Friday, December 31, 2010

Board Games.

I mentioned that I do the shopping for my mom for Christmas.  Honestly, I'm glad she lets me do it.  It's my favorite part of the shopping.  From us, the kids ask for a specific list of things and they usually get those things.  It's checking-off-a-list shopping and it is about as much fun as grocery shopping. But, from my parents, they'v always gotten surprises, things they haven't expected, didn't ask for and didn't know that they wanted, in other words, some of their best gifts ever.   My Dad always had a rule that any money that he gave me for the kids did not go to video games and I am going to continue to follow that guideline.  I don't really enjoy shopping for video games anyway.   I'd rather get something that promotes family bonding, rather than having each person go off to do their own thing. 

So, this year, I went with board games.  Oh, it was so much fun to shop for and buy all of these board games that I've wanted to get the kids for a long time as well as discover new ones.  We've had a good time this week trying them out.   Here are the ones I bought.

Labyrinth Card Game:  This is one that I haven't actually played yet.  One of my sons said it was fun and the other said he didn't really care for it.

Fluxx - We had to replace our version of this because it got wet in a dishwasher flood.  I am not sure what it was doing on the floor.  The new version is even more confusing in a fun way.  At one point you cannot win unless you  have a radioactive potato.

Mille Bornes - We played this one for the first time yesterday.  It's pretty fun.  I liked it even the first run-through, which is unusual.

Chrononauts. My youngest son LOVES this game.  It has a solo version, so he can play it alone.  I think the rest of us will like it more once we get used to it.  It teaches history, as an added bonus.   We've only had 1 run through and will need a few more to be comfortable with the rules.

Ticket to Ride:  This one is fun and it will be even more fun if any of us can ever beat my husband at it.  It is a good combination of luck and strategy.

 Blokus - Simple to learn, but a good strategy game.


Think Fun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Game - This one surprised me by being a 1 person puzzle game, but it's very fun.

Last but not least, Word Pirates.  My daughter and I like this one very much.  It levels the playing field between us on word games, by throwing in the luck of the roll of the dice and the ability to block opponents and build bridges to the treasure.  The boys aren't as crazy about word games as I am, so this isn't their favorite.   

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Down, down, down, down, down (doobie do) down time.

We're still not trying to accomplish much of anything this week.  I will have to do regular housecleaning tomorrow and the kids will have to help as usual.  There's no escaping housework.  Our New Years plans have fallen through because of the flu, but we still have one more Christmas party to go to.  After the new year, I'll focus on scheduling all the appointments I need to schedule and making minor changes to the kid's school schedules.  I've ordered myself an exercise DVD with one of my gift cards and I hope to add that into my morning routine.   Meanwhile this week, we're watching videos, playing board games and video games.  Hey, it's Christmas week, that's what you are supposed to do!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'm enjoying this down-time week.  My husband and I have returned to work, but we're not schooling and we don't really have much of anything (actually, nothing at all!) scheduled until the weekend.  No 4H.  No co-ops.   No group meetings.  I don't mind any of those things and, in fact, like most of them, but it is nice not to have any for a few days.  Next week, we'll be stir crazy and ready to get out and go, I'm sure. 

This is the week I need to be thinking about any new subjects for January.  My daughter has finished spelling and now needs some other kind of language arts instruction.   I need to look into that.  I also 'need' to spend my Christmas gift cards soon.  :-P  

Monday, December 27, 2010

Schools out for the rest of the year!

Do you remember this week when you were a kid?  I remember reading, reading, reading, because if it was a really good Christmas, I had gotten some books.  I remember one year getting a pile of Trixie Belden books. I was in book-nerd heaven until I finished all of them and had to go back to school.  My kids are in their own version of kid heaven this week with no school, unlimited screen time, new board games and all kinds of things to do.  This week is all they'll get though and honestly, that's about all they need and they're ready for limits again, though they won't admit it, they'll just start acting bored with their new stuff and at that point, it's time to start school again. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm tired this morning.  We had that same issue we have every year in that our youngest son does not want to sleep on Christmas eve and therefore I do not get as much sleep as I would like, since he keeps waking me up.  Even my daughter  got into the act and had to be issued threats this year, including (gasp!) middle names! (That's when you know you're in trouble!).  I fortified myself as much as I could with my mother-in-law's fudge but I was still exhausted and consequently, I had to take a 3-hour Christmas afternoon nap.  After the nap we had a mini board game marathon and played Blokus and Word Pirates, 2 new games we received, which are really fun.  All in all, it was a pretty nice Christmas.  We've got another party today so it's really not over yet.  :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing you

a wonderful Christmas day. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's here!

It's here.  First I'm not ready to even THINK about Christmas.  Then I start thinking and worrying about what I'm going to get and when I'm going to start and then finally I start Christmas shopping and go crazy buying things, then something is wrong with what I've bought, I make last minute changes and substitutions and then, it's here.  Christmas.   A time of peace and joy.  Now if only I can shift out of high gear, down to a slow, easy speed and enjoy the season.

Hopefully I will be able to, but I need to wait until I get finished working!   

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Something like this always happens.

We got out all the presents today, from their various nooks and crannies, to examine them, sort them and make sure they had all arrived, since most of our shopping was done on-line and most of it has been delivered this week.  It turns out that one of the very first things I put in the cart on was still in the cart.  They hadn't charged me for it and they hadn't shipped it.  So I had to go to Gamestop today and make an emergency substitution.  I would not advise anyone to go to Gamestop on December 23rd. It took a long, long, long time.  Finally, I did get free and then had to (The Horror!) go to Walmart due to another shipping issue.  Anyway, I think I'm done shopping now.  I really don't want to go get anything tomorrow.   I'm going to have to think really hard and be very creative about what I can contribute to the Christmas dinner at my Mom's house tomorrow night because Friday is my grocery day and I don't want to go.  I'll just have to cook something that is already in the house.   I am shopped out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Okay, maybe not.

At some point today I just cancelled school for tomorrow and the next day.  There was a point this afternoon when I said to my youngest, "Listen, if you will just leave me alone for 1 hour, I will let this be the last day of school!"  I'm not proud of it, but there it is.  I had in the back of my mind anyway that it would be a good day to quit.  We're ahead on our days, we've got all of the basics covered for this week thanks to our block schedule and we've got a ton of things to do tomorrow because tomorrow is Christmas Eve Eve.  The kids haven't even shopped for each other yet and they traditionally exchange their gifts on the day before Christmas Eve (traditionally known as the "Eve Eve" around here.) 

I did get work done and I finally took my Mom's cat to the vet, but I didn't bring her back.  The condition that she had in her ear was cancer and it was too advanced to do anything about.  I feel kind of bad about it, but I'm glad the cat is not suffering.  It needed to be done and I'm glad I was able to get victory over my squeamishness and finally got my schedule worked out so I could do it.  

Tomorrow I'll be frantically crossing things off my list and then Friday morning I'll be working and then, ah the holiday weekend.  


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still going.

We're still doing school. We had a Christmas party with the homeschool group today and so we only did half a day but that's more than most school districts did today I bet.  I think the kids will better appreciate the days after Christmas off, when they have new toys and games to occupy their time, rather than now when they don't   Might as well work now and get those days in.  That way, when a particularly beautiful day or a nice opportunity to visit with someone comes up, we can take a day off without having to worry about getting behind. 

