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. 

Well so much for that.

We ended up running out of work in my 2 hospitals.  They have been putting a lot of pressure on us to produce a lot of work and now we're out.  It's frustrating for me because I'm not going to meet the production goal.  I guess it's good for the company because the work is current.  Really, they can't please me can they?  I gripe because I have to work and then whine because there's no work!  I'm making the best of it though, watching Burn Notice and eating Cheetos.  :-)


I'm working tonight.  I'm trying to feel lucky that I don't have to go anywhere to work.  I am happy about the working at home part, but I'm ready to do something besides medical transcription.  I am burned out and have been burned out for about 5 years.  I've applied for a writing job and I'm very hopeful I'll get it.  If not, I'm going to apply for every blogging/writing job on the face of the planet.  Or editing.  Or something. 

Friday, October 16, 2009


It's Friday.  We didn't do school today, taking yet another day of our fall break.  We take them here and there, when the mood strikes or when we're having something going on.  (Don't worry, I'm keeping attendance records to comply with the state laws).  We're having another sleepover tonight.  I guess we're getting the hang of it now.  Even the one of us who has the most trouble with strangers, Freckles, (pictured above) is doing well tonight.  Now, since the young man has been here a few hours, she's walking around as usual, with her tail up (it's down when she's not happy!) and not barking at him or anything.  It's pretty amazing.  

The boys are playing Wii.  I'm in my room working, but I check on them pretty frequently.  I cooked tacos and taco soup for them to eat, but they are too engrossed in their games to pause for a minute and eat.  My daughter is not sure what to do with herself this evening.  The last time I checked on her, she was reading quietly in the same room where the boys are being loud.  She's used to loud boys, obviously.

We went to the library today and got some really good books.  They had several holds for us, including a new Peter and the Starcatchers called Peter and the Sword of Mercy.  It just came out this month.  We'll read it when we finish Ranger's Apprentice.  We've just started the 6th book of that series.  There are 8 in the series but our library only has 6 of them.  They're checking to see if they can get the other 2 for me. Those Ranger Apprentice books are really good.  The other night, I said I didn't want to keep reading because my back was hurting and the 2 younger kids chimed in with "We'll rub your back while you read another chapter."  Hey, you can't beat that.  I read the chapter.  I pretty much never turn down a backrub.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Command Central.

We need a bulletin board for all these schedules and lists.  One is the daily schedule, one is the weekly schedule, one is the exercise list and one is the skip counting reminder.  I put a rhyme there for them to use if they needed it, but they're just memorizing the numbers, 4, 12, 16, 20, etc.  School's going okay.  It's getting done.  There's been nothing all that exciting or interesting going on, but it's been a nice week.  I am going to have to (probably) link the kids work to my compliance with my list, as in if I don't do it, they don't have to do school.  That seems to be the only way I'll get all my stuff done.  I'm terribly unmotivated. 

I'm trying to go gluten free today to see if it will help with my chronic fatigue (I read an article that said it would).  I was going to do it yesterday, but then they were cooking at the pretzel place while we were in Wal-Mart and we had to get some, so today's another day, right?   The main thing I'm going to miss is my favorite cream of broccoli soup and the crackers in it, although I do need to check the soup again because I keep getting the 'bad' ingredients mixed up.  The different words that mean 'wheat' on a label is a list that is 4 pages long and I keep thinking things like "whey" are wheat, but I think that's milk so I may have rejected the soup prematurely.  I hope so because I love that stuff.

I got the Ikea catalog in the mail yesterday and now I want to buy a bunch of stuff to try and transform my laundry/mud room into an organized wonder instead of what it is, which is pretty much the opposite of that.  I keep going through the catalog again and again. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


One of the homeschooling groups I'm in asked its leadership for homeschooling advice for new homeschoolers.   I've been thinking about it a little bit, wondering what kind of advice I would give, now that I'm in my 6th year. 

1.  Try it.  You might enjoy it.  It might change your life.  It might not be your thing, but you won't know if you don't ever try.

2.  Find out what your state (or country) requires, the bare minimum.  Do this and then with the rest of it, have fun with it.  It doesn't have to be all serious and it doesn't have to look like the inside of a classroom.  You're at home.  Relax.  Play.  Read.  Learn together.  Enjoy your kids.  They grow up way too fast.

