well with their lists. As usual, I'm the worst rebel of all. I never want to do any of my chores, but I did them.  I didn't even whine.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day two!

We're getting ready to start day two of school.  I'm kind of excited to see what today brings.  Yesterday, we finally found some binders to use to do our notebooking.  I started reading a book I got from the library called The Story of Science and I think we might do that as a read aloud because it seems really well done and we'll need to do it pretty quickly because I'll need to take it back to the library.  I'd better get going!  Group time is in 13 minutes!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A play on words.

Today in one of our many errands we went to Walmart. I bought a bag of mint patties but then I couldn't get it open. My son said 'there should be a certain place to tear it." but I couldn't find it. I couldn't even open it with the keys. My daughter asked what I was doing and I told her I couldn't get the bag of chocolate open. She said "That's terrible" and my oldest son said "No, it's untearable."


First day of school report.

Weird.  That's what it was.  My youngest son hopped out of bed and started his school list immediately and cheerfully.  The others also didn't whine, although they weren't moving as fast as he was.  He took all the books I had stacked by my desk and put them in the kitchen by my chair.  He got everyone's notebooks out of the homeschool shelves and stacked them by their chairs.  Then he kept asking me if I was ready to start.   All three of the kids were very cooperative and enthusiastic.  I guess the time was right, eh?

At one point during the day, my daughter actually said these words "Can't we do some more grammar?  I like grammar" 

The first day of school.

We are starting school today.  The printer is fixed and we've got our lists.  We've got most of our books and we're going to go ahead and start.  I just can't put it off any longer.  I cancelled going to the doctor again today and postponed it until the end of the month.  It was just a checkup anyway.  No big deal.  
So, here we go!   

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A little bit busy.

I went to the doctor today, about an hour away and when I got to the lobby of the building, I got out my phone to check the time and I had a voicemail. From the doctor's office. Cancelling my appointment, I had driven an hour for. So back home I went. I tried to get a quick nap but the phone rang 3 times so I gave that up. Then we went to Fazoli's with the homeschool group. I enjoy these dinners very much. We do it about once a month. The kids all talk and the parents get to talk and we end up staying a long time. Tonight we also went and got ice cream at a local ice cream shop that we'd never been to before. Now I'm trying to work, but as usual, the download is slow, so I'm blogging a little while it loads.

The plan was to start school tomorrow, but now I'll have to make the trip to the doctor AGAIN so I don't know. Maybe we'll get started before I go. I can't print our schedules because I keep getting the message "this document failed to print" and I'm very printed-schedule-dependent so I don't know how I'll work around that. Maybe our in-house tech support person will be able to address this tomorrow ... after he addresses the technical support issues my mom is having with her car. It's always something isn't it?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Well, I was going to share ...

a picture of all the books I have out of the library right now, which includes everything from self help books to trivia books to science books to books on finding out what job you want in life to young adult novels to regular novels to large print novels, but alas, I can't find my camera cord (again!) which leads me to believe that really I should be focusing on this book right now.
It's been lying around in the house for weeks now and I have no evidence that the house is going to read it and start cleaning itself so I guess I'm going to have to do it. Two more days until school begins. Hopefully we'll be able to impose some sort of order on this house by then.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I'm working today.  I do kind of wish I had a job that did not involve working on Sundays.  I have tried to switch this shift to Saturday but my company didn't want me to.  So.  Here I am.  Working on Sunday again.  Oh well. 

And the disadvantages.

Okay, it wouldn't be fair to have a pro-homeschooling post without listing some of the disadvantages.

1.  Sometimes I would like to not do anything.  I would enjoy it if the kids were gone for the day and I could relax.  Okay.  I admit it.  Most of the time I don't feel this way, but every now and then I do.

2.  Math.  I don't enjoy math and I don't enjoy making other people do math.  This is my system.  I hand the kids their math books at the beginning of the year, assign a number of pages each day that need to be done and advise them that if they have any questions, they should ask their Dad.   Frequently, whining ensues.