I am getting just the slightest bit excited about Christmas.  Now that my shopping is done, I can relax a little.   I still have to work tomorrow and Friday and I still have to grocery shop, take my mom's cat to the vet, open all the packages and make sure all the gifts have arrived (some are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, how's that for cutting it close?) , clean the house and then take a deep breath and try and enjoy it.  I've been wound up awfully tight lately, kind of overwhelmed, and it's been more difficult for me to relax and enjoy the season.  I hope that feeling goes away soon.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy day planned.

We've got a busy day planned and we've got lots of things on the calendar until Wednesday.  We don't have anything written on Wednesday or Thursday and I'm hoping to have those days to savor the season a little bit.  Unfortunately, I imagine the fact that there is nothing written on there is just an oversight and someone will remember things we have to do those days.  It will be fine either way.  We finally got the van up our driveway last night so wherever we're going, hopefully we won't have to walk the first quarter mile to the bottom of our drive where the van is waiting.  We're going to keep doing school as long as we can, maybe even on Friday which is Christmas Eve.  I have to work that day so why can't the kids do school? Right?  Although if they argue, I'll let them off.  You're only a kid once and that time for them is passing very quickly anyway.  If we do school all week, we'll have 97 days in, which means that currently we have 92 days of school. That's more than we've ever had at this time of year, even if we stop now!  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Boy has it been a long winter.

Looonngg winter.   Today has already been a looonnnggg day and its' only 10:37 a.m.

Long day, long week, long year.


Iced in.

We stayed in last night.  Our driveway was a solid sheet of ice, still, when it was time to go skating, so we didn't.  I'm tired of being in.  I have a chance to go shopping today with a wonderful friend, but I don't think I'm going to be able to.  It all hinges on me finishing work early and I am kind of afraid to go without getting my husband's opinion on the road situation so right now I'm waiting.  If I was still working at home, I'd be working, getting it done.  It's very frustrating not to be able to do that.  Waiting is not my best thing.

While snowed and iced in this week, we've made paper snowflakes and paper snowmen garlands, read, watched movies, did school, cooked, cleaned and played board games.  It's not like we are suffering, but we do like to get out occasionally.  (okay, daily!).  I did have a funny moment yesterday when I went out to assess the driveway ice situation and got to observe our dogs trying to cope with it.  Freckles' back legs tried to get in front of her front legs at one point and I laughed until I cried at her facial expression, which said "help!".  Oh how I wish I had had a camera in my hand.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guess what we ate for dinner?

The hamburgers, corn and baked french fries that the kids made in their home-ec cooking class today, plus the very last home grown tomato of the season.  Can you believe we still had a tomato on December 16?  I went out and picked them all right before the frost and they've been ripening one by one on the window sill.   It was tiny, but yummy.

Trying not to waste the day, but feeling lazy.

It's my day off from work and I'm trying to get some things done.  I have gotten a few appointments made and a few things cleaned, but not that much really.  We had an ice storm last night ,but it wasn't as severe as the last one that left us without power for 9 days.  This one has left us stranded in our house though, I'm afraid.  We want to go skating tonight but I don't know if we'll be able to leave our driveway.  :-(   I'm not sure how to check that either.  I mean if the van will go part of the way down the hill, but then I hit a tree .... ?!  Anyway, we don't have to make that decision for a few hours, so  we'll wait and see what the temperature is, I guess.

I'm almost done with the onerous job of Christmas shopping.  I have one thing I need to take back and exchange because I bought the wrong one and my daughter and I might make some crafts to make some of the gifts more personal if we get time.  Otherwise, we just need to wait for UPS to deliver them.  Ooh, I hope they can get up our driveway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trying to get it done today.

It's 3:00 in the afternoon and I am just getting started on work.  After I had my husband drive me over here this morning, the cable was down again and I had to go back home.  Before we left earlier today though my husband did salt the top of my mom's driveway which is a steep hill.  That helped and I was able to drive myself back over here this afternoon to start on my full day of work at 3:00 p.m.  After I get done here, I need to go to town and pick up my Walmart site-to-store merchandise and take some movies to the library.  I'm trying to hurry and beat the winter storm that is on the way.  It is supposed to snow again tonight so we may have to stay home for a while after this.  All of the kid's activities have been canceled this week.  They haven't been enjoying that, but what can they do?  They like the winter weather so they just have to take the good with the bad.  Personally, I want to move someplace tropical. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spelling revisited.

If you've been reading my blog from the very beginning, you'll know that we changed from public schooling to homeschooling right after our kids had finished kindergarten, second grade and fifth grade.  My oldest son at that point was a good speller and I didn't feel that there was a need to do spelling with him.  My daughter needed quite a bit of help with spelling.  At one point, I thought that she might be dyslexic so when I was looking for a spelling curriculum, I looked for something that might help with that.  I found Sequential Spelling and it has been wonderful for the girl.  She is a really good speller now too.  Today I finally just told her that she can quit doing it and we'll start something else in January.  Unbelievably, she didn't want to stop, but I really think her time would be better used on something else language arts related.  She spells all the words right, every single time.  There's just no point in going over and over it.  She finally agreed with me and we'll start something else.  (I'll decide what later - let me get through Christmas first!)  

Now youngest son is a different matter.  He is probably dyslexic.  He has always had trouble with reversing letters and he took a long time learning to read well.  Now he finishes a book every couple of days we've been addressing the writing with occupational therapy and copywork and that's getting better and now we need to find something that works for his spelling.  He's been doing Sequential Spelling for several years now too, but I think that the time has come to admit that it just isn't working for him.   I've also tried All About Spelling, which is a good program, but he felt that he was being tortured when we did it.  So anyway, I'm going to have to look for something else.  Anyone have suggestions? 

I got a really great deal through Swagbucks today on a game called Bookworm Adventures that is supposed to help with spelling.  I hope so because games are better for my youngest's learning style.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The choice.

My husband gave the kids a choice today.  They could go outside and play in the snow, getting fresh air and exercise, or they could stay in and do math.  They chose sleigh riding.  Is anyone surprised? 

After the first hour or so they came in and my youngest son yelled from the front door "Mom?!  I NEED hot chocolate!"

Snow day!

It snowed several inches.  The younger kids are very excited.  They went out sledding around 8:30 last night.  I am not as excited because I have to go to work.  I'm no longer a work-at-home mom who can laugh at the weather and keep bringing in the bucks.  I have to go to my mom's house and it's only 3 miles, but it's up and down a lot of hills.  Today my husband can take me in the 4 wheel drive truck, but I don't know how the rest of the winter is going to work out.  Several people on our road are paying huge amounts of money to get cable internet back here, but the closest one is still about a mile from our house and we're half a mile from the nearest neighbor, so I don't know if it will ever be affordable/accessible to us.   If we ever get it here, I'll be able to work at home again.  Anyway, I'm off to work and the kids are going to try and get Dad to give them a snow day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's cold outside.

I'm staying in today and getting some things done.  The kids and I have done some cleaning and some laundry and we've got dinner in the crock pot so now I'm trying to get the Christmas shopping done (on-line) and then maybe we'll watch a Christmas movie together and drink hot chocolate.  There is a little bit of snow on with a little bit of ice underneath it so we haven't gone anywhere today.  We might venture out later on this afternoon after we get some road reports.  Meanwhile, I'm enjoying being home after several busy, busy days in a row. 