3.  Don't let a written curriculum boss you around.  If it works, great.  If it's not working for you, throw it out.  If only parts of it work, use those and throw the rest out.  It's not the boss of you.  When shopping for curriculum, read reviews. Try to go somewhere where you can actually hold the book in your hands and look through it.  Print out a sample day or week and try and implement it or borrow it before buying.  It's kind of hit and miss buying books without being able to see them. 

4. Find a homeschool support group. Or two. If you can't find one in real life, find one online. Get support where ever you can.

5.  Make a mess now and then.  Go outside and put some mentos in coke.  Make alka-seltzer rockets.  Make some great art.  Make a timeline and a map.  Grow some borax crystals.   Use levers to lift things.  Make a trebuchet out of whatever you can find around the house.  

6.  Go on as many field trips as you can.

To sum up I'll quote Mark Twain " Explore.  Dream.  Discover."  (I got that from my wall quote shopping!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


 I'm not sure how the word 'hack' has come to mean what it seems to currently mean, but lately I've been enjoying reading some of these sites with hack in the title. 

Life Hacker  - Love the article on the Top 10 Reminder Tools for Forgetful Minds and this one Google Search Tricks.

Ikea Hacker - See what people do with Ikea products.  These people are thinking outside the box.

Study Hacks - Looks interesting.  I haven't had time to read much of it yet, also Student Hacks - I ran across this one looking for math helps.

Parent Hacks.

There used to be one called Homeschool Hacks, but I can't get the page to load so I don't know if it still exists?

Making things easier seems to be the them.  Hey, we could all use that.

Monday, October 12, 2009


We're working on prioritizing as a concept in our homeschool this week. I rearranged the lists, as I mentioned this morning, just a little bit. I put 4 things at the top in bold and I have requested that they do these first. These include taking a shower and the most basic school subjects, language arts and math (different for each child). My youngest today did everything else and left all four of the bold print things for last. Somehow I don't think he's getting the concept? The other 2 did the academics but left their showers until last. I told them that the reason I want things done this way, is so that I can schedule things in the afternoons and not worry that school will not be done because the basics will be covered first and also if they're showered and dressed for the day, if an opportunity to do something comes up, we can just go. Since they have outside recess time and they don't want to shower before it (which makes sense) we've compromised to going out in the morning and trying to have showers done by 2 o'clock. We'll see how it goes. It's a never-ending balancing act, trying to balance their needs and preferences with mine, outside opportunities and events. As homeschoolers we are more in charge of our schedules than ever before without the school system demanding they be there at 8:30 a.m. but sometimes its a little difficult to figure out exactly how to manage it. It's a process.

P.S. The skip counting went well and they enjoyed it.

P. S. S. My youngest just came to me and announced "Tomorrow, I'm going to do my priorities FIRST." What an interesting concept. :-0

Back to our version of normal I guess.

Working, schooling, whining.  We've got it all going on this morning.  Youngest son is whining because I took away a couple of his chores and added in skip counting to his routine.  He does not want to do skip counting.  I'm not sure why he thinks he's going to hate it so much, but he's going to have to do it.  I'm tired of the younger 2 kids looking up everything on the multplication charts.  I thought after a couple of years of doing that, memorizing the times tables would kind of happen, but it hasn't, so we're going to skip count.  He'll just have to deal with it.   This week we'll do 4s and next week 6s and so on.  They already know the 2s, 3s and 5s. 

We're also doing a new fitness routine around here.  It's based on a book called The 90 Second Fitness Solution and supposedly, it takes 90 seconds a day to stay fit.  I'm not stopping their go outside and play time though, just adding this in.   I'm doing it myself too. 

Here's an interesting article I read this morning on more school hours.  No Longer School Days.  I thought the comments were thought-provoking too.  If the school days made it more convenient for parents who have to do day care in the mornings and afternoons, it might be a good option for some people.  Maybe some kind of choice in how much or how little you enroll your child would be good?  Some kids could go just mornings and get the basics and some could stay until their parents got off work and participate in more extra-curricular type things.  I guess choice would be key.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy busy weekend.

It's drawing to a close now, I've just got to work 4 hours before I sleep, but it's been a busy one.  We've had family from out of town visiting.  I met one of my nieces for the first time.  She's 23, so I'm a little late in meeting her.  :-)

Anyway, now that the busy-ness is over, I'll kind of be glad to stay home, do school and clean tomorrow. 

Friday, October 09, 2009

It's actually working maybe - dysgraphia (?!) revisited.

