Saturday, February 28, 2015

A few things from this week.

2 pictures of things my 16-year-old eats, to demonstrate the amount of food this kid takes in, during this growth spurt that he is currently in.  The first picture, above, is a hunk of pork roast with barbecue sauce on it.  I took the picture because I thought he was just going to eat it with a fork and I found that kind of interesting, but he didn't.  He went back to the kitchen, got a package of hamburger buns and made himself 5 sandwiches.  Just a bit of light eating.  Below is his playing cards snack from a couple of weeks ago, during the worst part of the snowstorm, 2 hot dogs with ranch, 2 ham sandwiches on whole wheat (he's not gluten free, obviously) and 3 starburst (clearance valentine's candy) with a sweet tea chaser.  He does also eat healthier things ... he eats both fruit and veggies very well.  The other day I made peas for dinner and took a helping for myself.  He ate the rest, since the other 2 people currently living here do not care for peas at all.  I told him when his big brother moved out that he had been promoting to eating "cleanup" (it's a sports metaphor ... baseball) and he takes it very seriously, helping me prevent waste by eating the leftovers.  He's a growing boy.
Piles of snow in our hometown, 10 days after the snowfall.  It's still here.  

A couple of balloons.  We were gifted with these after the baby shower we went to last week.  They have been slowly losing their helium floatiness all week, but still get involved in daily games of keeping the balloon from touching the floor, which is fun for all ages. 

I've done quite a bit of art journaling and crocheting this week as I have not felt like doing too much else.  :-( 

This week has been okay.  We are easing back into our pre-snow routine, getting out quite often, going to visit mom, seeing friends.  I even did a tiny bit of shopping yesterday, stopping by Family Christian to pick up something I had ordered online.  I think that counts.  Otherwise, the grocery store and the library have been the only places I have been.  We got a really good book from the library the other day, The Slaves of Socorro, another installment in The Brotherband Chronicles and we have been doing that each evening for a read aloud.  It's very funny so far and we have had a lot of LOL moments.  John Flanagan has some good insights into human nature that make us chuckle and a humongous vocabulary, which stretches us and has us looking words up nightly.  (So this counts as school,of course.)  Some of my fondest memories of elementary school were when my teacher in fifth grade would sit and read to us for 15-20 minutes in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


We're still homeschooling.  Youngest son is enjoying studying German on Duolingo very much.  He's actually learning to spell at bit in both languages due to the fact that the lessons make him take dictation.  He hears a phrase in one language and has to type it in the other.  He's learned a great deal about indefinite articles, but typing the wrong ones in a few times.  After he masters German, he wants to keep going and learn some other languages.  I do not doubt that he will.  It's so wonderful to have such a resource as this available to us, in our home, for free.  I think I am going to use it to refresh my French studies.  I studied French for 3 years in college.  I first took it as a required language and ended up almost minoring in it.  I had to drop it the last year because I was a transfer student trying to finish in 4 years and there were some things I needed to make up that I had missed.

Okay, just like that, I've already finished my first French lesson on Duolingo.  Very cool.  I also may learn to play the violin if he doesn't mind if I use his.  We'll see though.  I still have a ton of things I need to do with mom's house as soon as the snow melts.  (I'm starting to wonder if it ever will!).

Monday, February 23, 2015

Well, we went out and about yesterday.

Going up and down our driveway was pretty terrifying but it was important to my daughter, so we went.  We went to a baby shower for my daughter's sunday school teacher's daughter.  :-)  Anyway, it was okay.  I didn't feel good as is my norm but I went anyway.  We were able to deliver the baby blanket that my daughter has been working on.  I think it turned out really well.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Still here, now with ice.

Last night we had freezing rain on top of the 15 inches of snow on the ground. Yesterday before it hit, I had to get a prescription filled so I got my courage up and went to town.  This meant driving up and down our snow covered driveway in my little RAV4 which for some reason is scary and more up-close-and-personal to driving it in the Suburban.  As you can see the driveway in the bottom picture beyond the buried Ford Focus, you can see that it is kind of scary, snow and has a lot of trees that someone might hit, but you have to get up speed to make it up.  Now that my daughter has been driving some, she understands more how crazy this is.  My husband and I have been doing it for years and it still feels crazy.  I'm not too good at walking in this amount of snow, (not graceful or coordinated with the best of weather conditions!) so I didn't want to walk all the way up.  In my little RAV4 I made it most of the way, got out and started walking and pretty much immediately fell over.  The snow makes for a soft cushiony landing, but I didn't have on gloves and so I had to put my bare hands in the snow to get up.  After this, my hands hurt for quite a while.   Anyway, we are back in, warm and toasty, with only the one dog in the house, playing cards and watching Netflix.  It will be over soon enough, I'm sure, and spring will come.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Still snowed in!