At the party last night there were several questions about homeschooling.  I hope I answered them well enough.  No we don't have to test.  I think we're doing pretty well.  No, the kids don't miss school.  Yes, they see their friends a lot.  Etc.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting there, school and other things.

My attitude is better now.  I had a really nice time at both the movie and the party.  The only thing is, at parties like this, I feel a little bit of the odd one out when people start talking about kids and school.  Being the lone homeschooler in a group of several people makes me feel a little bit weird, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  It's been great for our family.  Speaking of school, we're still on track to get over halfway done by Christmas.  I may take a couple of days out of those to clean and we still won't be behind.  It will be nice for me if there is some deep cleaning done before the holiday begins.  It will help me enjoy it more.  I don't think the kids will feel the same way, but they'll help me anyway.  :-P 

The movie we saw today was Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of the Narnia stories. I feel that I should read the books because even though I've seen all 3 movies, I feel like I'm missing about 75% of the story.  Right now I have a stack of books on my desk that is 5 high, but I haven't had time to read them and I'm not sure when I will.

Gotta get this shopping done!

Maybe it's more like this guy.

I'm actually making progress on the Christmas lists.  I'm just kind of grouchily doing it.  I'll feel better once it's done. 

I've got a busy day today.  I've got to work, then we've got a field trip this afternoon and then I'll have to work again more than likely because I won't be done and then a party tonight.  December can get really crazy.  Sometimes I feel like it's too much but I wouldn't want to miss these things.  I kind of wish we as a society, didn't try to do so much in one month! 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Shopping.

I have begun my Christmas shopping.   I'm not really enjoying it.  It seems like a tremendous chore.   I have gotten quite a bit of it done the last couple of days, yesterday on-line and today in the stores.  I might even be getting close to halfway.  I'd just like to know one thing.  When, exactly, did I turn into this guy?
And I'm talking about before his heart grew three sizes!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Today on our favorite radio station

the DJ accidentally said "Carol of the Bears" instead of "Carol of the Bells" which led to a spontaneous rendition of the song from the back seat.

It went like this:
Roar, roar, roar, roar
roar, roar, roar, roar
roar, roar, roar roar,
roar, roar, roar, roar
roar, roar, roar, roar,
roar, roar, roar roar,
roar, roar, roar, roar

roar, roar, roar, roar ...


So much nothing.

My youngest son did not get his school work done yesterday so he was grounded and did not get any screen time at all last night.  Tonight's not looking good either.  He is taking it well though.  He told me a few minutes ago that he had went through with a marker and marked all the blank spaces in the schedule grid because he had "done so much nothing today."  


Tis the season.

To celebrate the season, here are some links to free holiday MP3 downloads from

and my favorite

Sometimes homeschooling gets a little difficult this time of year because all the kids want to think about is Christmas.  Currclick has a Christmas Around the World unit study for 1.75 and all of the proceeds go to feed the hungry through World Vision.     Currclick

Coinstar is offering a ten dollar bonus if you put in your coins and get a gift card.  Frugal Living.

Why not do some good by visiting The Hunger Site and while you're there, take a look at the hunger site store.  They've got some really unique and fun gifts and the proceeds help people around the world. 

I'm getting into the spirit now.  :-)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Okay, I was too tired.

To have my Christmas-List panic attack the other day, but I don't think that I will have any trouble today.  Eeek!  I do have decent lists from the boys now, but still not the girl.  Honestly, she's worked so hard this year, earned money and bought things she wanted and doesn't want anything else right now.  She may just have to get a Hobby Lobby gift card or two.  Really none of the kids want that much this Christmas, the lists are shorter than usual. Maybe this would be a good year to give more to charity?  We are planning to buy a couple of chickens for a third world country and that seems like such a small gesture.

Today is the homeschool groups mom celebration, which means that all the moms are going to go out to eat, exchange presents and shop, so that will be fun.  Maybe this time I'll actually buy some gifts?  It could happen.  We're going to go to regular stores, not terribly expensive ones, so I hope I'll be able to find some things. 

My kids will stay home with their Dad and do their math.  They are so happy about that.  :-P  I need to print out their weekly lists, clean the kitchen up, get ready and go.  I hope the restaurant we are going to has a gluten free choice or two.  I'm so excited to get to go out and party with some of my very best friends.  They are another gift that homeschooling has given me.  :-)

Sunday, December 05, 2010


We had a great time at the craft fair yesterday.   My daughter sold 21 dollars worth of crafts, my sons 5 dollars and 3 dollars (theirs was with very minimal effort!) and she already has plans to do it again next year.  It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed the people who came and shopped, about half of whom said "aw, just keep the change!". Everyone was so nice, it just really heartwarming to be there.  We came home really, really tired and I personally slept 12 hours last night!  It's funny because we almost didn't make it at all.  I had asked my youngest son to set my alarm for me, for 6:30 am..  He does it all the time with no problems, but it was not set when Freckles woke me up at 6:26 a.m. --- something she has not done for several months--- another Christmas miracle?  This one brought about by a half-chihuahua with a full bladder.  :-)

Friday, December 03, 2010

How did it get to be Friday already?

The time is passing so quickly.  I've made the decision not to worry too much about the Christmas lists until after the craft fair tomorrow.  So officially, tomorrow afternoon is when I am going to have a panic attack.  Around 3.   So with that planned, I'm helping my daughter a little bit with the crafts tonight, and while I'm doing that, I'm going to watch a couple episodes of The Mentalist.  I just now got back from returning movies at the library and going to the grocery, something I truly, truly hate.  I always come out of the grocery store feeling like a complete, utter failure as a shopper and as a human being.  I stayed under the budget tonight, but I feel that our budget is too high and I could easily skim at lot off of it if only I would just focus and do better.  I ran into a friend on the way in, whom I know for a fact, only spends about 40 dollars a week to feed a family of 5.  Once a while back, she went crazy and spent about 60.  By that standard, I spend absolutely an insane amount tonight. 

I hate grocery shopping.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Little by little.

I got a few things done today.   Not much though.  I printed out Christmas lists for everyone that have categories on them like books, music, clothes, things for my room, etc. to help the kids think about what they might want and I did get some good responses from the boys.  The girl hasn't filled hers out yet.  She's been busy crafting things for the craft fair.  I brought home a Martha Stewart craft book from the library and she's been making beaded flowers all day when she wasn't doing school.  I told her that if she wanted to start cleaning and organizing like Martha, that would be fine too.  I certainly have no Martha like qualities.  :-)  

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December 1st.

It's been really cold today and this morning when I woke up there were big puffy snowflakes falling, the radio is playing Christmas music, Amazon is offering free downloads of Christmas songs, work is emailing me about when I'll need off this holiday season and I still can't wrap my head around the fact that I only have 23 days until CHRISTMAS!   I really should at least make my list ...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, the last day of November!

I'm in my yearly denial phase that it could possibly be December first tomorrow.  We've made no progress on the Christmas lists.  I have done a few of the thing I had planned for this week.  I was planning on taking my oldest son in to be fitted for his orthotic tomorrow but he's got some kind of killer death flu and feels horrible, so that's more than likely going to have to be postponed.  Despite all 3 of  the kids getting this cold/flu syndrome this week, we're still doing school.  They aren't even really complaining about it.   We're doing pretty well on our days this year, on target to be a little more than halfway done by Christmas and yes, I realize that I should not have written that because something will happen to throw it off, but it always does anyway, so I'll just go ahead and say it.  Maybe some kind of miracle will occur and we will be halfway done by Christmas.  I went to Walmart (yes, again) today for cold medicine, Fruit Breezers, Cold-Eeze and bought every single thing on my list, did not forget the list at home, in the car or drop it in the parking lot or in store, so hey, miracles CAN happen. 

