Saturday, April 30, 2011


We went to Glassworks yesterday on a field trip with our smaller homeschool group.  It's this place where they do glass art, glass sculptures and glass blowing.  It's always interesting to me anyway to see artists at work.  I'm kind of jealous of their work days, creating things all day, it seems like something I'd like to do although I don't know what I would create and if anyone would buy my art.  They did tell us that you can go to college and major in glass-blowing although I would think it would be kind of hard to justify spending all that money if you weren't really sure that you'd be able to make a living at it.  I would think that the number of people who make a really good living from that type of work is small.  I am interested in this kind of thing because I think that at least 2 of my children may grow up to be some kind of artists for their careers.   They already are artists in their spare time.   My oldest is going to major in graphic art I think.  He's always creating something on the computer, doing computer art, although he can also draw with a pen and paper.   My daughter is also constantly creating something, through sewing, drawing, painting, crocheting, doodle stitching, cross stitching, macrame or some other method.  She would really like to try the glass sculpting thing and make some glass beads for jewelry, but I look at the burns up and down the arms of the glass artists from the hot torches they use to melt the glass and I wonder if this is a good idea? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm using a old trick I learned from the Flylady.  I'm setting the timer for 15-20 minutes at a time and either cleaning or doing something enjoyable for the 15-20 minutes, alternating.  That way, I don't get too absorbed in my book and not get anything done today and yet, it's not a day of just drudgery (which is how I view housework, unfortunately).  The timer on the microwave just went off, which means I have to do something useful and productive for at least 15 minutes and then I'll earn 15 more minutes of free time. It might not work for everyone,  but for some reason, it works reasonably well for me.  I still feel that I'm getting to enjoy my day off work and also that I'm accomplishing something, so win, win. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Some days.

I really, really don't want to work.  I have a hard time concentrating.  This is one of those days.  I went to the library and got a bunch of books to read last night.  I've already finished one of them but I brought another one to work with me and it's pulling me, trying to get my attention away from what I'm supposed to be doing.  Then, there's blogger and since I'm typing a blog post, you can see that blogger is currently winning the war for my attention.  There's also Facebook and G-mail.  I went on Facebook and discussed storms and a couple of other things with some people this morning.  I went on G-mail and arranged a supper date with my cousin so we can catch up tonight while the kids are at youth group.  Also today I got distracted by someone else's blog post, the second one I've seen about a DVD called How the States Got Their Shapes.  So, I went looking on Netflix to see if they had it and they didn't.  So then I looked on the Freshwater Fred Lending Library to see if they had it and they don't either, but they do have some very interesting new things so I had to linger there for a couple of minutes.  Honestly, it's a wonder I ever get anything done! I need to FOCUS.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's still raining ...

I saw on Facebook that the tornado sirens went off last night here in our town.  We're actually several miles outside the town itself and I heard nothing.  I slept like a teenager all night.  We don't have regular network TV, and only have 3 or 4 obscure channels that no-one has ever heard of and the easily accessible weather reports are something I miss.  We do have one channel that probably has weather, but we've just gotten out of the habit of watching the TV and so we don't turn it on.  Before we went to bed last night, it was a quiet evening, so I didn't even think about severe weather.  I don't know what I would have done differently if I had known.  We don't have a basement.  Probably I would have just went to bed as usual anyway. 

In other news, another virus has made its way into our family.  :-(  My daughter felt tired and "lazy" all day yesterday and last night when she took her temperature, it was 102.  Joy.   I sincerely hope no one else gets it and that she bounces back quickly.  We'll see if she feels like doing school today.  I am starting to lose hope that we'll be done in late May ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nice weekend, but also ...

it's nice to get back to a more normal routine.  Celebrating my birthday and Easter all at the same time was fun, but kind of tiring and some things had to be left out entirely, like my birthday meal at PF Chang.  (maybe next weekend?)  We had to kind of fit celebrations in amongst the many thunderstorms (clouds pictured above) but we were lucky that we did get to have our Easter egg hunt outside after all. 

