Monday, October 31, 2011

Busy weekend, changes in the house.

Meet Piggy, part of my daughter's latest craft phase, sock animals. 
Sometimes the events just kind of gang up on you. This weekend, we had a mom's night out, a Halloween party and 2 birthday parties, kind of .  (We didn't really celebrate my brother's this weekend, but will next weekend).  The kids were also supposed to have some kind of unbirthday party at youth group, but on the way there, we had car trouble, so they didn't get to go to that one.  It just seemed like we were going, going, going and I did not feel like the Energizer bunny.  I was kind of dragging around all weekend, still not feeling well.  I still haven't been to the grocery and I usually go on Friday.  I got my husband to go Saturday after work and get milk and a few other things and that has helped us get through the weekend.  The weekend is over now and I for one, welcome ordinary life.  Or as least as ordinary as it gets considering that today is Halloween.  We still have one kid who wants to go trick or treating and I will take him later tonight to the grandmas houses and a couple of aunts.  One of my aunts who died in August is one that I really looked forward to seeing every Halloween so it will be sad going past her house and not stopping.  :-(

We've also had a very big change in our house this weekend.  We finally got a good internet service that is available out here in the boonies where we live and as of today, I was able to move my work from my mom's house to home.  I'm going to be working more hours to help with college expenses and this way, I'll be able to work earlier in the morning and later in the evening, taking the mid-days off to do my homeschooling, housework and chauffeuring duties.  :-P   In other words, I'm keeping pretty busy.  I'm thankful that I can do this because a lot of people don't have the option to work more hours when they need to like I do.

And for the record, for my youngest son's benefit I would like to say "Yes, we do school on Halloween.".  He's already tried to use a holiday loophole to no avail.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cool idea.

I'm sitting here waiting for some work to be dictated so I could type it and I did some browsing via Pinterest and found this web site.  She features all these adorable things she mails for 13 ounces or less and calls it Happy Mail.  Apparently in the United States you can mail a package weighing 13 ounces or less for regular first class postage?  So much fun.  I may have to send out some happy mail.  :-)

Givers Log - Happy Mail

Whirlwind weekend.

Yesterday, I had to work, then stop in the middle and take my daughter to her guitar lesson, then come back and try to finish work.  Then, I had mom's night out in a neighboring town, which is also where the nearest Michael's craft store is as well as the salvage grocery store.  So I finished work, went to the salvage store, met the moms at Tumbleweed, had dinner, went to Michael's, then to Target because I didn't find everything I needed for today at Michaels and then came home.  So basically, other than 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there, I was gone for 12 hours yesterday.  One of the times I was home briefly, I decided to apply makeup for the night out festivities.  I went into the bathroom and while I was applying makeup, all 3 kids came into the bathroom to talk to me because they'd missed me throughout the day.  I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "you are one blessed mom." 

Today, I have a similarly lengthy day planned,work with my new longer schedule which is proving pretty difficult to accomplish each day and then multiple preparations to go to Trunk or Treat tonight.   Then tomorrow is pretty much the same.  Whew.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yes, we tried something new this week and found it to be even more of a disaster than our usual schedule and since we did that, we can now clearly see the merits of our usual schedule and it makes us want to follow it again, so yesterday, our usual schedule went more smoothly.  It was not a disaster, but a calm orderly day.   Does that make any sense at all?  With homeschooling, as with life, I guess we just need a different perspective every now and then and we can be flexible.  We can try things and if they don't work, we can give them up very quickly.  It seems like we are in a constant state of flux, but that's just life, I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, that didn't work.

Yesterday's schedule was strange.  My daughter, whose idea it was to flip-flop the schedule, did not decide to do it after all.  When I got home from work, she was basically done with school, something that almost never happens.  I think maybe, just knowing that she could postpone it, made her feel empowered or something.  Who knows?  My youngest son on the other hand, did not start until 7:00 p.m. and at 10:59 p.m., was incredibly crabby, which in turn made me yell at him which I almost never do, but the combination of not feeling well, staying up later than I usually would to accommodate his schedule and then having him complain that I was rushing him, did not sit well with me.  Yelling ensued.   After that, he said that he was not going to do the new schedule today, but go back to the way things have always been.  I agreed with that decision.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flipping the schedule upside down.