The younger kids are mostly past the yuckiest part of the cold/flu thingy and they are spending their spare time working on items to sell at a homeschool craft fair that we're going to on Saturday.  They've made 54 refrigerator magnets in the last couple of days.  My daughter is also making ribbon bookmarks.  They've also put the Christmas tree up and have spent quite a bit of time decking the halls.  At one point earlier today we had a Halloween windsock on the porch, a Thanksgiving wreath on the door and Christmas decor inside but the Christmas wreath is up on the door now.  I don't know if anyone's tall enough to get the Halloween windsock down except my husband so that is probably still up there.  

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am working on an attitude of gratitude and contentment this week, trying to be happy with what I have.   I do have a lot, but sometimes I have a tendency to focus on the things I don't have and want.  I need to work on that.  It's a process. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lots to do.

I've got a lot to do today.  First work, then make all kinds of doctor's appointments and cook and homeschool and do whatever needs to be done to the house.  Then I need to go to the library and return some things and pick up the next Ranger's Apprentice.  We're listening to them all again.  It's funny because the first time I read them and it was with my Kentucky accent and now we're listening to the audio books and the man reading them has an Australian accent.  Plus, there are so many names that I pronounced one way and he pronounces another.  Sometimes we find these extremely funny, so it's fun to listen to them again with someone else reading. Anyway, back to what I need to do - At some point today I should work on my book, I should start Christmas shopping or at least get some idea where we're headed with that ....  The kids also want to put up the Christmas tree which will require an expedition into my closet and I'm not sure if I'll be able to come out of there alive so if you don't hear from me, that's why. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another day of thanks.

We celebrated Thanksgiving today with my mom, my brother and my aunt.  We had a nice time, although I was disappointed with some of my contributions to the menu (the stuffing and the turkey) my desserts came out fine and my brother's home-made mashed potatoes were out of this world.  :-P  Anyway, it was nice to take another day and be thankful.  After dinner we played some board games including one amazing game of Jenga which seemed to defy the laws of gravity.  I'll try and remember to share a picture of it when I have a better internet connection. 

Update:  Okay, here it is. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

One Christmas gift down, a lot to go.

After work today my daughter and I went shopping for a little while.  We missed all the doorbuster savings, but did not miss any of the crowds, it seems.   We were able to pick up something for my niece, so that's one gift done.  As for the rest of it, we haven't even made lists or given it any thought.  One of these days I will maybe get it together before Black Friday and go out early with a list, but then again, maybe not.  

An after Thanksgiving surprise.

It snowed a little bit last night.  My youngest son will be so happy to see it.  It makes it really seem like Christmas could possibly be right around the corner!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're unexpectedly hosting but not cooking this year because my mother-in-law's water is out.  I'm looking forward to it.  I hope each one of you have a wonderful day.  Remember to take a minute and think about the blessings in your life.  :-)

Okay, we're not hosting, we're going

Have a good day everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tuesday was busy, busy.  First, I had to work.  So I came to my mom's house to work at 9 ish.  I worked until 12:45 then went home, picked up my oldest son and took him to the doctor about his ankle.  It's an hour drive each way plus he needed another x-ray.  We got home a little before 5 p.m..  I sat down and took a short break, then got up and came back to mom's house to work.  I needed just about 70 more lines.  It took an awfully long time because I had awful reports.  (I have to take what I get in the job queue.)  Then I left straight from mom's house and went to mom's night out with the homeschool moms, then went into a Dollar Tree store that was right beside the restaurant, picked up my daughter at my mom's house and got home about 9:30 p.m.  I enjoyed the mom's night out part of it, but not really the rest.  Anyway, my son is going to need an orthotic shoe insert.  Maybe that will help.  I hope it's not too expensive, because I really don't think that's what he wants for Christmas.  :-P

Today, when I get home from work, hopefully I'll get to stay home.  Maybe.  I may need some ingredients for desserts I'm making for tomorrow. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

This looks interesting.

This book site that someone shared on the Homeschool Lounge.
Books Should Be Free

I also like  Daily Lit and Project Gutenberg

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I did not get anything done this weekend.  I was going to, but I didn't.  I just didn't feel good at all, all weekend.  I was achy and needed naps, as if I'd been accidentally ingesting some gluten, but if I have, I have no idea what the source of it was.  I've been reading labels.  I've been careful.   At first I thought it was the stuffing I made, but I quit eating that and now, I just don't know.   It's frustrating.   So no progress on any household projects and no progress on the book.  On the other hand, I have been reading a book this weekend that I've been enjoying very much and we saw Harry Potter today which I also enjoyed very much, so the weekend was not a total loss or anything -just not what I had intended, but rest is important sometimes too. 

It's been a year since I went gluten free and it's also now been a year since my son broke his ankle.  It is still giving him quite a bit of pain.  He has had to ice it and elevate it a lot lately as it has been swelling.  Someone today told him to alternate hot water with cold water soaks and he's been doing that this afternoon.  He's not sure if it feels better or is just numb, but the swelling is down.  He has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday.

Thanksgiving is this week!  I can't believe it.  I had my first real bit of holiday-associated grief today when I heard a Christmas song that my Dad and I used to sing together.  That hit hard and I've had to spend the rest of today with swollen eyelids. and I'm sure the first holiday season without him is going to be kind of tough.   I hope they don't play that song at the Kroger when I'm shopping anytime this season.  They are already playing Christmas music in there.  I was inspired by it last week and came home and designed this shirt for my Cafepress store.

But on Friday it will BE after Thanksgiving and I will HAVE to give some thought to Christmas.  I'm not ready. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybe today.

Maybe this evening I will work on my book or maybe I'll just go shopping.  I haven't decided yet.   There are some things I need to pick up and it is grocery day.  On the other hand, we're not desperate for anything and groceries could wait a day or two.   The kids are doing school and I'm done with work so I feel like I could just do anything.  It's kind of a nice feeling and kind of not.  Sometimes it's nice to actually have to do something if you know what I mean?  Sometimes you just have no choice and you need to do something in particular and you just do it.  Period.  There's no questioning yourself at those times.  When I have a lot of choices, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with them or sometimes I feel guilty for what I chose and what I didn't.  For example, I should have cleaned out the kitchen cabinets but I just read a book.  You know what I mean?  Does anyone else feel this way? 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


T - Thanksgiving practice.  I'm trying my hand at baking a gluten free cornbread stuffing/dressing recipe.

H- Having the day off from work is nice, but I have to ignore several desperate emails about work that needs to be done.  If I didn't ignore them, I'd go in and work every time I had a day off.

U - Unbelieveable that next week is actually Thanksgiving, isn't it?

R -.Really, I'm always in denial this time of year.  Can it be 5 weeks until Christmas?  

S -School as usual today.

D - Darn.  My stuffing did not turn out good.   It's flavorless.  I'm not going to throw it out.  I'm going to try and flavor it up a bit.

