Monday, April 30, 2012

First Jobs.

My son came home happy and excited from his first day of the job.  He went through orientation and safety training.  He's actually going to be doing 2 different things, switching back and forth so that might make it easier or less boring.   He actually starts the job tomorrow.  I remember from my hospital job a couple of years ago that the training part bears no resemblance to the actual job part and day 3, when I actually started the job itself, was when I realized that I hated it.  :-)  But, he's not me (thank goodness) and maybe he'll like it, but not so much that he'll give up college for it, if you know what I mean.  

My first job was in a restaurant.  I worked as a cook and then as a dishwasher, about 15-20 hours a week, after school and on weekends.  I made less than minimum wage because they paid us all as if we were waitresses, and assuming we'd get tips, which you didn't if you were washing the dishes, so I made very, very little money.  Still, the money I did make was nice to have.  I wonder sometimes how those past prices and those past wages, compare really to now.  The prices are higher but so are the wages.  Sometimes I'll be debating on buying something and I'll calculate how long my husband and I would have to work to pay for it, which is probably kind of weird.

The younger 2 kids procrastinated about school today, but then finished 1 minute and 3 minutes after the deadline, so I didn't ground them.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


We've got lots of stuff going on.  We're finishing up the crazy busy week and next week doesn't look too awfully busy for some of us.  For my oldest son, he's starting a job in a  factory tomorrow.  His first job ever.  Right now he's packing up his lunch and making sure he's got everything he needs to take with him.  I'm not ready for him being gone all the time, but he needs to buy a car.  My fear is that he'll just get stuck in a rut in this factory job and end up never going to college.  Moms worry, you know?  He insists that he won't, but it's not a part time, not a temporary job, they are hiring him with the expectation that he'll stay for a good long while and I'm afraid he'll bow to the pressure and just stay.  As a people pleaser myself, I battle with trying to make everyone else happy and often making myself miserable in the process. With kids, it's hard letting them go and letting them their own decisions.  Actually, I'm not sure if this is his decision or if he's just bowing down to some intense pressure from other family members.   :-(  Can you tell I'm not thrilled?  Still, I'm being supportive and as helpful as I can.  I bought a bunch of gluten free dairy free lunch options for him, new pants and socks for work and I'll be loaning him my car 5 days a week for a while.   

Anyway, we've only got 10 days of school left and the other 2 kids are counting down, ready to take a break.  I'll be glad not to have them next to me whining about math all the time.  With school out, they'll be up and about during the day, not at our shared computer table.  Although, when those 2 are all grown up and starting jobs of their own, I sure will miss their old math whining days.  We've only got 4 years of homeschooling to go. Again, can you tell I'm not thrilled?   I'll miss it.

I need to plan some fun stuff for this summer. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trip pictures.

Lego mini fig.

Most amazing, awesome Lego creation.

The Union Terminal/Museum Center as seen from the Carew Tower. (My youngest son has always wanted to go to the top of a tall building and look down.  He finally got to!)
The Carew Tower, the one we went to the top of, is the tallest one in this picture.  This picture was taken from the Union Terminal/Museum Center.

Skull of an ancient fish, Museum of Natural History


Mastadon skeleton, Museum of Natural History

RAOK stands for Random Acts of Kindness.  I was going to do a bunch of them for my birthday week, but really, it's been such a crazy busy week that it's been a little difficult.  I did let some people out in traffic, which I pretty much always do, so that probably doesn't count.  I put a quarter in a bubble gum machine for a child to find.  I mailed my happy mail package.  I didn't give any mean looks to the hundreds of middle school kids in the museum the other day who were running and screaming all around us (getting a great deal of information out of the exhibits, I'm sure).  I gave a small online donation to a child on Reece's Rainbow.  

So I didn't do a whole lot, but hopefully some good will come of it.  Like I said, it's been a crazy busy week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Field trip!

Yesterday, we took off and went to Cincinnati again to Ikea for my birthday, but this time, instead of my daughter and I just going, we took the boys (all except one) and made a family mini-vacation out of it.  My oldest son didn't feel good and stayed home.  So 4 of us went.  We got to go to the Lego store, the Carew tower which is a 49 story building with an observation deck on the top, to Ikea, to PF Chang's and to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural Science.  It was cool, but we are all very tired.  I'll try and upload pictures tomorrow.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The end of year count down.

We had 4H yesterday and it was nice.  My artsy friend had the kids making a collage out of beans and popcorn and stuff and it looks really neat.  Then we went out to eat at Fazolis.  I can't really eat anything there but the company was good.  I took Nutella, peanut butter and gluten free crackers as my snack.  That's my go to snack most of the time. It probably should be fruit but that's not the point.  The point is we had a really good time.  The homeschool moms and I hadn't gotten together in several weeks and we got kind of giggly and slap happy.  So much fun.  I'm so blessed to have found such a group.