Our schedule has basically been a disaster this year.  There are kids doing school every day, all day and finally finishing at 11:00.  This is not just one of the kids but both of them.  Every evening, my older son and I can't watch TV or listen to music or anything because they need to concentrate on math, but then, they'll be doing absolutely everything else.  They miss screen time all the time because screen time is in the evenings.  My daughter suggested that we have screen time now in the afternoon with the understanding that they will not even start school until the evenings.  I know they are teenagers and teenagers are notorious for staying up later and sleeping later and generally doing everything later, but I just don't know about this. I really think that if they could just concentrate/focus, they could get done in a reasonable amount of time, but they never do that, so I can't say for sure.  :-/  It is obvious though that what we are currently doing is not working.  :-(

Monday, October 24, 2011

Catching up.

I didn't post over the weekend.  We were busy.  Friday night we had the family fun night at church that we planned.  We only had a few people there and most of them were related to me, but it's okay.  Those of us who did attend really had a good time.  Then Saturday, the kids had a hayride and I went to the grocery.  I really, sincerely hate going to the grocery now.  I mean I didn't like it before all the prices started going up exponentially, but now I really hate it.   I really need to start doing the coupon thing again I guess, but I'm not very organized for stuff like that.  It would be easier for me to just work more hours and I am considering that as an option.  :-(

I finally got the results of my echocardiogram and Holter monitor.  It was fine.  I'm pretty sure that the palpitations were caused by a combination of stress and anemia.  I'm taking iron pills now and I'm not having any issues with that.  I still don't feel great but I'll be okay.

This post is kind of random, but that's the way I roll.  :-).  I thought I'd share a few work funnies from this week.  These illustrate why some doctors will probably never be able to dictate to voice recognition software, or at least not for a while.  One of my doctors always dictates "parasitic atrial fibrillation" instead of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't mean that the patient's heart is being faster because of parasites?  Other always says that "a cardiology consultation was seeked." and another recommends that the patient have postsurgical monitorization.  I'm fairly certain that monitorization is not a word.   I correct these and make them sound fine and that's why I continue to have a job.

So anyway, that's what's going on with us.  We're doing school, we're procrastinating about all the things we usually procrastinate about and just being ourselves.  My oldest son is playing guitar all the time now and is making huge callouses on his fingers.  My husband got the Suburban fixed. (yay!)  I have beef stew in the crock pot that I'm looking forward to when I get home from work.  Life as usual.  Kind of nice.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Busy and funny.

We've had some busy and funny times the last couple of days.  We've had things to do pretty much every day this week and also, in between, we've been screening comedy videos for a fun night we're planning at our church tonight.  I think the winner is going to be Tim Hawkins, I'm no Rockstar.  We watched it last night and it is just about the funniest thing I've ever seen.   Today, if we get time we'll watch Insanitized, his other DVD and see if it is just as funny.  That one last night made my cheeks hurt.  :-)

I'm at work right now, but I keep thinking about other things.  I'm having a hard time working because I'm so distracted and also because I'm cold!  One of my hands is completely numb.  I have turned up the heat, but it doesn't seem to be making any difference.   I'm also sincerely hoping that the kids get their school done in a timely manner today (unlike yesterday!) and we have time this afternoon to get ready, to make the dessert we're taking tonight and generally get ready.  Since I'm in charge, I'm nervous.  I'm really good at planning things, but I tend to obsess a little over whether everyone I've invited is having fun.

I'm reading a book called Nurture Shock, which is about what the scientific studies say about raising children, versus what we as a society do.  Right now I'm reading a fascinating chapter about how much sleep kids need and the effects a lack of sleep has on them.  I'll try and sum up the whole book later, but I have already read enough (I'm on chapter 2), to think that everyone should read it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not home.