A  - Art has been one of my interests lately.  I have been wanting to work on art all the time, but really, I should be working on my book.  This month is flying by!

Y- Yucky - I feel a little sore and achy today.  I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I am not 100%.  Still, I guess I'm about 75-80% so it's okay.  Plus, it's my day off, so I can take a nap.  :-P

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A couple of photos.

Yes, I'm messing with you all but I'm not one to show pics of the kids on my blog.  These are just 2 of the 800 or so photos that we got that day and now I have the monumental task of deciding which 1 (one!!!) goes on my Christmas card this year.  I also will be choosing some to be enlarged into 8 x 10s.  I'm going to be looking for all the free offers of photos this year, I will tell you that.  These pictures are SO good.

Report from yesterday.

Yesterday was busy but fun.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  It started out not fun, because work was horrible yesterday, but it got better as the day went on.  4H went reasonably well.  The Thanksgiving Mad-Libs were fun.  The cranberry salad the kids made was tasty.  The only problem was that with the mosaics the stick glue that we owned had dried up and we had to use liquid glue and it was quite a bit more difficult to work with, with the paint chips, which are cardstock, basically.  The kids did them with very few complaints (actually, now that I think about it, all of the complaints were from MY sons.  Hmm.)  Anyway, some of the kids came up with some really good looking mosaics, some didn't finish on time and some did some really basic things like just their initials which weren't very artsy, but seemed to make them happy. 

The cranberry salad actually has kind of a funny story.  The recipe I found on said to use 1, 12 ounce pack of fresh cranberries, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 oranges and 2 apples.  But in the 2 stores we looked in, we could not find fresh cranberries.  We ended up having to buy canned ones with high fructose corn syrup.  I figured that these cranberries would not need the honey so I didn't get any.  I had also read a recipe that called for pineapple and one that called for marshmallows, so I bought canned cranberries, 2 oranges, 2 honeycrisp apples, a bag of walnuts, a can of pineapple and a bag of marshmallows.   Then, mysteriously, when I got to the 4H office, the apples had disappeared and when I got home, they were in my fridge.  As I said, Very Mysterious.  Anyway, the recipe got modified, out of necessity, quite a bit but was quite tasty.  We made 2 batches and as a group, ate every single bite.  A couple of people even took copies of the recipe home.  :-)

We were also able to plan the next 2 months of 4H and 2 of the other moms are going to teach, so I'm off until February!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just another 24 hours in the homeschooling life.

Mary Grace over at Books and Bairns has issued a challenge to all homeschoolers to chronicle 24 hours of their lives.  I gave it an attempt yesterday although it's not officially supposed to start until 11/22/2010 because I just felt like going ahead and doing it yesterday.  I must warn you though that at some point yesterday afternoon, my life kind of ventured into the bizarre and kind of gross.  Read at your own peril.  :-P
You have been warned!

7:50 am  I am sleeping in a chair in the living room with Freckles snuggled up with me, when I am awakened by my husband kissing me and telling me that he is going to a doctor's appointment, and that I should be sure and wake the kids before I go to work. 
8:15  I finally get out of world's most comfy chair and proceed to the kitchen, where I make coffee and load the dishwasher.  I have some time so I also load the crockpot with cowboy stew, put in a load of laundry, drink coffee and surf the internet for quite a while.
9:50   I wake up the kids.  Teens need their sleep and will sleep all day if not awakened.  I tell them to start school and I go to my mom's house to work.
10:30  I finally start work as mom and I have had a lot to talk about this morning and I had to reboot my computer. 
10:30 - 12:50  I type a lot of c-section reports, a lot of admission notes and a lot of echocardiograms.  While I am working, my husband comes home and supervises the kids homeschooling.  He gets the younger 2 kids started in the new Life of Fred books we ordered from Rainbow Resource last week.
12:50  I need only 20 more lines but I have to download and type whatever is next in the queue.  No choice. It could be very long and make me work another hour and a half.  I say a quick prayer that it will be short.  It is and I type it.  It's 29 lines.  Good.  I'm hungry for lunch.
1:05   I arrive home and eat some of the cowboy stew.  It doesn't taste as good to me as it usually does and I wonder if the new Listerine mouthwash I've been using for flouride and whitening has perhaps burned off my taste buds.  It sure does burn like it could do that.
1:15  I notice that Freckles is dragging her behind.  Uh oh.  My husband and I have a brief discussion over whose responsibility it is do squeeze the dog's hiney and evacuate her anal glands.  We quickly decide that it is the vet's job.  My husband said the vet said she would do this for 12 dollars.
2:00  Freckles and I are at the vet.  Despite only starting to have symptoms 45 minutes ago, she has an infection and needs antibiotics.  It is more than 12 dollars.
2:30  Back home, I check on the kid's progress.  Monday is math day.  One son is done with all of his chapters of Life of Fred pre-algebra and the other 2 are not done with their math.  (My husband assigns and supervises all of the math).  Even though it is math day, they also have other things, guitar and writing, among other things.   The kids and I do a quick house clean up and I start to plan for 4H tomorrow.
3:30  Once I figure out what we are going to do for 4H, I realize that I am going to need supplies for 4H and my daughter and I decide to go get them.   Before we go, we put the dog in a pair of shorts for reasons of hygeine because we do not own any doggie diapers. She actually looks kind of cute in a pair of my son's old shorts with basketballs on them but she is not happy.   
4:00.   My daughter and I are at Walmart getting paint sample cards to make a mosaic for 4H.  Then we go to Lowes and get some more.  Then we go to Kroger to try and find fresh cranberries for the snack part of 4H, but we can't find any so we are very disappointed and buy canned cranberries.  (We had already checked Walmart).  
6:15  We girls arrive home.  The boys are finished with their schoolwork.   My daughter still had school to finish.  For dinner we have cowboy stew.  I made cornbread to go with it.  I love cornbread.  The kids don't but that is their loss.  More for me.   The cornbread tastes wonderful but the cowboy stew still tastes not as good as usual.  I figure my taste buds must be alright after all and maybe I left something out.  The kids like it, although it is very spicy.  After dinner I load the dishwasher again and move the laundry to the dryer.
7:00  p.m.  Screen time begins at our house.  The boys plug into their computers.  My daughter watches TV in the living room while working on a sample mosaic for 4H.  I am watching the DVD we got from Netflix, The Mentalist season 1, disk 2 while cutting up paint sample cards.   I am really tired.  My daughter finishes her mosaic.  It's really good.  I worry that the other children may be intimidated.  I consider doing one myself so that they can see that anyone can do it but I am just too tired.  I don't feel good.  I've got some sort of bronchitis-y sounding cough and feel blah.  I watch more of The Mentalist and cut out some more things for 4H, look on the internet for some Mad Libs and some recipes that call for canned cranberries instead of fresh and piddle around with some other small projects and finally it is bedtime.
11:00 Bedtime.  I feel guilty that it is not earlier. We listen to Ranger's Apprentice, Seige of Macindaw for half an hour, then lights out.
5:00 a.m.  I wake up, put the dogs out, let them back in and fall asleep in the living room chair.  And that's where this story began.

