Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Updates on a few things.

We have not really done any adventures this week.  The kids want a repeat of making homemade ice cream so I bought the stuff for that but we haven't made it yet.  We've been kind of busy and just haven't gotten to it.   I spent Monday working and then taking firstborn son to the doctor, which took hours.  They didn't have their regular staff there and a several temps were running the place so it was slow.  Yesterday, I worked then we spent hours driving around to different stores looking for the shoe orthotic that the doctor recommended to help my oldest walk better.  He's not exactly walking yet.  He is still using one crutch.  Yesterday, he walked a few steps without it, like maybe 10 or 15 and then last night he had to ice his foot again and take Tylenol.  It's going to be a while, I think.   Then today, I worked and I got started really late, then my brother called and he was going to be off this afternoon and asked if we wanted to do something, so I went back to Mom's and we played Bananagrams and UpWords and then the youngest 2 and I went to the pool and the grocery and my oldest son went to the movies with his uncle.   I say all this to explain that we've been busy.  :-) 

I still haven't even opened my Rainbow Resource catalog or even planned one thing about our fall schedule.   I'm really  just trying to enjoy the summer, spend time with my family, savor the moments, in this year of loss, celebrate what is going well and focus on the good things of life.

I'll plan later. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anyone hungry?

Look what we've got in the freezer now!  The younger kids are doing everything they can think of to have fun with these water balloons I bought.  They did a water balloon toss, then froze some to put in the pool to cool the water off. 


My son went to the doctor yesterday for his ankle and he has been released to start walking on it.   The pain at the front of his foot is something called metatarsitis and is caused from learning to walk again after being non-weight-bearing for so long.   I need to go today and get a particular kind of Dr. Scholl insert for his shoe and then hopefully, he can walk.   It really has been a long ordeal, 7 months and 5 days since he broke the ankle on November 24, 2009.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I couldn't find any tissue paper for my birthday gift for my 7-year-old cousin today, so I filled the bag with balloons.  They did the trick and they gave the kids watching him unwrap presents something to do.  They were doing all kinds of static electricity experiments with them, rubbing them on their hair and sticking them to their foreheads.  It was cute.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A couple more adventures.

We did a couple more of the adventures off of the list.  We made homemade lactose free ice cream yesterday which turned out really good. (We have a lactose free family member as well as a gluten free family member).  Then today, we made duct tape sailboats and attempted to race them in the pool.  Unfortunately, only one of them floated well enough to actually cross the pool.  (My daughter's).  The other 2 sank.  

Views from the pool.

All of these pictures were taken from inside the pool yesterday.  It's a very pretty view.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kitchen Island Pics.

Okay, here it is.  Maybe it needs a couple more coats of polyurethane on the top and then to be left alone or should we paint the whole thing the color of the walls (kind of a coffee with creamer color) and paint the top  to match our brown countertops?  When I got it at the yard sale, it was a plain pine cart with a lot of wear and tear.  I wanted it to be enclosed so we could put things underneath.   Just ignore the mess in the kitchen, the ugly flooring and my towel thrown over the chair.  I was about to get in the pool.

Starting to think.

I'm starting to think about what we will do next year.  Just barely beginning.  My Rainbow Resource Center catalog came in the mail ( a highlight of the summer!) and I haven't even cracked it open yet, but I'm giving some thought, kind of, in the back of my mind.   It's my oldest son's last year.  It's my daughter's first year of high school.   My youngest son is going to need help with his handwriting.  I need to keep all of these in mind as I plan the year.  Some things we'll do together and some things they will work on individually.   Right at this moment, it seems a little overwhelming.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mixed news.

My son got released from physical therapy and got a free T shirt, but it may be only temporary.  Meanwhile, he's been put back on 2 crutches until he sees his surgeon again on Monday.  The therapist says that his ankle is okay, but my son has been having pain in the front of his foot.   The surgeon will x-ray it again on Monday, so I guess we'll know something then.   

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My blog.

My blog was recently listed as one of the top 25 homeschooling blogs on this site.
Online Degrees. It's funny, I've been on that site lately, trying to find something for my oldest to major in from home because he doesn't ever want to set foot in a classroom again.  Anyway, here's the link to the blog.  Top 25 Homeschool Blogs and here's what it says about my blog in particular. 