Today, I feel like I illustrated that joke about homeschoolers never being home.  We all had dentist appointments this morning, which took a couple of hours, then I had to work, then I went to the doctor about my latest urinary tract infection (it's fun being me sometimes!) and then the kids had youth group.  While the 2 older kids were there, the youngest and I went to the Kroger pharmacy to try and pick up my prescription.  We waited in line for 20 minutes, then when we got to the front of the line, they told us that it would be at least 20 more minutes.  It had been called in 2 hours prior.  So anyway, we went a little crazy at the Kroger while we were waiting, buying pudding, Cheetos and Jelly Bellys, then got back in line and were finally able to pick it up.  Then we went to the library and then finally back home.   The day seems longer when you spend so much of it waiting, at the dentist, at the doctor and at the pharmacy.  Our doctor's office really needs better magazines.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burn Out.

I was talking to another homeschooling mom about burnout after 4H today.  She said that she's just feeling blah with homeschooling and doesn't want to do anything.  Boy have I been there.  This one of the reasons, I think, that  I change our schedule frequently.  It helps keep it interesting.  Another thing I like to do is occasionally do something different, a field trip or a unit study, even if its only one day long and when we have to start back to school in January, I like to buy something new like a science kit or something, just to help with the transition back after the holiday break.  It's hard to come back down to real life after the holidays.

Pictured above is the craft we did for 4H today.  Another mom had planned to bake cookies, I knew it wasn't going to take an hour and a half so I visited this blog.  We've used several of her projects at 4H and they always go over well.   This one pictured is hers.  I didn't have the bright colored paint, just water color, marker and crayons, so our colors are more subdued, still cute though.  Most of the kids seemed to enjoy it.


We've got 4H today so that means I've got to rush and get my work done.  It's not easy today because I am very distractable.  I've looked at email and Pinterest and Facebook and done several searches for things I've just been wondering about while I'm supposed to be working.  I've noticed that the more difficult the report is, the more I tend to think about other things and get distracted.  I'd think it would be the other way around, that's what I do.  Right now I'm typing this blog post to avoid typing a cardiac catheterization report by a particularly difficult English-as-a-second-language physician.  At least one of my kids shares this trait with me.  I can tell if my youngest son is avoiding math or writing or something because he's doing anything and everything else.  He'll be happily playing with something - yesterday, he was beating up action figures with this big robot thingy he's got - and I'll ask him if he's done with school, that will snap him back to reality and he'll hang his head and say "no."  I know how this feels, but I don't have anyone over here looking over my shoulder and asking me if I'm getting my work done.  I kind of need someone.  I do have a supervisor out in California who looks at my end-of-the-day line count and makes sure I've got my contracted lines done, so that's something. 

Monday, October 17, 2011


Great post over on Parent At the Helm about play.  Here's the link.   Play is absolutely necessary for kids and most kids aren't getting enough play time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A funny observation.

We've gotten in the habit of listening to audio books all together in my room before bed.  I often go to sleep during them and the kids then turn it off after the agreed upon number of chapters and they leave the room, hopefully quietly.  It's a big room and there's plenty of room for everyone.  My daughter usually sits in a chair and crochets, my oldest son sits at my desk and uses my laptop to get on the internet and my youngest  son plays with legos or something similar while we listen. That's the background for this little story.

Last night before we started the book, I had already climbed into bed and for some reason, we were talking about sleeping positions. Now I sleep on my stomach with one arm kind of out and down and the other arm kind of out and up and my head turned to the side.  Every now and then, I switch arms and turn my head the other way.  I described it as "sleeping like an Egyptian." at which everyone laughed and my daughter said "let me see." and came over and looked at me and said "No.  Not an Egyptian.  More like a teapot.".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Quest.