This is done from memory and therefore leaves a bunch of things out.  
Freckles is better today. 
Yes, we keep horribly late hours.  We are incorrigible.
Our mattress hurts my back and I often have to move to the living room to sleep for at least part of the night, otherwise, I'll have a pretty severe backache.  
The kids do school from a checklist with supervision from both parents, but there is not much, if any time that we all spend sitting around the kitchen table doing school at the current time.  We may change that in January but for now, what we're doing is working reasonably well.
Would I say this is a typical day?  Probably not, but it is a true sample of one of our days.  Each one is different.

I look forward to reading about your days.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Now, the waiting.

We had a great time walking around the park taking pictures by every pretty tree and rock, by the lake, on benches, walking towards the camera, walking away from the camera, everything we could think of.  My friend took at least 100 pictures.  I saw some of them on her digital camera screen and they looked really good.  Now I have to wait until she gives me a CD with all the pictures and then I get to print the ones I want.  I can't wait to see them.  You know when you get your kids pictures taken at one of the commercial studios, you have to wait approximately 2 weeks?  Well, I have to wait all the way until tomorrow!  Whew.  Think I'll make it?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

School pictures.

Since we're homeschoolers, we don't automatically get a package of school pictures sent to us a couple of times a year.  We have to arrange for them ourselves.  I've tried a number of different places through the years but those commercial photo studios always leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.  I feel guilty for not buying every pose and yet I also always feel that I've spent way too much money.  So today I'm having a friend who does photography as a weekend business take some photos of the kids.  I'm excited about it, but not nearly as excited about it as my friend. She keeps emailing me with suggestions and ideas.  It's really cute. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday, finally.

I'm finally doing my Friday blog post.   I've thought of several things throughout the day but now that I have sat down, at last, to write it, I can't think of them.  School got done.  Work got done.  Basically though, I can't think of anything to blog about.


Let me see what I can remember.

I do recall at one point today the kids asking to do more biology.  That has not happened before so that was interesting.  

We added 5 more dollars to our 'sacrifice for World Vision' can for a total, now of 7.16 cents.  I kind of think it would be cool to do one of those micro-loans, get the money back at some point, then loan it to someone else.   That might be a fun family project for years to come. Maybe we can add to it as we go along.

I did not work on my book today.   I'm pretty much procrastinating about that now.  Maybe tomorrow?    Or not.

I'm downloading several free things from Currclick  They have one thing free each week but they have a bunch of things that are always free so I'm taking a look at those.

Another odd thing, we have a houseguest tonight for a sleepover and Freckles is pretty much behaving herself.  Maybe she's mellowing out?

That is the sum total of all the thoughts I have right now.  I'm tired and there's just not that much going on in my head.  I think I'll make it an early night if I can.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ah, Thursday.

My day off from work.  I love Thursdays exactly the way I used to love Monday when it was my day off.   Today I am going to putter around the house.  I also need to run at least one errand in town, one that I had to put off while I didn't have a driver's license, but that's it.  There are no kid activities tonight.  We may do some board games and have some family time.  I've moved the kid's cooking /home economics class to Thursdays so we'll be doing that today.  I need to figure out what they should cook.  The only thing I ever remember cooking in my 8th grade home economics class in school was brown sugar and cinnamon toast.  Kind of strange choices, I mean, I like them, but they don't really involve much cooking skill, measuring or anything and they're not very healthy.  I read something yesterday that said that some organization (can't remember which) was encouraging families to cook and eat at least one meal a week at home.  Well we are certainly doing better than that!  During my hiatus from cooking or cleaning or basically doing anything, when I was a zombie for several weeks after my Dad passed away in January, we still ate pretty much all of our meals at home ... the kids and my husband just prepared themselves something to eat.  I think they ate more sandwiches during that several week period than anybody should, but they were reasonably healthy sandwiches, prepared at home.

Speaking kind of, of eating out and things like that ... I read an article in an old Family Fun magazine (while at the dentist)  about a family that decided to make small sacrifices and send money to Haiti after the earthquake there.  They'd pass up eating out or getting ice cream and put that money in the Haiti fund.   We're going to do this for the month of November and give some money to World Vision.  I got the catalog from them yesterday in the mail.  We can buy a family in a third world country 2 chickens for 25 dollars and they can have eggs to eat and sell.   I made my first tiny little sacrifice last night.  I was in a store getting dish detergent and I saw those Christmas peppermint sticks I love so much, but I didn't buy them and when I came home, I put a dollar in the fund.  I'm going to put some kind of chart up on the wall to help us keep up with it.  It's not much, but it's just a little extra thing we can do to help others and I think that the month of November, when we are supposed to be thankful for what we have, is a very good month to give to others.  

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I'm free to roam now.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky has generously given me back my driving privileges.   Thankfully, I did not have to pass a driving test.  To celebrate the two younger kids and I went to the library and Walmart, then stopped by Baskin Robbins for dollar scoop night.  Do we know how to celebrate or what?  I actually kind of enjoyed not chauffering them around for a couple of days but I also enjoyed getting back out there.  I guess it was like a vacation, nice to have a break, then nice to get back to normal.

Monday, November 08, 2010

My new addiction.

It's cornbread.  That cornbread I made today was so good.  I ate a bunch of it.  I ate it instead of the veggie soup for dinner. I ate it as an after dinner snack.  Every minute that I wasn't eating cornbread, I was thinking about eating cornbread.  Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little but, wow, that stuff is good. I haven't had any cornbread at all for over a year since going gluten free.  I bought the gluten free corn meal at Whole Foods a few weeks back and today used the recipe on the back of the bag to make the  cornbread.  I used masa flour and gluten free Bisquick instead of wheat flour and put in creamed corn and onions.  Yummy. 

I know what I'm going to have for breakfast.  

Still grounded.

I'm stuck home today but I'm making the most of it.  I've made vegetable soup and the best gluten free cornbread ever.  I've been doing a little cleaning on the house and working on my book.  The kids have been doing school.  The younger 2 don't have math today because they have finished the first Life of Fred book and we've got another one ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet.  I didn't feel like finding any math to assign so I assigned a few extra chores instead. They were thrilled.  :-P

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I added a cooking class to our homeschool this year, which basically means that the kids cook on Fridays.  Sometimes they cook a meal and sometimes just a dessert.  Since I discovered the A Year of Slow Cooking blog, I've been loading the crockpots full several times a week and this Friday there wasn't much of a need for the kids to cook another meal, so they made chocolate chip cookies and since we didn't have any chocolate chips, they cut up left-over-from-Halloween fun size Snickers.  I applaud this kind of innovation.  Wow did they smell and look good!  Too gluten-y for me though, unfortunately.  Then on Saturday, we had kind of an impromptu cooking class again.  We cooked, peeled and pied our sweet potato crop.  We are very proud that we grew our own potatoes this year and made 3 pies, 2 with crust and 1 without.

My youngest does not feel that he needs cooking class. He can already make cold cereal, pancakes, waffles and toad-in-a-hole (egg mixed with ham, fried in a skillet, inside a piece of bread that you've torn a hole in).  Regarding cooking on Friday, he said "I can already cook myself breakfast and for lunch and dinner, I'll just have banquets."  To which I replied "Banquets?"  picturing fancy feasts with a lot of people.
"Yes" he said, pulling the box out of the freezer.