Today we have a field trip.  I'll report back later on how it went.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pretty good.

Max and I had a pretty good night's sleep.  Okay, I really don't know if he did, since he sleeps on the bedroom floor but he only went out once at 5:00 a.m.  I took him to the vet yesterday and his blood sugar was still over 400 and she upped his insulin dose a little.  Maybe it's doing the trick, because he has not seemed as crazy-thirsty.  That's good.

On the homeschooling front, the kids realized yesterday that we only have about 14 days left to do.  They are very excited.  Also, both of them missed the 4:00 deadline yesterday and got grounded.  Youngest asked if there was anything he could do to get ungrounded, so I decided on 5 chores.  Then my daughter thought this was a good idea so we got a lot of little cleaning tasks done last night.  It was great from my point of view, I'm embarrassed to say.  I had had a doctor's appointment yesterday regarding possible damage to my vocal cords from singing in the cantata (all clear!) and then had to take Max to the vet so I was working later last night.  It was nice to have my chores done by someone else.

This freed me up, after work and dinner, to go outside and do some weed whacking.  Then I got roped into playing stick ball with the kids.  My youngest son is going through "The Big Book Of Fun Stuff" that he got for Easter and getting us to do all kinds of interesting things like playing stick ball with real sticks (of which he has a huge collection).  Last night, he told me a bunch of riddles that are in the book.  He's really  having fun with it.  I recommended this series of books to a friend of mine's son and then her son told her that it had some marginally bad words in it, nothing serious, but some, what we would call, rude words.  Still, they are not popping up in my son's conversations and he needs to learn this stuff outside of public middle schools, so I'm not personally upset about small things like that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A tiring night's sleep.

Max's issues are disrupting my life in a very important way.  He can no longer hold it all night and needs to go out, usually once and sometimes twice and last night 3 or 4 times.  I was kind of comatose and lost count.  I know I went to bed at midnight and he woke me up at 3, 5 and 7, and then I got up at 8:30, but I kind of think there was another one in there somewhere.  Maybe not.  He also needs me to fill his water bowl a couple of times a night (it's small) so I had to do that.  I want a doggie door and an automatic watering system.

And a nap.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Stuff.

Today I am better.  I have gotten over (maybe) turning my advanced age, the roof is not leaking today because it's not raining and I'm getting better at giving Max his shots.  I guess.  I'm getting it done anyway.   Max doesn't mind if you poke him with a needle so that's a good thing.  I have not done any random acts of kindness.  I was out at the store today and just didn't think about it, but I am putting it on the agenda for this week.  I'll celebrate my birthday by giving to others and I'll report back.  Yesterday something kind of funny happened.  My youngest son finally got me with an April fools trick that he set up on April fools day, but I just got caught with it yesterday.  He took a pen and somehow modified it so that it had 2 blunt ends and no writing tip.  Then he put a cap on it.  Yesterday I was watching something on my computer and wanted to write something down and I picked up the pen and was confused for a second.  Then I had to laugh.  I said "I think someone got me." and he said "finally."  :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Better now.

Sorry about my whining this morning.  I am already better.  My brother is bringing pizza for dinner, my kids have baked me a cake and made me a chocolate cheese ball.  :-).  Chocolate always helps.  I still haven't done any random acts of kindness, but I'm not ruling it out for later today.  I did prepare a happy mail surprise for someone and I need to mail that.   I need to put my mind to more nice things I can do.  :-)


It's my birthday and I'm not feeling very celebratory.  I got up this morning thinking about having to give Max a shot, which I did.  :-(   I also discovered that the roof had leaked overnight while I was asleep, which is a complete downer.  :-(   Adding to those 2 things, the fact that I have to work today and I'm just not the happiest of campers.  I'm thinking about trying to turn it around by going out this afternoon and doing some random acts of kindness.  Maybe doing unto others will cheer me up a bit?  Couldn't hurt.

Friday, April 20, 2012


We took Max to the veterinarian today and found out that he has diabetes and is going to need insulin shots twice a day.  Nobody at our house wants to do this and I guess it's going to fall on me.  :-(  I'm not happy and feeling kind of overwhelmed.  I realize it could be much, much worse, but it's kind of depressing.  Poor little guy.


This is another mom funny.  It's a good thing, a really good thing, that I can laugh at myself.