Ever since I started homeschooling when my oldest son was in 6th grade, my daughter in 3rd and my youngest son in first, I have been searching for the perfect schedule.  I am convinced now that this is not possible, and now I'm looking for pretty good or good enough.  The schedule we started with in August has worked pretty well for a while, but it doesn't seem to be working well now.  This has been my experience, that we seem to need a change about every 8 weeks or so.   There's just a general dissatisfaction with the way things are going right now.  It's time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I wrote a blog post yesterday and it was deleted by blogger.  I didn't have the heart to write another one.  Today, I was halfway through this one and internet explorer had to shut down and I lost the post.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to print out something on coniferous forests for the kids to do notebooking with and the printer won't work.  That means that Mr. Reluctant Writer will have to write on his notebook page (the HORROR!).  I can't figure out what to do.  I've rebooted everything.  I've tried multiple things and it just will not print.  I really need it to print today because the time has definitely come to re-do our schedules.  Everyone can tell our current schedule is not working.  The chores are not getting done.  The math is taking up most of the day.  I'm frustrated.  Can you tell?

I spent most of the day cooking today which seems like all I ever get done anymore since my oldest son went gluten free and lactose free.  His usual go-to meal in the past was a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with cheese, but that just does not get it anymore and I can either buy him expensive gluten free convenience foods or cook a lot and so I've been cooking a lot, but I am getting frustrated, especially with all the cleanup that result from all the scratch cooking.  I can't seem to keep up with the dishes.  I think that maybe the boy should do those.  That would help.  

Someone from church gave us 5 pounds of shredded lettuce this week (they own a taco business), so I had to modify my meal plans to make tacos twice!  Five pounds is really a lot of lettuce.  My in-laws gave us a huge bag of apples, so I made apple crisp today too.  More cooking!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A better day.

I guess it is.  It started out better.  I didn't drop anything in the toilet and that is always a plus.  I am at my mom's house working now and it is going okay.  I'm typing echocardiograms mostly.  My husband has a plan for fixing the Suburban and has ordered parts which we hope will arrive tomorrow.  I kind of hated missing the field trip yesterday, but at the same time, I didn't mind all that much since we've been to that same orchard several times before.  I looked at my blog posts from 3 years ago in October and I had mentioned going there and also we were reading the same read aloud book that we're reading now - Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, a funny coincidence.

I'm still debating whether to take a couple of days off from school later this week and call it fall break and do some fall cleaning and home maintenance.  I keep waiting to hope that I will feel better physically, that maybe my iron pills will kick in and I will be full of energy, but that has not happened yet.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

One of THOSE days.

I should have went back to bed as soon as I dropped my vitamin pill wrapper thingy in the toilet this morning.  That should have been my first clue.  I guess that could've been worse, because it could've been something I wanted to keep, rather than something I was trying to throw away and the toilet didn't have any contents, so to speak, so that's a good thing too.  But still, in the toilet.  :-(  My morning, since then has been a series of things like that, culminating in the Suburban having an engine light on, which has made us miss our planned field trip this afternoon and now we can't get in touch with anyone to let them know we're not coming.  :-(.

Oh well.  It's a beautiful day.  I guess we'll try and enjoy it at home.  

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Boom, Splat, Kablooey.

This afternoon my youngest son pulled out his Klutz book, called Boom, Splat, Kablooey and did one of the experiments in it, which was to put a fourth of a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave to watch it expand.  It was very entertaining.

Notes:  Since I've been asked some questions about this in comments and some of you might try it, I'll give some directions.  Cut the bar of ivory soap into fourths.  Put 1/4 on a paper plate and put in microwave for 1 minute.  It turns into this foamy stuff that breaks easily into little bits, so you may end up sweeping some of it up but it's not terribly messy.   By foam, I mean a dry foam, more like styrofoam than anything else I can think of.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Great Article

There's a great article over at the Parent at The Helm blog about the health benefits of homeschooling, including more sleep, healthier food, more exercise, less stress, etc.  Here's the link.

Thursday, October 06, 2011


October is marching right along here, I tell you.  It's already what, the 6th?  Today's the day I had my echocardiogram and Holter monitor for the heart palpitations that are going on with my anemia.  It was interesting having the echo.  I type those things all the time, so it was kind of cool being on the other side of it.  I'm still wearing the monitor because that's a 24 hour thing and I have to turn it back in before work tomorrow morning.  