I have been grounded.  Didn't that term originally apply to pilots who were not allowed to fly for some reason?  Well, in its infinite wisdom, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has grounded me, in other words, they suspended my driver's license because of a "glitch" in their computer system.  I got a speeding ticket in August for going 45 in a 35 mile zone where most drivers go about 60, but I digress.  In September I completed an on-line version of traffic school.  At the end of the course my status on the on-line sign in page was changed to "complete" so, silly me, I thought I was done.  Then I got a letter yesterday saying that I had never enrolled in traffic school at all and that my license was suspended effective October 31.  So basically, I've been driving without a license for a week.  Anyway, I looked up my status on the on-line school and it said "complete" and showed that I had paid for it.  My credit card was not denied.  I was stumped, so I called the toll free number and the man on the other end said that I must not have passed the test at the end.  Then he said that I had gotten 90% and that I only needed 80% and it must be a "glitch". Then he said he was going to transfer my call to the instructor and I would have to answer a few more questions.  While on hold, I'm hoping I remember the traffic laws in case its more test questions he's going to ask, but no, he asked my birth date and my address then told me that he'd electronically send something to the driver's licensing board (the school is based in another state) and then it would be up to the licensing board to see when I would get my license back.  So what it all boils down to is the school web site had some kind of problem and the state didn't send me any kind of warning, just suspended me.  I hope  it is straightened out soon. 

Does anyone else remember me kind of whining the other day about how I feel sometimes like I live in my van? 


Saturday, November 06, 2010


We got Everest season 2 from the Discovery Channel through Netflix and I'm watching them climb today.  It's kind of fascinating.  I mean, I want to say "why?" but I have to admire their courage and determination.  One of the climber is 71 years old and one has pretty severe asthma.   Last season, one of the climbers was a double amputee.  I'm going to finish disk 1 of this and then have to wait several days for the next installment to come from Netflix, to see if they make it.  I am determined not to Google it and see how it all turned out. 

Friday, November 05, 2010


Does it seem to anyone else that Christmas is looming?  How did it get so close?   It seems like it wasn't even in my thoughts at all and now I see Christmas things everywhere I go.  At least they weren't yet playing Christmas music in the grocery store when I was shopping tonight!  I personally would like to see Thanksgiving get a little more attention.  I love Thanksgiving, such a simple and sweet holiday.

Since this is a homeschooling blog basically, I will share that I think the changes to the schedule have worked this week.  They were only slight tweaks and I do feel that they helped us get it all in and now I don't have to feel guilty.  That's always a good thing. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

{Insert clever title}

As I have stated before, it is difficult to come up with a blog title when you aren't entirely sure what brilliant, fascinating things you're going to blog about.  And, add to that, if you've been blogging for 6 or so years, and you don't want to repeat titles exactly, it makes it even more difficult.  Still, I  perservere.  keep trying.  I am off work today and that is just a wonderful thing.  We do have a couple of things we need to do in town later, but right now, I'm free; free to take down the garbage, free to clean the house, free to cook.  That's life though.   Freckles is very, very happy because she loves garbage day so much.  She gets to ride in the van, go down to the road and smell things.  And today, I forgot one bag and had to go back down so she got to go twice.  Such joy for a little dog.  She could hardly contain it.  Actually, she didn't contain it.  She ran around in circles with happiness.

School seems to be working okay this week.  I changed it up on the grammar a little to make it easier for them to do it without me, knowing I was going to have to be in and out.  The youngest has been having some trouble passing his Life of Fred end of chapter tests called Bridges and so he's been doing a lot of work on that.  I also put him on some copywork that's  called Boy Scribe that i got from CurrClick.  He has to write one page a day.  Today I checked his work from yesterday and found that all his 6s were reversed.  I'm not sure what to do about it.  We've tried everything it seems.  I secretly think that his occupational therapist had him graduate from therapy because really she had no idea how to address this either.

My haul of books from the library last night was large and contained the sequel to My Side of the Mountain and also a recipe book written by the same author which included things like acorn pancakes and hickory nut pie.  We may have to try one of those.  We sure do have a lot of acorns.   At the library, I also got several cookbooks and I intend to start working on my book again soon.  I haven't worked on it since Sunday.  Please remember to nag  encourage me to work on it in comments throughout this month.  :-D

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Long day.

I worked today and then took Mom to the pain clinic to get a steroid shot in her back.  We arrived at 12:50 and got to leave a little before 5.   The procedure itself takes about half a minute.  It drives me crazy to see a place so disorganized and so uncaring that their patients are in pain and waiting for hours to be seen but they are the only one around here and so we go.  The shots do help her.  Now I am at the library all by myself, looking for good read-alouds and blogging.  I can't wait to be able to pick the kids up and go home!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The report.

I had a great time on the field trip and I think most everyone else did too.  We read My Side of the Mountain which is about a young boy surviving in the wilderness alone and then we went to the forest and a couple of park rangers led us in learning how to build a fire with flint and steel, build a shelter out of deadfall and find wild edibles.   We picked up acorns, hickory nuts and black walnuts, chestnuts, persimmons, apples and crab apples.   I didn't know you could build a fire using a cotton ball as tinder so I learned something today.  It was 65 degrees and sunny, the perfect day to be out in the forest!

F I E L D T R I P ! ! !

Today we get to take a field trip.  I'm excited about it.  I'll post the details later.  Yesterday went pretty well.  The small changes to the lists were noted and I think they'll work.  We also dug up our sweet potato crop.  We had about 20 potatoes from one half of one I planted that had grown eyes in the pantry.  They were small, but it was a lot of fun to dig them up.  Our garden did remarkably well for our garden.  We only planted 1 pumpkin, 1 potato, 3 peppers and 3 tomato plants (I think) and we harvested quite a few veggies.  A lot of years we have had plants and vines but few were pollenated.  I think the fact that we had purple coneflowers this year and they attract TONS of butterflies, also helped our veggie crop this year.  There was also the fact that we moved the entire garden closer to the deck so that it got more attention from us and was further away from the morning glories.  That helped too.  Next year, of course, I will have to plant more.  Spring always brings hope of a new bountiful crop.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Nice weekend.

We had a very nice weekend with parties and celebrating.  It was very fun.   Now it's back to reality a little bit because I've got to work and the kids have got to do school today, but we'll live.  I finally, just now, made some changes to the schedules.  Since I seem to be running to appointments and things all the time, I've made more of their subjects self taught.  They are pretty good at following the routines now even when I'm not here.   I do have to nag them about school a little bit most days, but they are strict on themselves to the minute on screen time, not even turning the TV on 30 seconds early.  It tickles me.  I can just picture them as adults, two of them talking on the phone and suddenly one of them says "Hey, look at that, it's screen time, I've gotta go, talk to you later!"

Anyway, we'll see if these changes help things get done. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's the opposite of low key?

High key?  We had a very busy but good day today.   First I had to work this morning.  Right in the middle of my shift, I had to go and get my blood pressure checked because it was high the last time I went to the doctor.  Then I came by the house, ate lunch and made pudding for the dessert I was taking to a party this evening, went back to work, then came home and made the taco soup, finished the dessert, blew up 30 balloons and tied loops onto them, opened 45 glow bracelets and attached them and then decorated the trunk of the van and then we went to 2 parties in quick succession. Actually they were both scheduled at the exact same time but we went to one and then the other.  It was fun, but now we are just a leetle bit tired.  We had a good time though. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Low key kind of day.