"This blogs’ tag line says it best: “The random thoughts and homeschooling ideas of a work-at-home, school-at-home mom of three. Archives go back to 2005, so there is plenty of material for ideas and inspiration — or commiseration. There are also helpful links."

It's fun to be listed and it got me to thinking, specifically, what my blog is about.  It's random.  Yes, I knew it was going to be random when I thought up that tagline, because my thoughts are pretty random.  I was thinking about someone I know who kind of has a 1 track mind yesterday and I've decided that I must have a 400 track mind.  The problem with this is that my mental train jumps tracks frequently and without warning and then can't find it's way back to the original track.  Anyway, I probably got nominated specifically because my archives go back to 2005 and there's plenty to read here.  Volume, I have.  I've been going back and reading my own archives lately and been enjoying them very much.  You will find some chuckles there for sure.   If I had time, I'd do a funniest posts archive for fun.  I may make a blog book someday and just put the fun ones in. 

I hope though, that there is a theme, if you read, you'll get a growing conviction that homeschooling is a lifestyle that is worthwhile, that it is extremely good for kids and families, that it promotes bonding, is a personalized education that is superior to what you can get anywhere else for your kids, is fun and can be done even if you have a 400 track mind, no math skills (thankfully my husband does though),  through working, job changes, bad hair days, home remodeling, deaths, illness, surgery, broken bones and various other things and it actually makes dealing with these things easier, not harder, than it was when we were in the public schools, because homeschooling is so incredibly flexible.  That's the point I've been trying to make for the last 5 years or so.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our very imperfect kitchen island.

We worked on it again today.  This time, we thought we had finished it, but something brushed against it and now I have to paint part of it again.  Even when I get that touched up, it's going to be far from perfect.  Very, very far.  We are not experts in sawing, sanding, nailing, painting or putting screws in.  Some pieces are crooked.  My daughter wanted to see what the stain would look like couldn't wait, and put a big splotch of stain in the middle of the top, thinking it would be easy to cover up later, but now that part's got 2 coats and the rest has 1 coat, so there's a splotch.   Anyway, it's mostly done.  It should only take about 5 minutes tomorrow to finish it.  Although our schedule is very busy tomorrow so it may end up being the next day.  Oh well.  We've given up on perfection at this point.   I think it would have been so much easier just to have built an island, rather than trying to remodel one.  It would look better too.   It might have even been cheaper in the long run.  

Anyway, now that we've been working on this one for a month, my daughter dares me to put it out in the trash.  "We're keeping it."  She said.  "This much work is not going to be for nothing." 

One of the things that drives me crazy about working at home ...

people calling me and saying "I know you are working but ... "

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Adventure list update.

Okay, so far we've done:
1.   Catch lightning bugs.
2.   Go to a movie (Toy story 3 with the homeschool group).
3.   Movie from Redbox (The Spy Next Door).
4.   Eat on deck.
5.   Eat on street (actually this got changed to Chinese takeout  today but one day I'd like to eat on the main  street of our hometown where they have several restaurants with tables outside.) 
6.   Make Smores.  (There really aren't that many that are food related, there are more that are walking-related that we're not doing until big boy gets off his crutches but we're picking and choosing right now to leave the walking ones out.) 
7.  This afternoon, we're going to play a family game of Win, Lose or Draw (kind of like Pictionary.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


My daughter made a birdhouse in woodworking class last year.  This week, she's finally got it painted.  I think it turned out really cute.   Notice the porch swing.

This is the back.

She even decorated the inside.  Apparently it is a home for a family of black capped chickadees. 

Serving suggestions.

Apparently, you are supposed to eat Frosted Mini-Wheats with raspberries ...

Pancakes with strawberries ...

And with my morning weight loss shake ... 

a big old hunk of chocolate.

Alrighty then.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Okay, maybe adventures isn't the right word.