My youngest son made the comment yesterday about how much he loves Mamaw's homemade rolls and said "We need more holidays where we go to Mamaw's and eat rolls".  I think he's going to invent some holidays.  :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today, finally.

I'm going to get to eat my birthday cake.  Yum.  I can't wait.   Since I've been gluten free, I've had a craving for chocolate cake with bakery icing.  I mean, for a year and a half.   I found out that at Kroger, I can buy a tub of their buttercream icing and so I bought one the other day.  I've also found that the Betty Crocker gluten free cake mixes are yummy, so today, finally, I will get to have the two together.  That is, if there is enough icing left to ice the cake.  Somehow, mysteriously, the bright blue icing has been disappearing from the tub and also mysteriously, a couple of my children (mostly the female one)  have been spotted with blue teeth.  Also yesterday while my daughter was babysitting, I let the kids have some cupcakes with the icing on them.  I had bought a pound so I thought there'd be enough, but now I'm wondering.  This has been such a busy, busy (but good!) week and weekend that today, after work, is the only opportunity I will have to celebrate.  I am so tired that after the cake eating, I might take a nap.   :-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

My big birthday adventure.

Yesterday, was my birthday.  My daughter and I planned a big girl-type adventure for the day. 

We packed up some supplies.

and some nutritious snacks.

a change of shoes in case our feet got tired.  We were headed for ...

Unfortunately, we saw a lot of this.

 and our speedometer spent a lot of time looking like this

But finally we saw the city!

 and then we got to our final destination.

 We spent 4 1/2 hours here enjoying every second of it and getting some wonderful bargains. 

When I went to load the furniture we bought, there were 2 geese in front of Ikea.  Every time I go to Ohio I see geese doing crazy things.  Anyone know what's up with that?  

I had a very fun birthday.  Kind of takes the sting out of that new number. (my new age, eeek!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've made you all only see the bunny this week.  It's been a very busy time and I haven't been blogging very much.  I've been working and cleaning and driving and finishing up my Easter shopping.  Right now I'm very tired, but I thought I'd just stop in and say hello.  So, hi.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is the project my daughter did at the ceramic studio last week.  I thought it turned out really cute although this is not a very good picture. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

10 reasons we love homeschooling.

1.  More family time.

2.  Less rushing around.

3.  Rarely getting up early.

4.  No repetitive, annoying homework.

5.  Fun science experiments.

6.  Reading a ton of books together.

7.  The ability to take a day off if we need to.

8.  More time for kids hobbies and interests.

9.   Flexibility.

10.  Field trips are also family time.

Someone asked me this morning if I was going to continue to homeschool and I just said "of course, we love it" but I could kind of tell she didn't get it, and possibly thought I was a little crazy.  :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Graduation looming.

Freakmom asked the other day about high school requirements and graduation and I'll share with you what I know.  Kentucky does not have very specific laws about graduation or what we have to teach.  This is what the actual law says.  "Home schools must provide instruction in English in all areas children study, as outlined by Kentucky state law. The required subjects are reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, math and civics"  I don't have to turn in his grades at the end.   I don't have to have him tested.  I can print him out a diploma and a transcript here at home and I intend to do that.  He's not interested in going to an Ivy League college but wants to get a community college or on-line degree in graphic arts so that makes my task seem less daunting.  He's taken the ACT once and is going to take it again in June to see if he can get a slightly higher score which might help with some funding or scholarships.  I want him to take at least a couple of CLEP tests so that we won't have to pay for those classes.

Here is a web site for transcripts and diplomas.

Here is the web site to register for the ACT test and the SAT.
Here is the CLEP web site.

Here is a good alternative to keeping your own, at home records.  This school will do it for you and some people want that, to kind of "legitimize" what they are teaching at home, although in Kentucky there's not really a need for that.  I can definitely see how it would make a mom feel better.  :-)

I told the kids yesterday that we are scheduled to be done on May 23 but they will need to finish American History, Spanish and their adventure novel or they won't be done. They were none too pleased, but they'll live.  :-P

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I don't like getting up early.