We don't have all that much to do today.  If I could've gotten done with work early enough we could have went to a nice lunch, but it didn't work out.  I didn't get finished with work until nearly 2:00 pm.  So, after school today, I'm going to try and get some more work done on my book and go to the grocery and just enjoy a kind of a low-key day.  I need to pick up some things for the weekend.  We're having a homeschool party this weekend and a party at church so I need to get some things to take to those.  

Oops, I just realized that I posted that nothing much was happening today.  I hope it doesn't end up like one of those novels that starts out "Nothing ever happens to me" and then all kinds of strange things happen to that person!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It was my day off and I had a dentist appointment today to replace a filling.  So the kids and I cleaned and did school this morning (mostly) and then I went to the dentist.  If it weren't for the shots in my gums and the drill, I wouldn't mind the dentist all that much.  I like lying there in the massage chair watching HGTV and having my back rubbed by the chair.  I mentioned to the dentist that I had been difficult to numb in the past so he shot me so full of novocaine that my eyeballs felt numb.  I told him if he wanted to do a little Lasik on me, he could because my eyes were already prepared.   Anyway, that finished, I came home to find a good surprise, my brother had come for a visit.  He and the kids and I played some board games and talked for the rest of the afternoon.  Now I'm going to watch a little NCIS that came from Netflix and do some more work on my book. I'm enjoying writing it and I think I'm making good progress.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Multitasking boy revisited.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a picture of my youngest son walking, carrying a sword and reading.  Apparently, he's given the problem of  trying to live life while constantly reading a lot of thought.   He wants to invent a reading device that will store infinite books, automatically turn the pages with thought signals, that is waterproof (for reading while showering) and that hovers at the perfect reading distance and lights up at night.

I want one.

Ooh, ooh, also, I want it to be able to start reading aloud to me when my eyes get tired.

Wednesday not Windsday.

It's not windy at all today.  I guess the storm is finished now.  Personally, I didn't find it all that troubling.  I got where I needed to go and did what I needed to do.  It was raining and a little windy.  Apparently, I everywhere I was going, I was missing the main part of the storm.  Several times I saw limbs down as if a more violent storm had just passed through, but was now over.  There was a mix-up with the dentist appointments.  One of us wrote down the wrong time.  I wrote down 1:00 o'clock and the dentist's receptionist wrote down 2:00.  Since we couldn't stay until 2:00 because of my podiatrist appointment, we rescheduled for today.  Ah well. 

I got quite a bit of work done last night on my book.  I'm enjoying writing it.   I do wish I had a better keyboard here at the house.  This one I'm typing on now has a very hard to press space bar and makes my hand hurt when I type a lot.

I haven't, as yet, made changes in the kid's homeschool schedules. I am planning that for next week.  The homeschool lecture I went to a few weeks ago made me feel as if I needed to make some changes, but I haven't implemented them yet.  I need to figure out what to take out when I put other things in and with my horribly slow internet at home, quick internet at my mom's house, printer at home and no printer at my mom's house and no flash drive to carry things back and forth, it's been kind of difficult to pull it all together.  Add to that, the fact that I've been working quite a bit on my Cafepress store when I'm at mom's and the other fact that I'm kind of a scatterbrain and the other fact, that I've been very busy and somewhere in there you have my excuse as to why I haven't changed anything yet.                                                    

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Windy day.

We are supposed to have a storm today.  It's already very, very windy.   There are severe storm warnings.  I'm just trying to ignore it all and get my work done.  It's really a shame this isn't happening on Wednesday, so I could say "Happy Windsday" to people.  I miss Winnie the Pooh now that my kids are all big.  I watched a ton of it when my oldest was little.  I also watched a lot of Barney, but I can't really say that I miss him now.  Today, the kids have got dentist appointments today, for the 2 who missed going to the dentist because of aerospace camp and then I'm going to the podiatrist (my foot is better!) and then back to work.   Hopefully, I will be able to travel through this storm and get where I need to go!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trying to write a book.

November is national novel writing month and I started one last year.  I think I got about 10 pages.  This year, I'm starting early and I'm writing a nonfiction book, not a novel.  I'm going to write a book about how to do a gluten free diet and try and self publish it.  I am going to ask my blog readers to be my cheerleaders.  Every couple of days, between now and the end of November, it would be nice if someone said "Hey, how's that book coming?" or "Still working on the book?"  I hope it will help me stay on track to get it done! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shopping, shopping.

One of my favorite comedians, Henry Cho, says that there is a difference between just stopping to get a few things which is "shopping" and serious shopping, which is referred to as "shopping, shopping."  My daughter and I went shopping shopping today.  We finished work and school and then went to several stores buying her some new clothes which she desperately needed, then finished up with a Friday night trip the the grocery, which I really don't recommend.  It took us 27 minutes to get the groceries gathered up from all over the store and 17 minutes to check out.  Whew.

I did save about 11 dollars with coupons I got from The Coupon Clippers though. :D

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As usual, rethinking.

I'm thinking about readjusting our school schedule.   Again.   The thing is we're just not getting some things done and they bug me being on the schedule and not getting done so I am going to have to either take them off or get busy doing them.  Nine times out of ten, probably the reason we don't get them done is that I don't feel like it.  Yes, frequently it is Mom who has the attitude problem.  The kids will do it if I tell them they have to.   We are getting the basics in, but sometimes the extras get pushed aside and procrastinated about.  Today I don't feel all that great because I have a headache and an inner ear infection but I did read part of My Side of the Mountain which we need to read for our Bring a Book To Life field trip next month.   We were also supposed to sand the woodworking project chair, but we couldn't find sandpaper so we didn't.  Sometimes I feel that if I were a good homeschool teacher, I'd know where the sandpaper is but I've just got to work with what I've got. limited attention span, limited time and sometimes limited ambition.  Ah well.  Most of it gets done and the basics are always covered in the first 2 days of the week.  That makes me feel somewhat better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nothing really

exciting happened today.  I worked.  The kids did school.  I got a lot of calls made that I needed to make.  I'm helping to plan a field trip for next month so I did some planning for that.  I did some grocery shopping for Mom while the kids were at youth group. I cooked steak, potatoes and corn in the crock pot again.  This is the kind of day you long for when you're having one of those awful, eventful days, like you're in the hospital ER or something.  It was a pretty good day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another busy day in the neighborhood.

I worked this morning and now I'm getting ready for 4H today. We're doing a lesson on cooking and we're going to cook the 3 minute chocolate cake in a mug recipes and I'm going to throw in some lessons on kitchen safety and manners.  Hopefully it will be fun and educational at the same time.  The day is only about 1/3 over and I'm tired already.  It has something to do with typing a bunch of operative reports very quickly with a headache this morning.   :-P

Yesterday, we went to the doctor that referred my son to the surgeon just to see what he thought about the healing timeline for his ankle.   He reassured us that these things take time and that it shouldn't feel 100% yet.  He also thinks my son my have tendonitis too and put him on treatment for that.   Hopefully that will help. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Small World.

Last week we got Season 6 of House M.D. on DVD.  Since we don't have broadcast TV anymore because of the digital TV thing that went into effect last year, we watch whole series at one time from Netflix.  Anyway, on the show they were talking about other hospitals in the area and they mentioned the one I used to work at in New Jersey.  Such a small world.  Now I work at a hospital in Florida.  I have always lived here in Kentucky, but I have worked at hospitals all over the country in my 16 years as a medical transcriptionist.   I wish I had been able to personally travel and visit all the states I've worked in.  That would be quite a road trip.  


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