My daughter and I were walking around in Walmart and I said that I wanted to go to the gardening department because:

Now I meant to say, that I read that if you had a lot of mosquitoes, that planting foul smelling flowers like marigolds would help keep them away from your house.  but, I started out by saying "I read that if you have a lot of marigolds flying around your house ..." and that's as far as I got.  We laughed till we cried right there in the Walmart.  Such a funny mental picture.

Then yesterday I went out and planted the marigolds and my daughter said "You better make sure and bury the roots deep, we don't want them flying around ... "

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Audio Books.

Tonight when it was bedtime (a minute ago), I went outside to tell my youngest who was listening to an audio book out on the front porch, to turn it off and come in because now it's time to listen to our group audio book and then after we finish that, we'll go to bed at which time, I'll have to turn off my husband's audio book (that he fell asleep listening to) so I can go to sleep.  Then youngest son will turn his book back on to go to sleep by and daughter will turn her audio book on to go to sleep by. 

Current selections include Eldest, On the Run, A Wrinkle in Time and Horatio Hornblower.  

The anticipated/dreaded free day.

If you all have been reading my blog for long, you know that I don't have to work at my medical transcription job on Thursdays and it is the only day of the week that I don't have to get up and do anything in particular.  That makes me happy, yet, it also means that most housework and home improvement tasks get put on Thursday.  Sometimes my list is quite long.  Right now, it's pretty much overwhelming and includes spring cleaning, gardening, home improvement projects and reorganizing.  I'm trying not to get overwhelmed by it and just go at it as hard as I can today.  So far, I'm doing pretty good.  I've done some organizing and decluttering and a bit of gardening.  Right now I'm cooling off and trying to think of what to do next.   I wish that the pool was warm enough to help with the cooling off process, but it seems like it's going to be June before we can get in it.  It's a beautiful day though and I enjoy being able to get outside.

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a conversation that seems less like a homeschooling kid and mom and more like a schooled kid and mom.  She asked me to get her some books at the library on Abraham Lincoln, because she has to do a biography for her writing class.  It's funny to me because I didn't know about the biography paper and I didn't have to assign this biography paper since she is working through her own writing book and occasionally, if I ask nicely, will let me read the assignments.  This homeschooling a self-directed teenager is kind of weird.  The boys need more support, urging, nagging and checking, so even though I have graduated one kid, I'm not used to this.  Although in fairness to my older son, he did teach himself (and still does) things he is interested in, guitar, theology, Python programming, gimp, photoshop, etc.  So I guess I am used to it, just not for something as traditional as writing class.   :-P

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good web site for educational games.

MR Nussbaum  We played the Grilled Cheese Please game for a while this afternoon.  :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A funny twist on walking the dog.

Today, on our walk, we decided to let Freckles set the pace.  When she trotted, we trotted, when she walked, we walked and when she stopped we stopped.  Some of the kids really got into it and when she'd scratch her ear, they'd scratch their ear.  When she had to visit the little doggies room, we turned our heads and took a time out.  It was funny, to all freeze when she'd stop and she couldn't figure it out, so she'd give us a funny look and then go on.

There's a good post about the hidden costs of homeschooling over on The Common Room.  I'm too lazy myself to do a good post about homeschooling.  Youngest son missed the deadline today by about 20 minutes and therefore is grounded this evening from all screens.  I'm hopeful that he'll get it tomorrow.  He did get it done tonight before 5 so he didn't have to do an extra chore.  We took a walk again today and I've finally started my post-Easter resolutions and am trying to drink water and exercise.  The water is in lieu of southern sweet tea which is really sweet and sweetened with sugar.  I'm still going to drink some tea, but I'm going to cut calories by alternating with water.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Dessert and Bonus Picture.

Our Easter Dessert.  It's a chocolate chip cheeseball with the Peeps bunnies thrown in there for extra cuteness.
I was only planning to put a picture of the dessert but then I saw this and wook at that wittle face .... 

Some pictures from our walk today.

The sky.

Ice made in balloons, in the freezer, overnight.

Freckles the flying dog.

A butterfly.

Our shadows and Freckles.

Mama finally.

put her foot down today about the work being put off all week and said that if they weren't done with today's work by 4:00 o'clock, that I'd ground them from screen time and then every hour after that, they'd be assigned a chore.  So at 5:00, they'd get a chore added to their list and then at 6:00 and so on.  They were done by 4:00 and then they were both relieved that they were done.  Silly kids.

Another funny mom moment.

Last week, after my daughter and I had been watching TV for a while, I looked at her and said "I really think we should do something useless."  It wasn't until she gave me a very funny look as if to say "more useless than watching TV?"  that I realized what I had said.

I mean useful.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Winding down.

We've only got 20 some-odd days of school left and we've run out of a few things.  I had to make the decision to order more notebooking pages from Curr-Click ($1.00) or just let those 20 something days go to waste, so I ordered them, but now I can't print them.  I'm going to have to consult our home network administrator, but he's at work.  It is convenient having a tech person who lives with you and we've got 2, the senior administrator and the apprentice.  I asked the apprentice yesterday, but he couldn't figure out why the printer won't print so I'll need to ask the big guy to take a look at it.  It's probably something simple, but I went through that help menu the computer has, for why your printer won't work, and I didn't accomplish anything.

In the back of my mind, I'm working on adventure and work lists for the summer and I have actually made a few decisions (okay, one!)  regarding curriculum for next year.  I'm going to get the Brain Integration Therapy Manual  by Dianne Craft for my youngest who is dysgraphic (problems with writing) but I am waiting for my Swag Bucks to build up a little before I get it since it costs 60 dollars and I don't think I'll start using it until August.  I get a 5 dollar Amazon card, about every 10 days with Swag Bucks and they come in handy.  :-)  If you want to join up and get paid for searching see the side bar.  I don't let the kids search with Swag Bucks because their safe search options are not as good as Google and I sometimes end up seeing things in the search that I don't want the kids to see.  (I'm talking words, not pictures, because I never use Swag Bucks for image searches).  I use Swag Bucks to search for Google and then use Google to search for what I need to search for if it is an image.  I also use Swag Bucks for work and I search every day for things like Facebook and Gmail and sometimes I get paid for going to my regular sites.

Sorry, this wasn't supposed to be an ad for Swag Bucks.  I got off on a tangent there.

Anyway, have a nice Sunday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I have no idea where

my son gets his motivational issues from.  Really.  None.  But today he's doing work that he should have been working on all week and has spent some time calculating how many math problems he has to do per hour, rather than just doing the math problems and getting it overwith.

As they say, the nut does not fall far from the tree.

Motivational Issues (again).

I did finally get most of the work I needed to do done yesterday, at least the basic cleaning.  If I had been on the ball, energetic and motivated, I could have gotten so much done.  I feel guilty about it, but I'm used to me now.  I know that there are things I'm feeling kind of down about and I know that does not make it a good time to clean.  I also know that I was very busy in the days leading up to Easter and I'm the kind of person who needs time to decompress after holidays.  I guess that's one advantage of getting so darn old, hmmm?  Self knowledge.  :-P   I also know that part of my problem with having a full, free day with nothing scheduled is deciding what to do and getting started. 

Anyway, today's a new day.  I'm just going to do the best I can with it.  I have to work, so for the first 7 hours or so I don't have to make any decisions about what to do, just keep typing, just keep typing. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sometimes I think that I think too much.

I think about things a lot more than I do them.  That's for sure.  Anyone else?  I mean if I'd just get up and clean the house rather than researching more efficient ways to clean the house, it would be cleaner.  You know?  Somehow, though, I don't know if "Do more, think less." is really a good motto for life.  Meanwhile, while I'm not doing much other than thinking about working, I've been looking at some Charlie Brown cartoons.  :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A pretty day.

It's such a pretty day today.  After I got finished with work, my daughter and I went outside and threw a ball for a while, looked at the garden and tried to get the cats to let us pet them.  They're weird.  Sometimes they love us and sometimes we're terrifying and we can't figure out why.  Today, we were pretty darn scary, so we barely got to pet them at all.

We're counting down the days until school is done and I'm starting to plan the summer.  We should do a summer adventures list this year.   I want to lose some weight, get in shape, get the house in order and have some fun, in other words, just like every other summer.  :-P  The thing that will be different about this summer is that my oldest has got a job and he starts on April 30.  That's going to be weird.  Hopefully a good weird.  I am a little afraid he'll just stay in the job and will decide not to go to college this fall, but he promises me he won't.  Still, a mom worries.  I don't want him to get side-tracked.

Monday, April 09, 2012

A.A. Milne Quote I like.

"One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries."
A.A. Milne.

The Day After Easter Breakfast of Champions.

2 eggs for protein
and a nice big carrot.

I'm really glad.

That Easter is over.  I was dreading singing in the cantata/concert so much but I did it.  It's over.  It was really difficult, standing up and singing for so long.  I was tired all day yesterday but so relieved.  Every now and then I'd do a little dance to celebrate.  I was giddy with relief.  I did mess up several times during the concert, but when there are 21 other people singing, hopefully, the mistakes of one are not noticeable.

We did all the usual Easter things yesterday afternoon, 2 dinners, an egg hunt.    It was fun and I am tired and glad for a normal day. 