I orginally named our summer list a Summer Adventures List.  Our "adventures" right now are pretty sedate with one kid having a cold and one kid having a broken ankle so maybe we should call it our summer activties list.  Anyway, we're on day 2 and it took some doing to select things that did not require walking or me driving back to town, but we finally drew out doing a science experiment and eating dinner outside on the deck.  I'm going to cook a nice dinner and we'll eat outside, which we don't often do.  I think we'll light candles and make a production of it too.    I'm going to try and remember to pick up graham crackers and marshmallows and water balloons, so that when we get to those activities (s'mores and water fights) we'll be ready. 

At some point, we need to take a break from these actvities and do some serious cleaning around here, but right now we're just going to enjoy ourselves, inexpensively and sedately.  :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our first mini-adventure.

Okay, it really isn't an adventure exactly, but what we drew out of the jar today was to rent a movie from Redbox, so we got The Spy Next Door with Jackie Chan.  It was pretty cute.  It required no walking and only cost 1 dollar, so it was a good one for today.   We'll see what tomorrow brings us from the summer adventure list.   I've thought of at least one more thing we need to put in there:  Catching lightning bugs.  Everyone should do that at least once a summer.   I'm finally feeling like summer is here.  Not only did we get the list started, I spent 2 1/2 hours driving around in my not-air-conditioned van and now I am convinced that it's summertime!  I was fortunate to be able to come home, drink a long cold glass of iced tea and get in the pool.    

In other news, my youngest son has caught a cold.  How anyone could catch a cold when it is 96 degrees in the shade is beyond me, but he's done it. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Birthdays and other stuff.

Right now, I'm watching NCIS, listening to the kids in the other room laughing.  It was the youngest's birthday this weekend and he finally got to go shopping with his birthday money and he bought a DS and a game for it called Scribblenauts.  They are having a ball with it.  You can write or type anything in and it appears in the game.  We've put in a pig, a poodle, a great dane, a bunny, a sword, a dragon, a lion (he ate the pig), a ninja, a cookie (the ninja ate the cookie) and many other things.  I still have no idea what the point of the game is but it's fun.   My kids will all have birthdays soon and be 12, 14 and 18.  I cannot believe it.  I'm in denial.  How does the time pass so quickly? 

I'm going to try and start our summer adventure list tomorrow, after work.  I'll try and choose something that does not require walking since my oldest is still on crutches.  He just finished his 11th week of not being able to walk because of the ankle surgery.  I also better take out anything in the list that costs money, since the hospital bills, ambulance bills, doctor bills, anesthesiologist and surgeon bills and physical therapy bills are rolling in daily.  Joy. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I did a better job trimming my doll's hair when I was 5. 

It's not this blonde, something about the flash is making it look that way. 

ACT and other stuff.

My oldest son has the ACT today which is why I'm up and about at 6:50 am on a Saturday.  Otherwise, I definitely would not be.  I'm nervous about it for some reason.  I hope he's not. I've told him not to worry about it but I would like him to make a decent score.  Then, after I drop him off I've got to take Freckles to the vet.  She has a horrible sore spot on her hiney.  Ah the joy of having pets.  They can't tell you when they hurt.  I feel kind of helpless when they get sick.  I really feel sorry for her and I should have taken her to the vet sooner, but she has kept slipping my mind, poor baby.  The first time my daughter told me about it, it was midnight, then the next day it slipped my mind until about midnight agan, then yesterday I called about it and today finally they can see her.  I feel awful.  I look awful too.  I got my hair cut a couple of days ago and it looks like it was cut and styled by Picasso, in a wind tunnel, in the dark, using a chainsaw.  It's pretty.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I feel like I've not been able to really kick back and enjoy summer yet, but I didn't work yesterday and spent a large part of the day doing enjoyable things so I'm not sure why I feel that way.  I went to a movie (Shrek, which I enjoyed) and then out to eat with my cousins.   Despite that, I feel stressed and rushed.  I think I just want to get in the pool and relax or sit out in the sun while the kids are in the pool, things I haven't had time to do yet.  I've checked on them out there as I do other things.  Today's no exception, I'll be out and about today and then tomorrow too when oldest son is taking the ACT.   I'll be busy all day Sunday as well.  I'm kind of hopeful for Monday, but of course I'll have to work ... maybe that afternoon? 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Demotivational posters.