3.  Mess.  The house gets messy faster with everyone home.

4.  Clothes.  My kids do not care if they are fashionable and they want to wear what they want to wear.   The other kids in the homeschool group dress well, so I think this may just be my kids. 

Friday, August 07, 2009

A post about homeschooling.

I've done this before, but every now and then I like to reiterate our reasons for homeschooling and a few other notes.  So in no particular order here they are. 

1.  We started homeschooling because I read an article about this family that kept each one of their kids home from school for 1 year in middle school, just to bond with them.  After that 1 kid, 1 year beginning, our eyes were opened to the advantages and the possibilities.

2.  The advantages turned out to be that it was easier to work around my husband's work schedule and my work schedule and it just felt less stressful to our family.  No getting up early and consequently, no stressing over bedtime.  No freaking out (me or the kids!) over the massive loads of homework that were being assigned.  And after a while, the kids just seemed happier, more relaxed, we got to see them more.  I found I enjoyed teaching them in my own way, so much more than doing the rote homework with them every night.  (write the spelling words 3 times each, make a sentence with each word ... ad nauseum)  and they enjoyed it too.  That first year, we started studying world history, and it was a ton of fun.

3.  The possibilities included traveling during the off season, taking off whenever you need to and not worrying about truancy hearings (been to one, kindergarten, due to a kid having strep throat.), being able to deal with my kid's sensitivities, shyness and learning differences in a way that builds them up, gradually makes them more confident and does not destroy their self esteem.  I have had to do a lot of reading about learning styles, let me tell you.  They are all 3 different.

4.  Okay, so here's my advice to people who are considering homeschooling.  First, read a couple of books about it.  I liked Take a deep breath, you can do thisAnd check out some blogs about it.  Go to and start following the Carnival of Homeschooling blog carnival.  Secondly, relax.  You are not going to ruin your kids.  Don't try to do everything at once.  Don't push your kids too hard.  Relax.  (did I say that already?) Have some fun.  Use Cathy Duffy's Homeschool Reviews website to help guide you in curriculum choices.   Join the Homeschool Lounge so you can ask questions online and get advice.   Try to find a homeschool group in your area or find one on yahoo groups.  These are very helpful.  Do a google search.  I think HSLDA has a list of groups.  They also have state laws which are good to know.

5.  The last thing is why do I feel that homeschooling is necessary, I mean there are public schools that are free.   I personally don't feel that the public schools are doing all that good a job.  Literacy rates are falling, cheating rates are soaring.  I don't think it's good to keep kids warehoused like that all day.  They aren't getting enough exercise and outdoor time.  They give too much homework, cutting into family, nature and exercise time at home. 

Sorry, I think I've become a homeschooling zealot in the last 5 years!  I kind of think that homeschooling is like breast-feeding.  It's best for kids, individualized, on demand, more healthy, etc.  I think it is far superior to what they get in the government ran schools and if done well, helps prepare them better for life.  However, I do know it's not for everyone.   I do wish everyone would give it a try though and see if it is.  It might just be something your family really enjoys.

(stepping off soapbox now for a few months)

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Today's my daughter's THIRTEENTH birthday. I think I'm going to need counseling. We have 2 teens in the house now!

They just grow up too fast!!!!!

Happy birthday to the best daughter in the world!

I actually did it.

I sat down with the kids yesterday and we talked about the new schedules, discussed what we'd be doing, when we'd be doing it and who wants what chores. It really went well and I typed the schedules up yesterday. I can't print them yet because we have some kind of network issue but I will. It feels good to have that done.

I did a weekly schedule in which each day says something like
wake up - 11:00 breakfast, shower, work on lists.
11:00 - 12:00 group time.
12:00- 3:00 work on individual lists.
3:00 - 7:00 this part is filled with a huge variety of things; naps, pool time, going outside, library, visiting, Fazolis with the homeschool group, skating, etc.
7:00 pm until bed - Mom working, kids have screen time.