The copywork thing, which played itself out here last night at about 10:00 p.m. because someone procrastinated all day long went as I predicted and hoped.  He whined because he had to do it over and mom would not budge on this issue, but then he copied again, checked it twice (the thing is he knows when the letters are facing the right way!) and it was correct.  I have a feeling today's effort is going to go well.  He knows if he reverses he has to do it over and that seems to be a very good motivator for a child who does not like to write. 

I think there are several things going on here.  The first is that he does not write as easily as other people do.  I noticed when he was little that he did not want to draw, write or color like his siblings had.   The other 2 wrote and drew all the time.  The second is that he tends to see things in many different dimensions at once.  Someone told me once to think of a chair.  If it is facing with the seat to the right, it is kind of the shape of a letter b, if it is facing with the seat to the left, it's shaped like a letter d.  Upside down, it's a p or a q.   Some kids can't see how the way it's facing matters until they are a little older.   See this link about right brain learning styles and especially the part about "This is when their brain is ready to shift from three-dimensional pictorial processing to include two-dimensional symbolic processing."  The third thing is a lack of practice.  He's so resistent to writing that I have enabled him and written things for him, simply to expedite things.  (Hey, I'm a working, homeschooling mom, I only have so much time to wait while someone whines!)

So I am not sure that this is dysgraphia (which is why I put a question mark on the title yesterday) or whether dysgraphia even exists or is just a learning difference that does not fit the usual, more typical pattern, but is not a disability, just a different way of doing things, associated with being right brained as opposed to left brained, kind of the same way some people are left handed. 

Anyway, we are making progress.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hey, I got an award!

Thanks :)De

And now for the rules:

1. Answer the questions below using only one word. Very difficult!
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. Thanks again, :)De 3. Pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers.
And we’re off!

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? highlighted
3. Your mother? nice
4. Your father? funny
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? weird
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? happy
9. What room are you in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? lots
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something you aren't? Skinny.
15. Muffins? lemon
16. Wish list item? roof
17. Where did you grow up? Kentucky
18. Last thing you did? read
19. What are you wearing? black
20. Your TV? none
21. Your pets? six
22. Your friends? blessed
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Vehicle? van
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? hobbylobby
29. Your favorite color? navy
30. When was the last time you laughed? then
31. Last time you cried? unsure
32. Your best friend? several
33. One place that I go over and over? library
34. One person who emails me regularly? workflow
35. Favorite place to eat? Bob Evans

I'm not good at choosing just a few!


My youngest son has terrible handwriting. Atrocius. atrotious. Really bad. At 11, he still reverses letters. Last year, I made him write his ABCs every day and if he reversed any, he had to correct them. At the end of the school year, he was doing pretty well with it, rarely reversing anything. However, when we started back this year, he had gone back to his old ways. He reverses tons of letters. I did a bunch of research, joined a yahoo group on dysgraphia and asked the library to get me a book on it (which actually I haven't read yet having been distracted by some really good new fiction). Meanwhile, I asked one of the local homeschool groups a question about it, to see if they could recommend an occupational therapist to work with him on it. One lady wrote to me and said to just make him write a couple of sentences every day and if he reverses anything, make him write the whole thing over, not just what he messed up. This is what we are trying now and it seems to be working pretty well.

It has all got me thinking. I'm a member of another yahoo group called homeschooling creatively, which is about right brained people. According to the people who administer this group, some people are 'right brained' although the majority of people are 'left brained'. According to them, right brainers are creative, often disorganized but very smart and can see in so many dimensions at once that it is difficult for them to settle down and focus on letters and numbers on a flat page. According to them, this ability just comes later for right brainers, so that reading and writing for them lag behind the "norms" of other kids development. My son's reading exploded last year and now he reads really well so I'm hopeful that his writing will do a similar thing this year. As for the dysgraphia group I joined at the beginning of the year - I left that group because they seemed only to be working with the public schools and it seemed to me that they felt that their kids would never be able to write so they were giving up and focusing on assistive devices and special accomodations from the school systems.

I've decided not to give up on my son yet. Any 11 year old kid who regularly uses words like oxymoron, adage and discernment in his regular conversation can surely figure out some tricks to remember which ways the letters face! He does know right from left.

But, if you all hear whining from this area later, that's because he has to write it all again.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Beautiful Day.