I feel tired all day.  If I did it all the time, that would be different, but I don't.  Added to my tiredness is that this seems to be the day that never ends.  I went to the dentist, then to the grocery, then home, then to work, then home to wash dishes and cook and go with the kids for a walk, then off again to take the kids to youth group.  After I dropped them off at youth, I ran a couple of errands in town and then came back to my mom's house to finish work.  I ran out of work this morning and now  I'm taking a tiny break from the infectious disease consult that also seems to never be gonna end to type this blog post.  After this, I have to go pick up one kid, then wait an hour and pick up the other.  I'll be back home around 9:00 o'clock, just in time to relax a tiny bit and go to bed at 10:00.  I'm ready for bed now.  

Early to Rise.

We had to get up early today because we had an early dentist appointment.  That's kind of a double whammy for us because we are used to sleeping until we wake up and we don't like going to the dentist.  I hope the dentist visit goes well and no one has any cavities.  That filling that I had replaced last time has fallen out again, so that will have to be addressed and I don't look forward to that.  :-(

Yesterday we had a nice day.  We had our 4H home economics class that was taught by one of our 15 year old students.  He taught everyone how to make 3 ingredient biscuits, which were, by all reports, very good.  While the biscuits were baking, the kids made homemade butter.  Yummy.

Easy Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375.   Mix all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls onto a greased pan.  Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the butter, buy heavy whipping cream and put in in a jar with a lid and have the kids take turns shaking it until butter forms.  We had done this at home before but my kids didn't remember it.  :-(  Anyway, it was fun.  Next month we're supposed to make freezer jam.  I think maybe we'll need to make some more biscuits to go with it.  This has been a good year for our 4H class.  All of the moms have been stepping up and teaching a session (or the kids in this case) and we've had a great time with different input and not just me teaching all the time.  Much better for everyone, especially me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mom's silly cat.

Wasn't it nice of my mom or my brother to wind up this cord so nicely so that SallyMae/Abby (aka The Cat of Many Names) would have a bed?

Hanging pictures on our newly painted wall.

This is still a work in progress.  I have some artwork from my oldest 2 kids, but my youngest has not finished his yet, so he's got a blank frame as a placeholder for his art.  Those velcro picture hanger things are really great - such an improvement over nails.  Some of these are crooked, and it seems to be a never ending process trying to straighten them up, but I think it would be much worse if we'd had to use nails.  With the velcro, we just pull it off and stick it back on and then ask if it is straight to which everyone inevitably says no.  I don't care if it isn't perfect, it makes me happy. 

Tomato plant experiment.

We didn't actually plan this as an experiment.  We planted tomato plants last month at our 4H class.  My oldest left his in the car and I brought it in and put it in the north-facing kitchen window.  My other 2 kids brought theirs in and put them in the south-facing living room window.  The one on the left is from the south-facing window.  Big difference, isn't it?

Addendum:  I posted this and someone posted this in comments:

"What you meant to say was the one on the RIGHT is from the south facing window."

Yes.  Yes.  That is what I meant.

I can be such a dingbat sometimes.

Often times I have to look at my hands to see which one has the wedding ring, to remember which is left and which is right.  :-P

The tomato on the RIGHT is from the south facing window.

Counting the days.

According to my current calculations, we only have 31 days of school left this year.  It seems crazy for us, but really since the school year started, we've not had any big breaks.  We took a Christmas break but we went right up until almost Christmas day before we stopped.  I've learned something in all these years of homeschooling - what a good thing momentum is and what a difficult thing it is to get started again after a break.  I'm going to switch some things around a little bit.  I've already told my oldest son that he needs to drop some things, like guitar and concentrate on finishing other things like his novel study and Spanish before the end of the year.  I can't believe how quickly it is coming.  I think we may go with a small, at home graduation party for him since he doesn't want the huge one, and therefore, I am going to need some other people around here to maybe get their construction work done?  (hint, hint or nag, nag, whichever you choose to call it!) 