Each individual list for each child has a list of things they can do on their own, exercise, chores, math, spelling, (for youngers) studying computer, driver's ed (for older), etc. At our group session, we'll be doing biology, chemistry, grammar, writing and history. Somehow. I think maybe we need more hours in the days? We may make group time go from 10:30 -12:30. It always needs some tweaking.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Still regretting Monday's escapades!

I still deeply regret the sunscreen incident of Monday and also should have used some Deep Woods Off to go to a suburban pool apparently. I've done very little since then. I haven't felt like it. The house is a mess and we need groceries, but I may spend another day trying to recuperate and only doing the minimum or I may decide I can't stand the house any longer and clean it up. It just depends on how much the messy house gets on my nerves and how much the itching and burning is bothering me.

I have done a little bit of planning. I went to far as to list my resources. Now I've got to put them into a schedule for each child. Hey, it's not much progress, but it's a start. Really, if I concentrate, it should take half an hour now to get it in a schedule. I can always tweak it later. (And if you've been reading this blog long, you know I will!)

I spent some time yesterday looking for school resources on Netflix. Surprisingly, they have quite a few. If you are looking for this sort of thing on there, it helps if you know the exact name of the video. For example, you can't search for and find the Teaching Company videos that they have, but if you know the title, you can find it. Also, you can just do searches for things like Algebra, Chemistry, Geography, etc. This is a great resource that we are going to be using a lot this year.

Now to see if I can get anything done today.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The flip side.

Okay, so yesterday, while I was sitting in the lounge chair, being baked to a crisp by the sun because of my improperly applied sunscreen, the mosquitos were attacking on all of the other planes.  So while my front is burned, my back and sides are itchy.  Add that to my previous bladder infection and I just feel great today. 
Really, it's not that bad, mostly the itching is bothering me, the burn is not that bad (just annoying, because it makes me feel so stupid!)

I'm reading through Caught Ya, Grammar With a Giggle this morning and hopefully, I will get some planning done.  I have so many books that I've bought and things to do that I'm really not sure how to fit it all in.   I definitely need a plan.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Feeling stupid and annoyed.

I forgot to sunscreen my legs today at the pool (after the first time when I only did the bottom part that was sticking out of my capris) and I used spray sunscreen and didn't know I was supposed to rub it in, so I got burned. It's pretty miserable. I think I need to stick to indoor pools from now on. I wasn't really planning on swimming, but after I got there, it was so warm, I decided to suit up and swim. It was fun, but now I feel really bad.

Another reason to feel stupid, I sent my daughter to a birthday party the other day for my niece, without a present, a card, anything. I thought of it after she got home. Duh!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Lazy Sunday.

I'm having a very lazy weekend, not because I'm on vacation or anything, just because I'm lazy. :-) I haven't felt quite up to par, not terrible, but just not great. I am running a low grade temperature too. Maybe I've got a bladder infection? Those are my usual symptoms, just not feeling up to par and a low grade temp. It's 99.9 right now.

The boys and I went to Sunday School this morning (the girl was staying all night with her cousin) and then we cleaned out the VBS room I used for music and put the supplies away and since then, I've not done very much. I need to clean. I need to plan. There are just so many things I need to do, but I'm not doing them. I did kind of decide to start school on August 10. That will give the public schools only a 4 day lead on us and give me some time to get the house in order and maybe come up with a schedule before we start. Also, I've ordered a few books that haven't come in yet.

Okay, maybe not. I just looked at the calendar and see we have eye appointments that day right in the middle of the day. We've got something on the 11th and the 12th too. Hmm. Would it be unlucky to start on Thursday the 13th? I'm going to have to give this some thought. August is really looking busy. I like to have a clear week to start school in, but that doesn't look like it's going to be happening! It looks like we're going to have to start as we usually end, with all kinds of things happening, trying to get our days in. Oh well. That's life, I guess.


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