Today is just gorgeous. The sky is a beautiful blue. If we'd had the scheduled park day today instead of yesterday, it would have been a fabulous day for it. We don't have anything scheduled for today except school so I rearranged the kids schedules at little so they could get in more outdoor time and I managed to squeeze in a little bit for myself too. I love fall.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The long awaited wall quotes.

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted. It's a long story why I chose the ones I did, but here they are, after a couple of months of wanting them. The one in the kitchen draws the eye up and shows how I need to touch up the paint on the top of the patio doors. I might do that tomorrow. :-) I'm not sure if I like the one in the living room. It's bigger than I thought it would be.

Taking it easy today.

I'm still feeling the effects of the night before last not sleeping. I'm tired. It's raining and might thunderstorm today so we cancelled the letterboxing at the park we were going to do with one of the homeschool groups. I want to stay home all day but the kids are lobbying for going to the library. We'll see. We might. I may get a burst of energy later in the day. Hey, it could happen.
Meanwhile, I'm going to take it easy and do the minimum for a couple of hours then see if I feel better.

In other news, for those who were wondering how the countertop paint works, here it is after a couple of months. It's chipping here and there, although I still think it looks better than the blue. We might do some sponging on it in another color to make the chipping less noticible now that the weather is cooler and we can open the windows to ventilate. We really need to set a date for that and follow through with it. (That's another one of my difficulties, procrastinating!)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Remember what I said?

About the kids being easy to get to bed tonight? Well, forget that.  Two of them took a nap this afternoon and I joined them, so that for a while there were 3 of us sleeping in the living room, me in my favorite chair/ottoman, one on the couch and one on the air mattress that was still lying there from last night.  We all slept around 2 hours, so now we'll probably be dealing with insomnia again tonight.  It's a vicious circle.  It was a great nap though.  World class. 

The phone only rang once. 

Sleepover report and more.

The boys did great on the sleepover.  My boys retreated to their own beds to sleep and left our guests on the couches and the air mattress in the living room.  From the report I got, 2 of them slept pretty well and the other didn't sleep very well at all.  I know how he feels.  I didn't sleep until after 4:00 am for some reason myself and it's not because the boys were loud or anything.  They went to bed around midnight and were quiet from then on.  Now they are up, playing Wii and having breakfast before we go to the park.  I do think getting my kids to bed earlier tonight shouldn't be a problem.  :-) 

It's funny how my family has went from no sleepovers ever to having 4 guests in 1 week, but that's how I am.  I tend to decide something and then go for it.  My aunt has been telling me for years that I needed to spend all my time cleaning my house or just decide that I don't care if it's not spotless and have people over anyway.  Guess which one I decided on?  :-)

Does anyone know what this thingy is?  I came home last night to find it in my laundry room.  My husband says that it's a hedge apple and it repels spiders from the home. If it works, I want a bunch of them.  I hate spiders.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


We are going to have to make some changes in our schedules.  My husband's work schedule went from bad to worse and now, even though we are homeschooling, he's not getting to see the kids.  The problem is the kids have been staying up late and then sleeping in.  We'll need to stop that.  I have been working until 11:00 p.m. then reading Ranger's Apprentice until midnight and then the kids read on their own until about 1:00 a.m.  and then sleep late.  From now on, I'm going to have to adjust my work schedule to earlier, bedtime earlier, getting up earlier.  It's one of those things that I'm glad we have the freedom to do, but I'm not looking forward to it.  Some of these kids are awfully grouchy in the mornings. 

And the other 2 are whiny.

Uh oh, they've figured it out again!

A couple of years ago, I got up one morning with most of my joints sore and stiff, my elbows, my wrists, my shoudlers, my knees, hips and ankles.  After 3-4 weeks of it not getting better, I saw a rheumatologist.  She said (brilliantly) that all the joints above my waist had bursitis and all the joints below my waist were hurting because I'm overweight.  Funny how they all realized that at once ("Oh no!  We're FAT!") at the exact same time that I had an incredible epidemic of bursitis.  (Especially since I had just lost 70 pounds.)  Amazing coincidence.  (Are you feeling the sarcasm here?) 

Anyway, after a while it went away and now it revisits me occasionally, once every 4-6 months, I'll get sore all over and I don't know why.  Does anyone know what this might be?

It's not fun.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The next 3 days.