Friday, April 08, 2011

Good one.

I had a pretty nice day today.  I had to spend the morning typing vascular surgeries which is not my favorite, but survived it and then after an uneventful afternoon, went for a Mom's night out with the other homeschool moms.  After our dinner out, we did a little shopping, so it was a very nice evening.  While I was working this morning and while I was out with the homeschool moms, I finished up the Easter shopping.  Its not a big deal like Christmas, but we usually get the kids one small gift and some candy, which has to be bought when I'm not with them, so it takes a little effort and/or planning.

I can't believe how quickly the end of this school year is coming!   Very soon, it will be over and we'll have our first homeschool graduate.  It's a little scary!  

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I've been kind of grouchy today.  It might be due to the fact that I had so much housework to do today and didn't get as much of it done as I had hoped. It might be that my birthday is coming up and I don't feel that I'm really making any progress (you know how we feel like we have to evaluate every year or is that just me?)  It might just be one of those things and I may wake up all happy in the morning.  I don't know.  I hope that tomorrow morning I wake up with a better attitude!   :-(  

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Rules at our house.

Over the years raising our kids, we've had to make some rules.  Some of them are very practical and some of them are just a little weird, but these things have come up.  It's like the book "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" when the mom remembered to tell her kids a bunch of things not to do when company came over, but forgot to mention that they should not eat the daisies out of the centerpiece of the dining table.   When they were little, our rules were very simple and to the point.  "No means no" and "Stop means stop" are 2 examples.  The meaning here is if Mom says no, she means it, quit asking her over and over and if your sister says to stop tickling her, you need to stop immediately.  At one point, for a very brief time when my oldest was a toddler, we had a rule that stated "Spitting means spanking" because he had gotten into a very brief (thankfully) habit of spitting into people's faces.  As soon as it became grounds for an immediate (rare) spanking, he quit doing that.  We have used spanking very sparingly but that was one time we did.  We tried a bunch of other things first, but nothing worked. 

As they got older, the rules changed.  One of the best things that we did when they were in the elementary school ages was "Kid of the Day", an idea I got from Family Fun Magazine.  Each kid had 2 days a week and the parents had 1.  On that day, they got to decide where we ate if we ate at a restaurant and they got the first hour first choice of the very complicated screen time schedule.   Now that they are a little older, they work out the screen time disputes on their own with pretty much no intervention from either parent.  We've always encouraged them to work out disputes as fairly as possible without involving mom or dad because mom and dad would say things like "You're fighting over the TV?  Let's just turn it off for the rest of the day."  They really, don't want mom or dad involved in any disputes because mom and dad's solutions usually don't make anyone happy.  As a result of this technique, they rarely fight and often are found negotiating interesting solutions to problems.  Screen time is limited to from 7:00 p.m. to bedtime each night and school work must be done first.  

Since our oldest is 18 and is getting ready to graduate, we're going to be going through some rule re-thinking.  I mean, he's an adult.   The old rules of "no cooking unless an adult is home" and "no going outside unless an adult is home" have changed because now we have another adult in the family.  (It's weird!). 

A lot of our rules have to do with food for some reason.  For a long time, we had a rule about choosing from a different food group if a child wanted to just eat the same thing all day long.  Now we have complicated food rules that I hear about but I don't really participate in because of my unusual dietary requirements and restrictions.  Apparently, if you eat chips, you must eat a sandwich with them.  (Not me, because I don't really eat sandwiches!) You cannot just fill up on a whole bag of chips.  Also, you can only eat 2 sweet things per day.  If we buy a package of  hot dogs, each child and dad each get 2 hot dogs.  (I don't eat them either).  

There are, or there should be rules about eating mom's peanut butter M&Ms when she has PMS too.  This is very important.  I don't care what anyone says, my name on that bag of M&Ms last month was IMPLIED.  :-P

So there you are, a glimpse into how we run our mostly peaceful household. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Gorgeous day!