School's going fine.  The kids work very well on their own now.  My youngest sat last night and re-watched a bunch of biology videos from last year's biology study, because he just wanted to.  I love when they just decide to study something like that on their own.  My daughter has decided to do some quilting and make a quilt so she's been working on that and my oldest is working very hard on learning to play his new acoustic guitar that he got for his birthday.  He's been playing an electric guitar and this acoustic one is really giving his left arm a workout.

This month was supposed to be a month of cleaning, painting, weeding and other work on the house, but I haven't felt good and so we haven't started on any of it.  Maybe next week? 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I keep blogging, but blogger keeps deleting my posts ... !

This photo is not related to the blog post below it in any way.
Let's see how this one goes.  Yesterday, we took my daughter to the spine center for her recheck.  Her scoliosis does not appear to be getting worse and may, in fact, be better.  We originally had an appointment on the Friday before our vacation and I had thought that it would be nice to go to the science center since we'd be so close.  Then I got so busy with vacation preparation that I decided to postpone the appointment, not realizing that the science center is only open past 5 on weekends, not on Tuesdays.  I noticed it yesterday before we left, but figured we'd get to go to the science center for an hour or so, since the appointment was at 2:30.  Well I figured wrong, let me tell you.  We didn't leave the doctor's office until almost 5 o'clock, so we made it up to ourselves by going to Hobby Lobby and Krispy Kreme.  I scheduled the next spine center appointment on a Friday! 

Monday, October 03, 2011

October the third.

I can't believe it's October.  If you read my blog, you'll find that I often marvel at how quickly time passes.  It's 82 days until Christmas.  This year has passed quickly.  It's been so much better than last year in many ways though and for that I am thankful.  Speaking of being thankful, I've already started craving thanksgiving-y type foods and have already made a chicken in the crock pot and made gluten free stuffing to go with it.  It was very good and I may do something like that again later this week, although if I make it over and over, by Thanksgiving, I'll be kind of tired of it.

Just a little bit of trivia about our family .. we were all born in even years and so in odd numbered years, all our ages are odd numbers.  My kids are now 13, 15 and 19.  I won't even say how old my husband and I are, just be assured that we're old and we're odd.  Numbered that is.

I just got a call from the nurse at my doctor's office.  My hemoglobin is 8.1 with the normal range supposed to be 12-16 and my iron is "quite low" so I'm going to have to go back on iron pills.  :-( 

Saturday, October 01, 2011


After 2 days of use, my daughter likes this writing book very much.  It's nice for her not to ask me what to do for writing and nice for me not to have to try and figure something out every day.  It says on the web site that it is Christian based.  I haven't looked at enough to know how much so, so if you are looking to use it in a secular homeschool, I don't know how well it would work.  We like it though and I am relieved. 

I guess maybe.

I feel better today.  It will take a while for my blood counts to go up.  I need to eat more fortified cereal, which I was planning to do for breakfast today, but didn't.  I ate some grapes and a fun sized Snickers.  I have no idea if grapes contain iron or not and I'm pretty sure that Snickers don't.  I think maybe my whole nutritional plan/outlook thingy needs some work.  I eat too much junk and not enough fruit and veggies and that's probably my entire problem.  I am going to work on it.    :-(

We had a little bit of excitement yesterday.  My oldest son went outside and then came back in complaining that he couldn't see, he had huge spots before his eyes.  I called the doctor's office and the nurse told me that my son needed to see an eye doctor immediately.  I called the eye doctor and they worked us in (at 4:30 on a Friday, no less) but by the time we got to the eye doctor, the vision problems had cleared up and a horrible headache had started.  That's when I realized that it was probably a migraine.  The eye doctor confirmed my diagnosis and my son got to spend several hours last evening in a darkened room with a cool cloth on his forehead.  I hope that's the last one he gets.  It did not look like much fun at all.


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