I found this website somehow, they make posters that look like the motivational posters you so often see in workplaces, but they're sarcastic. 

I love this one.

It says "Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It really feels like summer now.

We went to the city pool tonight.  We met a friend there and our 3 kids were the only ones in the olympic sized pool for the whole 2 hours.  I'm sure the lifeguards probably wished we'd just pack up and go home, but we didn't. We stayed the entire time.  It was the first tme I'd put on sunscreen this year so far and the smell just brings me right into summer.   The kids went out and tried to catch lightning bugs tonight.   There are a few more things I need to make my summer complete.  Fresh watermelon.  Home grown tomatoes.   Picking blackberries.  Taking some time to just lie in the sun.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Shopping trip.

After work today, my daughter and I went on a shopping trip.   It took hours.  She needed a new bathing suit, not because she'd grown out of hers, but because it was wearing out.  She's worn the same one for at least 2 years.  It took hours to find that one too and it ended up being a combination of a tankini bottom from one store  and a swim shirt from another store.  She likes more coverage than most suits give.  I don't blame her, but I do not like to go shopping with her.  It's an ordeal.  We went to Target, The Gap, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, K-mart, Walmart, JC Penney's and the entire mall before finally coming back and settling for one that was not too bad at Penney's.  It's a one piece.  I sincerely hope she still likes it when it comes time to go to the pool in a couple of days.  Whew.  I'm tired now.

Monday, June 07, 2010

So far ...

This summer break is going okay.  The pool is up and the kids (at least the ones who can walk) have been enjoying it quite a bit.  I enjoy watching them enjoy it.  I've been feeling kind of down since the memorial service the other day and watching the kids have fun, summertime activities, eating watermelon, it all helps.   My oldest's son's ankle is not getting better as fast as I had hoped.  He's still hobbling around and may get to progress to 1 crutch this week, but maybe not.  He's been having a lot of pain.   I really hope he gets better soon. This has been what, 8 or 9 weeks?  He had the surgery on April 2nd.  I know it's getting frustrating for him too, although he's been a really good sport about it.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

School's Out.

We finished our school year with the homeschool fair and book sale.  It was nice, but I didn't enjoy it as much as usual.  I didn't find the extremely good prices I sometimes find, I don't know, I just walked around and looked at everything, but I ddn't want any of it.  I don't know if it was just me?   I could not work up an interest in any of it.  I am acutely conscious that we are on the down-slope of homeschooling now.  This next year will be my oldest son's last year, my daughter's starting high school and my youngest will be in 7th grade.

It is going to be such a hot, hot summer.  I have to work at my Mom's (which I am not particularly happy about) and she turns her air conditioning off every night before she goes to bed and when I get there every morning, it's burning up.  If I turn the air on when I get there, it's starting to get cool before I leave.  Also, the air conditioner is out in our van completely and barely works in my husband's car. so I feel like I am burning up all the time.  We might get our pool up today, but it's not really practical to move my lap top into it and work, darn it. 

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Instead of watching the videos we were going to watch, we've done other things.  I've been letting youngest play UpWords this week instead of spelling, so we've been doing a lot of that.  The kids have been doing their school lists and I have working and trying to figure out what to do with myself.  This year that I have had seems to have thrown my life off kilter.  One of these days, I hope to get my sense of direction back. 

The youngest son has been playing a lot of board games and since no one will play with him, he is playing them by himself.  He has modified Monopoly to include the cannon shooting, the dog biting and the shoe stepping on opponents.  It sounds very interesting and very boy-like. 

I read this article in the New York Times news feed that amused me this morning, especially the last line.  It's about getting happier as we get older.

This is our last official day of school and then tomorrow we've got the book sale.   I haven't decided whether to drag my stuff down there and try to sell some of it or not.  Since my big boy is still on crutches, I can't get him to carry things for me and I don't know if the other 3 of us are up to carrying a bunch of books a long way, to not sell most of them and have to carry them all back.  Probably we'll just go shop and then try to sell our books at the local bookstore or Ebay. 


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