We had clouds and storms yesterday but today is just beautiful.  I worked, which went okay and then came home and the younger two kids went on a long walk out in the sunshine.  We scattered some flower seeds here and there up and down our driveway and dug up some Easter flower bulbs and moved them.  Then, of course, we had to go to the creek. That's just a given  for my country kids - you walk, you go to the creek. 

Now the funny thing about today is that the 2 younger kids did kind of a role reversal.  The youngest was pretty much done with school when I got home and the girl is finishing up school right now at 6:25 p.m.  Strange things happen sometimes.  :-P  

Monday, April 04, 2011

My extra trip to Walmart.

I took my son to youth group last night and while he was there, I spent an hour and a half in Walmart, looking at plants, picture frames, furniture, basically everything, really.  I had a list of 3 things I wanted to get, a square picture frame for my daughter's latest needlework creation, some of those velcro sticky thingies to hang it up with and  Prilosec which I was completely out of, which is my second basic necessity of life after air.  I can't sleep if I haven't taken my Prilosec.  My acid reflux is a horrible, horrible thing.  So I go in Walmart and take my time, since I have to wait an hour and a half.  I get a ton of Easter shopping done, which I wasn't planning on but it worked out well.  I got my picture frame and my velcro sticky thingies, picked up my son and went home.  As soon as I got home, I realized, I had forgotten it.  The Prilosec.  I did a frantic search through my desk, the kitchen, the bathroom and the hospital bag I keep packed.  Unfortunately, I had raided the hospital bag last time I ran out of Prilosec and it was empty, as was the bathroom and the kitchen.  I had to go back to Walmart within minutes of coming home.  In one of those interesting little twists in life, I arrived just in time to help a young dad who had a crying baby at home and was searching frantically for the Baby Oragel and couldn't find a store employee to help him.  I have no idea why I knew exactly where it was, but I did, despite the fact that my baby is 12 years old and when he was a baby, the Walmart was in a different building. It was kind of cool.  Hey, maybe that's my superpower?  :-P

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Leftover Silliness.

When I got up this morning, I opened the front door to let the dogs out and a bunch of balloons fell on my head with a note that said "Happy Late April Fools Day".  Then, when I tried to put my shoes on, there were teeny little balloons in them too, so the silliness went on for a full 24 hours so far.  I'm not sure that all the pranks have been discovered yet.  Since I wasn't the one doing all of them, there's no way for me to know.  I guess we'll see.  :-)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kitchen wall.

Okay, I didn't realize that these pics I had were after the second coat of paint and I haven't taken the after the third coat pictures, but you get the general idea.

Getting things done and having a little fun.

We finally got the dining room wall finished and it looks okay.  You can kind of tell that the people who did it have never done anything like that if you know what I mean.  My daughter and I did it she's good with the level and the saw and the measuring tape but neither one of us is all that good at painting.  Nonetheless, it's as good as it is going to get with 3 coats on it.  I'll share pictures someday.  I know where the camera cord is now, but now our rechargeable battery supply seems to be low on charged ones so once we get some batteries charged, I share a photo.  It's a complicated process you know?

Anyway, I've been giving some thought to homeschooling and I have decided that next year, I'm just going to give up and send the kids to public school.  I just don't want to fool with it anymore.   And speaking of fooling with things, April Fool to you.  We're not quitting homeschooling we love it. :-) I've been pranking the kids this morning before they wake up, putting food coloring in the milk, stuffing the toes of their shoes with pillow fluff so they will feel like they don't fit, putting balloons in the kitchen cabinet which will hopefully cascade out when they open it and messing around with the auto correct on someones computer so now it will type ha ha ha every time she types "the".  I enjoy April Fool's day.   I'm enjoying the April Fools pranks I've seen on the internet this morning.  Google's got one on their home page and so does Snique Away.

For some fun printable pranks like word finds that don't have the right words in them see this site. 


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