The next 3 days will be busy.  Tomorrow's planned sleepover for one boy has turned into a party as we've invited two more boys.  Hey, the more the merrier, right?  Then, we've got back to back park days, one with each of the homeschool groups.  The wise saying I read by another homeschooling mom is coming back to me.  I may have to make it into a bumper sticker on my store.  (I can't remember it exactly, but here's a paraphrase.)

Yes we homeschool. 
Yes socialization is a problem.
(but we are trying to stay home more.  :-) 

Free Range Learning - How Homeschooling Changes Everything

Friday, October 02, 2009

Finally Friday, Going to the Grocery and Trying To Think Around a Headache.

I don't really know why I care if it's Friday. I'm supposed to have Saturdays off so I kind of have a weekend, but not really, and I probably won't get this Saturday off. The girl and I went to the grocery today and when we got back, the boys had finished school, all except group time, which we probably won't do today. We watched another episode of the Ancient Discoveries DVD and that can be our science/group time. It's exactly what we've been studying, Archimedes, Heron of Alexandria, etc.

So anyway, my daughter and I, and my headache (which is so much a part of my life now that I think I might name it), went to Goodwill and the grocery. At Goodwill, she got a sweater for her Ginny Weasley costume. I'm going to try and talk my youngest into dressing like Will, the Ranger's Apprentice. That should be fun. At the grocery we ran into a fellow foster mom and her babies make me want to have a baby around (but at the same time, I don't know), then I ran into another mom who used to homeschool but who is not at the current time and then a woman from my church and then another friend's Dad, so in and around my headache, I'm having all different kinds of thoughts today, how I'd like to see my friend whose Dad I saw maybe we can do lunch soon, how I hope my kids don't want to stop homeschooling, because I don't want to stop, but mostly, my thoughts are turning towards taking a nap in the hopes that it will make my headache better, since Tylenol is certainly not touching it.

By the way, going to the grocery somehow manages in my mind anyway, to count as housework and exercise (hey, it's a big store!) so I'm done with my list for today. Go me!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


My husband and I both are having job difficulties right now. His company restructured and he got a terrible shift when the new shifts were handed out. It's really been hard on him this week. I mentioned in my last post that I'm kind of tired of my job. I've been doing it for 16 years now and I'm tired, tired, tired of it. Lately with this new account I'm on, it's gotten much worse. They are so picky and so impatient with us trying to learn this new, very difficult account. All of us transcriptionists have slowed down as we are trying to learn new doctors, new hospital terms (they have different names for departments and policies), report types we've not had to do for 8 years (operative notes!) and new place names. Today is supposed to be my day off and I had a full day planned, but then I got an email from my supervisor saying that everyone had to do 15 jobs today on this account, no exceptions. Goodbye day off.

I'm annoyed, can you tell?

P.S. I have applied for a job blogging for a web site. Please cross your fingers that I get it. It's something I'm very enthusiatic about!

After a while

The quiet, peaceful days at home get kind of boring.  I'm ready to get out and do something today.  We've got skating tonight and we'll probably stop by the library on the way, although I can't say that I really need books, I've got several to read, but I've been watching things on DVD instead.  Yesterday from Netflix, we got Doing DaVinci and Ancient Discoveries 2.  We watched one of the Ancient Discoveries shows and counted it for school, then watched a Da Vinci or 2, although we're not studying him right now in the story of science, we'll be there in a few weeks.  We also got Season 2 of 24, but I'm not entirely convinced I want to watch it.  If I start it, I'll have to finish it and then that's 24 hours of my life I'll never get back, you know? 

I also downloaded a book writing software program and I've been kicking around ideas for a novel.  At one time I thought I'd write a nonfiction book on How to be a medical transcriptionist, but the truth is, I really don't enjoy my work anymore and writing that was tedious.  I got started, but I didn't get beyond maybe 1000 words.  Who knows, writing a fiction novel will probably get tedious too, but at least I am not dealing with medical language and having to look up how to spell words.  Seriously, after 16 years of doing this now, I still have to look up things every single day.  Can you tell I had a frustrating work day yesterday?  At 10:00 p.m. last night, I downloaded a 20 minute infectious disease consult that took a long, long time to type. (Average it takes a transcriptionist 3 minutes of typing per minute of dictation.)  I finally finished at 11:45 p.m.  I had to look up all the tick borne illnesses, several I hadn't heard of. 

I really need to get started today, on my exciting cleaning and exercise, although this year, so far, I have managed to avoid the promise to the kids that if I don't get my work done they don't have to do theirs.  :-)   I still do need to do it. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails