Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Challenge 5.

Make up and play your own family trivia game.  We did tonight.  It just kind of happened.  Test your family to see if they've been listening.  What's my favorite book series?   Who are my 3 favorite authors?  What type of Pokeman is this one?  What are my favorite 2 video games.  Don't keep score.  Don't get mad if they don't know.  It's fun.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Challenge 4.

Today has been kind of a different day.  My daughter had to do the farmer's market again this morning and my husband took her while the oldest son headed out to help with the church's yard sale.  They didn't need him but he had a good time visiting, apparently.  My daughter sold some more things today.  I think my husband said she made 27.00?  Not bad for knitted and crocheted items in the summer time, 27.00 today and 13.00 yesterday.   Later today we might go to the movies.  We've been wanting to see Monster's University and it has been a long time since we've seen a movie.

It's a beautiful day, so we might just stay home and get in the pool. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer challenge 3.

Today 2 of our family members are gone to a farmer's market.  My daughter has to attend two sales for this 4H means business club before July 1, which means farmer's market today and tomorrow.  So, since she wants to be eligible to sell at the state fair, my daughter and my husband are out trying to sell winter scarves at a summertime farmer's market in the rain.  Joy.

So I challenge my readers this Friday to visit a farmer's market or some other event in your town that happens in summer - ours does a summer concert series as well.  It doesn't matter if you've been before or not. 

Enjoy it and let me know through your comments if you did it.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Challenge 2.

So what our family did yesterday was going to be playing an outside game like badminton, but we got sidetracked earlier and then later, it stormed,  (hugely). One of my daughter's 4H clubs was asked to come and do a quick good deed, making cotton candy for some VBS kids, so that's what we ended up doing.  We were also going to go and take my mom grocery shopping, but when we got there, we found that her caregiver had already taken her, so we stayed and had a visit instead. 

Today, our family's challenge to your family is to do a good deed.  Anything will do.  Visit a website like The Hunger Site., pick up trash, visit the elderly or the sick, put a quarter on top of a gumball machine.  Be creative and let me know in the comments if you did it.

It isn't really a "journal", it may not even be art, but here are some of my art journal pages.

Add caption

I have since colored in the words so it's more readable.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Introducing the Summer Challenge Series.

I'm going to challenge my readers to do some fun things with your families this summer.  Today's challenge is to play at least one game with your family.  Last night our family dug out the board games and had a family game night.  When we do a family game night, we play 5 games and each person gets to choose one.  I chose Telestrations (which is much more fun with the random timer we took out of another game Last Word), the girl choose Mille Bornes, Dad chose Fact or Crap young son chose Settlers of Catan and the oldest son chose Fluxx.  It was a fun time.

If you don't have a board game collection like we do (most of them came from Goodwill), play a card game.  Spoons is always a bunch of fun.  Hide and Seek?  Go out to the pool and play Marco Polo.  If you can't get out of the car, play 20 questions or the ABC game.

Have fun!

Comment if you joined us in this challenge and I'll have another one for tomorrow. 

Ps:  It's not difficult to comment on this blog.  You don't have to prove that you are not a robot.  If your comment goes to the spam folder, I'll fish it out for you.  :-)

Hint.  Hint.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Calvin and Hobbes.

This afternoon we went to the library, the boys and I.  My youngest turned in about 21 books and got out another 20.  He's really good for their circulation numbers.  Anyway, a lot of the books he took out were Calvin and Hobbes comic books.  He's read them all, but he's reading them again.  He read this cartoon, description below, I couldn't find the image for it.

This strip was originally published in the newspapers on March 26, 1989.
Mom opens the bedroom door and tells him to get out of bed, he's going to miss the bus. He stands at the blackboard doing a math problem. Miss Wormwood tells him to sit down if he doesn't know the answer. Moe holds him up by his shirt, clenches his fist, and asks Calvin if he wants to see if there's an afterlife. As Calvin tries to go out his bedroom window, he's told he can't go out to play until his homework is done. Calvin stirs his dinner, and Dad tells him just to eat it and not to play with it. Mom tells him to quit stalling and to take his bath. Dad turns off the TV and tells him he can't stay up later and to go to bed. Mom comes in after Calvin climbs in bed. She kisses his forehead and tells Calvin to get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow's another big day. After the light is turned out, Calvin sighs. 

Youngest son said to me, "You know, I've just realized I really don't have any of the problems that Calvin has."  I told him he had it made.  He said "I do have screen time limits, but that's a good thing because it makes me do things like read this book."

It's cool when they get it.  It's also cool that he appreciates being homeschooled and appreciates not having to rush for the bus, do crazy amounts of homework, etc. 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Good day.

I was kind of dreading today.  I had a birthday party for a baby down the street in the middle of my work day and I hadn't gotten the package from Cafepress for her gift yet, so I was a llittle bit stressed about it.  It worked out nicely.  The party didn't last too long, I got my work done anyway and the mailman delivered the package just in time.   Afterwards, all 3 of the kids and me got in the pool.  That was a nice change.  Usually I'm in there by myself.  We had a lot of fun getting the current to go one way and then the other.  It's good exercise too.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Homeschooling Videos.

Real Conversations of a Homeschool Mom

I enjoy these.

I love the way when someone says she is crazy, she says "thank you". 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kind of a field trip.

I guess it was really just an outing, because it really wasn't educational, but our homeschool group (love them) went to a pizza buffet/game room that was having a 'buy 1 5 dollar game card, get the buffet for free" and the kids played and talked and the moms talked.  It was really great, as usual.  One of our moms is moving to another state, but fortunately, not too far away.  She'll be 2 hours drive from us and we can meet in the middle pretty often, which we plan to do. 

After the pizza place, we went to Hobby Lobby to get some yarn, of course.  My oldest son bought a sketchpad and was going to buy some drawing pencils, but his sister said he could have hers because she didn't like them and he was going to get an eraser (some special kind), but my youngest son said that he could use his, so he saved some money.  It was kind of funny. 

It was a long, long day though.  I got home and realized that I had forgotten to buy Prilosec and toilet paper, so back to town I went and while I was going, I stopped by the library ... I got home well after 8:00 p.m. and still had 2 hours of medical transcription to do.  Joy.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day.

The sermon in church predictably made me cry yesterday.  It's my fourth father's day without my dad, but that's not the only thing about it that made me feel sad.   :-(  Long story, I guess.  Anyway, we had a pretty good day after that.  My husband didn't get much recognition though he is a good dad.  It was more of a day for his dad, I suppose.  We had a party with his family last night.  It was a lot of fun.  We played Telestrations and Rollick and the kids played a game about trains that I can't remember the name of, Twister (which was pretty hilarious), Jenga and some other games.  It was fun.  We took cupcakes to celebrate my son's 15th birthday, which I feel like we've barely recognized so far.  Hopefully, we will get to take him out to eat sometime.  That's pretty much the only time we go out to eat as a family, birthdays, but I'm not sure when we are going to be able to fit it in.  We had a very busy planning meeting with the homeschool group last week and as a result, we have an outing with them tomorrow.  I'm going to see how much enthusiasm the kids have for it and decide whether to go based on that.

Also, I did not get in the pool and exercise all weekend.  No excuse. (Well, one night I was about to finish a very good book!)  I just didn't.  :-P


Saturday, June 15, 2013

I think it's time.

That the kids got in gear this summer.  They've done very little since we finished the spring cleaning (i.e. nothing.).  There are some things we need done and I really don't see any reason that they can't do them.   So anyway today I put them to work digging post holes for my youngest's tree house.  He wants that and I want him to have it, so that's going first.  Then, I want them to clean up the yard and a few other things.  There's nothing like having your own in-house work force, is there?   So far, so good.

Tomorrow, more post hole digging and then, onto the yard ... the driveway  ...

Our driveway always needs work.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A glimpse into the book my 2 youngest kids are writing.

BEFORE:  This is what my son wrote.

this pattern continued for a good 30 seconds, then my sword lit up and started trailing a ribbon of light as wide as my sword was long. Krrall’s sword couldn’t go through it, so I tried to keep it in between Krrall and me. A new pattern began; Krrall swung, hit my light with a dreadful screeching sound and was thrown back violently. I then went forward and hacked at his sword, and then Krrall would swing again. It wasn’t too long till Krrall decided to stab at me. Then, stepping back, I slammed my sword on to the flat of Krralls sword pushing it down to the ground then putting my boot on it then slamming my shoulder against his a move I had used on Eyrhoss dozens of times it was usually fallowed by  me putting the tip of my sword to his throat and saying
         “Dead” I said putting the tip of my sword on the cross guard of Narafayorlumo Krralls possessed blade and as if my sword knew what it was doing it was irresistibly sliding out of my hand falling thru the sword on the ground the parts of the swords lining up as the tip of lumonara moved toward the tip of narafayorlumo black and red mist pored out of it when the swords were lined up  and the mist had formed  it self in to a vaguely human shape but with horns and it was massive at least six cereets* tall and three cereets wide at the shoulder

*1.63 feet 

After:  This is after my daughter edited it.

This pattern continued for a good 30 seconds, then my sword lit up and started trailing a ribbon of light as wide as my sword was long. Krrall’s sword couldn’t go through it, so I tried to keep it in between Krrall and me. A new pattern began; Krrall swung, hit my light with a dreadful screeching sound and was thrown back violently. I then went forward and hacked at his sword, and then Krrall would swing again. It wasn’t too long till Krrall decided to stab at me. Then, stepping back, I slammed my sword on to the flat of Krrall’s, pushing it to the ground. I put my boot on the tip and slammed my shoulder against his. A move I had used on Eyrhoss dozens of times, it was usually followed by me putting the tip of my sword to his throat and saying; “Dead”.  This time, I put the tip of my sword on the cross guard of Narafayorlumo, Krralls possessed blade. As if my sword knew what it was doing, it slid out of my hand falling onto the sword. On the ground the parts of the swords lined up. As the tip of lumonara moved toward the tip of Narafayorlumo, black and red mist poured out of it. When the swords were lined up, the mist had formed itself into a massive, vaguely human shape with horns. It was at least six kereets* tall and three kereets wide at the shoulder 

*1.63 feet.

I look forward to reading it when they are finished with it.  I am so glad that my son has gotten to even this point, that he can type/spell this well is amazing to me.  Some of you may know we've struggled with dysgraphia and reluctance to type over the years.  My daughter would like me to add that this is after her first edit.  The first time, she goes through, she tries to discern meaning.  The second time she goes through she looks for spelling and grammar errors. 

A tiny victory.

Last night we finished the Percy Jackson book we had been reading and wanted the next one.  The library did not have the audiobook version available.  They had the digital edition that we could download and read.  Now my daughter has been doing the reading every night because that's when I like to work on my art journal and she's nice enough and a good enough reader to read in my place.  It's kind of cool.  However, she did not want to sit at the computer and read.  She wanted to read in an easy chair, sitting comfortably.  So, we tried to put the downloaded book on the Nook.  There was some kind of file issue and I went online, looked up a Nook forum, found the issue which was a file that needed to be deleted from the Nook, figured out how to delete it, installed the book and we were able to read it.  I was so pleased with myself.  :-)

I was reminded of this this morning when I read this article: 

I do know that over the years I have been too helpful to my kids, wanting to step in and show them how.  I need to add this to the list of things I'm trying to improve about myself ... ;-P

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Very tired.

I got up this morning and went to my mom's because she was very afraid that the plumber that was going to come was going to come before her caregiver got there.  So I went over and had my morning coffee over there.  It's lucky I live close.  Then I came home, cleaned the house a little, cooked a bunch of stuff to tide us over for this evening and lunch tomorrow because I won't get to go to the grocery until tomorrow night, got in the pool and exercised (2 days in a row, go me!) came in, showered, got dressed and went to my volunteer job.  There were some very needy beautiful babies there tonight and I did what I could.  Now that I am home, I'm blogging, I'm facebooking, I'm reading other people's blogs and in a little while I will be art journaling.  All in all, a pretty good day off.

I'm working on my crabby attitude which was very much in evidence yesterday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Various random thoughts.

Random thought #1:  We had gym day yesterday and because we have the kind of kids we have, we left them entirely unsupervised.  They played basketball and volleyball and Yu-GI-O (a small group at a table in the corner of the gym).  While they were doing that, we moms had a combination planning meeting and therapy session in which we discussed gym days, going kayaking, field trips, methods of homeschooling, what has worked and what hasn't, illnesses, impending homelessness, job interviews, moving, parental care, kids in college and just about everything else.  I was a little disappointed that we didn't get finished with our meeting in time to play any games (Upwords, Tellistrations), but it was a good meeting anyway.  Then we went to Fazoli's and had dinner.
Random thought #2:  We had a new homeschooler join our group yesterday.  I don't know how she felt about all the therapy and confessions and everything else that goes on in a planning meeting.  We may have scared her off.  She is younger than the majority of us and she hasn't even homeschooled 1 day yet.  She's going to start in the fall.  Hopefully, we will be able to mentor and support her while she gets started.

Random thought #3:  The other day, we took Freckles on our trek to the mailbox and she went down the road and rolled in something that smelled like cow manure.  She came directly into the back bathroom and had a shower.  She was not thrilled.  I have put her collar in the wash too, but I mentioned that if it doesn't smell okay afterwards, I will go to Dollar Tree and get her another one.  Although, when the Dollar Tree part came out of my mouth, it came out as Gollar Tree.  My youngest son said, without a moment's hesitation, "you should go to Collar Tree."  He's clever like that.  Also, he told me last week that he's not going to get his driver's license until he's 18 because the paperwork is easier for me and also he's not going to date until he's ready to get married, has a job and a car, because if he's not ready to be married "what's the point?"   

Random thought #4 - I cheat when I play Upwords but not in the way you might think.  My mom has Alzheimers and we are going through making some very sad choices as to what kind of care we can afford for her, what we will do with the home I grew up in, etc. but in the midst of this, I try to go over to mom's house 3-4 times a week to play Upwords, her favorite game.  We used to be almost evenly, perfectly matched, but now I cheat, backwards, to make our scores closer by writing down 6 when I score 16 or something like that.  Is that bad?  It feels a little bad, but also I don't want to beat her by 200 points.  :-(

Random thought #5:  Work today has been hard.  Just when I thought I knew all the words, the doctors have been throwing new words and syndromes I've never heard of at me all morning.  I guess learning new things is always good, but whew. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My baby's birthday.

Today is my youngest son's 15th birthday.  I can't believe it.  I really can't.  He has finally surpassed his sister in height.  Now my little stair steps have changed.  :-)  None of them are very tall at this point, all in the 5'5" to 5'7" range but I have a feeling the youngest has still got some growth in him.  He'll probably be the tallest.

Today is a day to reminise about pregnancy and birth.  This boy was not planned by my husband and I, but planned by God.  Because of crazy things my body does, I didn't know I was pregnant with him until I was almost 14 weeks.  Starting at about 17 weeks, I thought I was going to loose him several times.  I had placenta previa and I would just be sitting there, doing nothing and suddenly start hemorrhaging.  I did this several times and had several hospital admissions.   Then I was put on bedrest and then at 36 weeks, sent back to work.  (not fun).    Then I had a scheduled cesarean section with him at 38 weeks.  If I had known then, what I know now I would have waited until he was ready to be born.   Anyway, he came into the world 15 years ago today, ready to make it a better place with his presence and his sense of humor.  He's a joy.


Sunday, June 09, 2013

A few things.

It's a nice Sunday.  After church, my daughter and I went on a yarn gathering mission and also bought some new markers for my art journaling and then we went to Moe's.  Yum.  The main reason we went, is that I had a hankering for Moe's nachos that just would not go away.  It was really good though because she hit a really good yarn clearance sale at Michael's Crafts.  We bought the boys home some nachos too and now I'm making Cowboy Stew, blogging, eating chocolate, watching How I Met Your Mother and I am going to go over to my mom's house if my husband got her medicine timer thingy fixed and take that to her.  If he is not able to get it to behave we are going to have to buy her another one.  That thing is really wonderful when it works. I'll share the link in case anyone else is taking care of an elderly person.

One of Piper's other adventures.
We did have a little unexpected adventure this week when Piper (the puppy) climbed up and jumped in to the pool.  My daughter has been checking on Piper every half an hour or so ever since (during the day).  Anyway, that's our Sunday.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Settling in.

I guess my son is settling in at home.  I am enjoying having everyone under one roof again.  My youngest son bought himself some early birthday presents (He's going to be 15 next week!) and they have been playing a lot of new video games.  One advantage/disadvantage to moving my computer into the bedroom is that I need to shut it down when my husband goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. on the nights he works the next day, so I've been unplugged in the evenings.  That's a very good thing.  I've been working on my art journals a lot.  My friend who was here the other night said that they were good and now I'm feeling more confident and enjoying it more, even, if that is possible.  It reminds me of a quote I've blogged about before.

"Athletes call it The Zone, researchers call it Flow.
Children call it Play. This state is the essence of
real intelligence and creativity."  
Michael Mendizza

I really enjoy getting into "the zone" and it is a relaxing thing to do before bedtime.  I still haven't got my camera issues resolved, so no pictures, sorry! 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Speaking of moving.

The 2 older kids and I went today and helped some friends move, kind of.  They have faithfully paid their rent, but their landlady has decided to sell the house and so they have to move.  They have to be out by the 18th and currently are not sure where they are going.  Can you imagine?  Today we moved most of their stuff to storage facilities and they have 12 days to decide what to do and where to go.  I can't imagine, but they are taking it very well.  We had a pretty good time moving them, lots of hard work is good for the soul but boy are we tired now!


I've moved.

I have moved my base of operation (my computer) to my bedroom.  Okay, my husband and kids did it.  I used to work in here for years, but I got frustrated with the internet connection and moved into the living room.  I've been working in there for quite a while, but when we did our cleaning this week, I asked to be moved out of the middle of the house.  So far, I like it and so far the internet connection is okay.  Last night I had a little difficulty transmitting a job that I had typed, but after a few minutes, it went.  :-)

The teens, for some reason, go where I am not, so they have been hanging out in my bedroom for the last few months and now they've moved back into the living room.  They come in here when they specifically want to talk to me, not just to hang out. I try not to take it personally.  :-P

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Party Time.

Of our small homeschool group of  6 or 7 families, only 2 families could come last night to our party, but we had a good time!  My son was telling us all about Peru and then we played board games and video games.  It never seems like there is enough time to spend with these people, they are so amazing. 

Anyway, here are some Peru pics.  My son has some harrowing stories about widow-maker electric heated showers that smoke, driving on tiny roads up huge mountains with huge dropoffs and eating some, let us say, exotic, foods that I was better off not knowing about while he was gone!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Still plugging away.

We're still working on the spring cleaning/company cleaning for the welcome home party tonight.  It is going to be only a couple of families but I am sure that we will enjoy ourselves.  :-)   We're going to get out the board games and the video games and eat snacks.  What could be bad about that?  As to all the other stuff going on in my life right now, I'm officially trying not to think about it too much. How's that for a coping strategy?   Whatever works, right? 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Life just won't let up.

Sometimes, it just seems like everything hits at once.  My oldest is home and we want to enjoy time with him, but he was nauseated and not feeling well last night and we were worried that he had picked up a bug in Peru.  This morning, he is not nauseated and is eating breakfast, so I guess we'll see how that goes.

The girl is teaching the 4H knitting class today and they moved it to 1:30, right in the middle of my workday.

My mom's purse is still AWOL despite at least 6 people giving it their best shot trying to find it, leaving my brother and I scrambling to replace insurance cards, medicare cards, IDs.  We are also trying to apply for VA benefits for mom, possibly secure her some more home care or look into long term care.

Also, her pill dispenser has gone crazy, alarming at odd times and not going off.  Hopefully, it is just a battery issue.

I don't have any paid time off at my job, plus we are having a work shortage currently and I am having to work long, long hours to try and get enough lines.  I'm talking off and on from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. trying to catch a job when it comes in.

I am still awaiting an apology and perhaps an explanation from someone. 

I am experiencing PMS.  Again.   This means I have a headache and the patience of a gnat (I assume they have very little patience with anything since they only live about 2 days)..

We were planning to have a party tomorrow night for oldest son's homecoming, but I don't know how that's going to work with all that I have going on.

Still, we ARE managing to enjoy my son being home.   We sat around and sang while he played guitar yesterday, listened while he talked about Peru and ate Peruvian chocolate and played video games with him (something youngest son has been wanting to do for MONTHS.), so it's not all bad, but it is just kind of INTENSE. 

You know?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

He's home.

The oldest drove home from Mississippi yesterday, all day and arrived last night at about midnight.   He was good to keep calling me throughout the day and let me know where he was, which helps.  We sat up and talked for over an hour and then I went to bed and the kids hung out for I don't know how long.  I got 5 1/2 hours of sleep because I woke up at 6:30 a.m. with an upset stomach.  :-(  It seems okay now, thankfully.  I'm going to try and eat something before church.

Guess who is having a nap later?

Probably everyone.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

It helps.

It helps that my son is coming home.  That helps my mood immensely.   I've still got other stuff going on and I have lately been very whiny about it all, but today I've been in a good mood.  My daughter and I took Piper to the vet to get her stitches out and stopped by and picked up the summer reading packets from the library.  This year one of the grand prizes for the adult readers is a Kindle Fire. 

Mama want. 

I haven't had a chance to look at what books the adults are choosing from or what kind of guidelines we have, but I am going to try my best to get it done.  They also are giving away some very nice book bags, just for registering.   The teens are actually also being made to read this year, not just play games and stuff, so I'm happy about that.  They got a list of books to read and they need to read 10 this summer.  That shouldn't be too much of a problem.


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