Sunday, April 08, 2012


To all my blog peeps!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Raspberry tea.

The kids were trying to finish up their schoolwork (still late, but not as late as last week.) and the girl has an excuse because she was on the road with me all day. She wanted to make raspberry tea but had too much to do, so she asked if making raspberry tea would count as cleaning in the kitchen (in what universe?) anyway, I said no. Then a few minutes later, her brother asked if he made her raspberry tea for her, would that count as cleaning. She said "No, I already asked." I guess it was worth a try.

Raspberry tea.

I hope our raspberry plants survived the winter and grow!

Friday, April 06, 2012

A busier day than we planned.

Today I had to work and my daughter had her spine center checkup at 2. I was talking on the phone to a friend and suddenly realized that it was 1:00 so we ran out the door. After we got on the road, I realized that her shorts had a hole in them, so we stopped and bought her new pants. We were very, very quick and got right back on the road and should have been within a couple of minutes of getting there on time but then we ran into a traffic jam. We ended up being half an hour late, but we had called and so they went ahead and saw us. Oh, and I forgot to mention, while we were in the traffic jam, the engine needs coolant light came on and so I called my husband and he said that after the doctors appointment, just to wait in the parking garage and he'd come and put coolant in. Then we went across town (basically) and out to dinner, then to the grocery and then finally, at long, long last (I'm talking 7 hours!) we got HOME. Then I had to finish work and the girl had to finish school.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


My youngest son has been procrastinating about math this
week, but today he did 4 math lessons in a row, so he only has to do 1 tomorrow and then he'll be done for the week. He told me that he wasn't going to do that last lesson because he'd "been working hard all day, except when I was slacking. And, just so you know, the slacking was really fun and I did a lot of it." At least he's honest. :-P

Counting Down the Days till Summer.

We have 28 more days of school to do this year. We are way ahead of our usual schedule, even with taking a spring break. The reason is, I think, that because the kids are so independent with their studies, they do them even when I'm gone someplace and so we don't miss as many days. Now that it's started getting warm, I hope it goes ahead and warms right on up because our pool is up and I want to get in it, but I want the water temperature to be at least 80. Right now it's in the mid 70s with a solar cover. Too cold. I am planning on focusing on losing some more weight and getting in better shape as part of my post-Easter resolution so I want to be able to get in the pool and exercise. I think I might have to make my post-Easter resolution a 2 or 3 days after Easter resolution since I anticipate receiving some chocolate bunnies and stuff and will need to get them eaten before I start on any diets. :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Back to school and a mom's night out (again).

We're back to school this week after a week of spring break last week. We didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but we never do, really, so I'm fine with what we did get done. I plan on doing spring cleaning/painting activities in June like we did last year. I know everyone will be happy about that. The trouble is, I'm working a couple hours more per day than I was last year, so I have more trouble fitting everything in. But, on the other hand, the kids are a year older and better at helping out, so they can do more. We started back to school yesterday with a minimum of whining, but also I think they did the bare minimum of work, so we'll have to see how the week goes. I had another mom's night out last night. I met up with some old friends and we talked and laughed for 2 1/2 hours at Cracker Barrel. It was such a nice evening. We should do that more often. In other news, both of my younger 2 kids won "top prizes" in the 4H poster contest and won 8 dollars. I was very excited for them. It's fun to win.

Monday, April 02, 2012

I've invented a sandwich (cross posted from my gluten free cooking blog.)

This sandwich is very, very, very popular at my house. I invented it on Friday, grocery day. We were out of cheese and so I was trying to make something besides a grilled cheese. I needed it to be completely gluten free. This is what I came up with. You'll need:
Rudi's multigrain bread.
Deli Cuts Roasted Turkey
KRAFT Miracle Whip Mayonnaise
Hormel bacon bits and lettuce.
I heat up a skillet and put in a teaspoon of butter. Add 2 slices of Rudis multigrain bread and fry until the bread is crispy and turning golden brown. Then, I remove the pan from the heat, turn the stove off, put the bread on a plate, spread the miracle whip, put on the turkey, bacon bits and lettuce and enjoy. My daughter especially has been begging me to make these. Finally last night I taught her how to make her own. She decided today that having tried it with both regular bread and gluten free bread, it's better with the gluten free bread. They're yummy. Now to think of a name for them? Any suggestions?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

April Fool's Day!

I had fun with April Fool's today. I put balloons in shoes, balloons in backpacks, a slinky in the dishwasher and jello in the tea. We took one of our fake spills to church and sprung the joke on 5 or 6 unsuspecting people. It was great fun, for me anyway. I'm not sure the 2 people who tried to pour half congealed jello/tea enjoyed it. :-P


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