I'm still kind of enjoying it.  We have been having beautiful views out the windows and playing lots of card games, watching Friends and drinking hot cider and hot chocolate and eating lots and lots of soup.  My husband has had a pretty rough week in some ways, unfortunately, trying to get to work and having to work all night moving packages one night and other days trying to work from home with our not so good internet.  We've got one car at the bottom of the driveway (It's a big hill) and one that won't start and my car that he took to work this morning.  It's been a week to make me appreciate my work at home job, that's for sure.  Ironically, it has been during this week that I got a call to come in for a job interview.  It was supposed to be today, because when the man called me Monday about it, it was seriously snowing and I estimated that I would be able to probably leave the house by Thursday.  I was wrong, although my husband did get out yesterday, briefly.  Hence the one car at the bottom of the driveway.  I called and rescheduled the interview for Monday and I am hopeful that I will be able to get there.  It's a long drive to this job and I hope that they offer me enough money to make it worth my while.  I kind of enjoy driving, so maybe.  It's been a very slow week at my current job.  I guess people aren't being admitted to the hospital due to snow?  Anyway, I had to call in due to lack of work one day and it looks like I may be doing that again today.

Since it got so frigidly cold last night, -11 degrees, our 2 outside dogs and one of the cats spent the night in the house, in my daughter's room.  None of them are up yet, so I don't know how that went. Hopefully, there were no accidents in the room, only much sleeping and enjoying the
warmth.  When the decision was made to bring the animals inside,one of the cats was no where to be found, so hopefully, she found warmth someplace.  :-(  We have a lot of nooks and crannies and places to hide for kitty cats around here.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snowcation 2015.

For some reason, we didn't have much work today and so I got off early.  I didn't feel like doing a whole lot, so I did some art journaling and some baking.  
Just look at the beautiful carrot cake ....  nailed it! 
This is a stump in front of our house that is about 18 inches tall.  We have 12 inches of snow.
If you look closely, you can see 3 blue jays in this tree.  This is where they line up to come and eat our cat food.  :-) 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snowing! 2015

It is really, really, really snowing here.  The weather forecasts say that we may get 15 inches of snow. I think it's fun for many reasons.

  • It's beautiful and it's unusual.  We almost never get that kind of a snowfall, usually an inch or less. I'm cooped up in the house with some very nice people.  
  • The electricity is still on.  
  • I work at home and also, I don't have to work today. (!)
  • I know that Mom is being taken care of and I don't have to worry about her being alone in her house.
  • I have a new afghan I just started and plenty of art journaling supplies.   
  • Though I don't like to get out in it a whole lot, I like to watch the kids have fun.  
This weekend we've done all kinds of wintery weather fun indoor things.  We've watched Frozen and Leap Year, probably 2 of my favorite movies of all time and very appropriate for this time of year.  We've eaten Valentine chocolate and all kinds of crock pot veggie soup and we started playing Shanghai, a game of progressive rummy that I learned in childhood and haven't played for a long, long time.  It's been fun introducing the kids to it.  

Scraphgan 2 is finished and is now on Mom's bed at her assisted living facility.

The kids learned to write in Elvish runes yesterday.

It's so pretty!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Freckie's silly face.

Last night we took some pictures of her with a silly paper crown on her head and somehow, google made a series of photos into an antimated GIF.  How cute it this?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

And just like that, school's out.

Yesterday, mid day, my mother in law called asking for my kids to come over and help them move.  Their new house is finally done!  So just like that, I released the youngest from his school obligations to help with family obligations.  He can make the time up later, but you can't always get back opportunities to really help someone and spending time with grandparents is always a treasure.  :-)  Wow, the new house is gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Getting it done.

My son is getting his schooling done.  Thankfully, as I have gotten busier with mom's business he's gotten more independent.  My daughter does still work with him on his writing because he still has his dysgraphia issues, but he does his own German and violin and math.  He seems really to be enjoying it for the most part.  He doesn't love math so much, but he's really enjoying the German.  He's been trying a few words out on me and explaining how the German modifiers (or something) work.  :-)  I love it when the kids get enthused about what they are learning and come to tell me about it.  The way we have homeschooled the last few years, with me just assigning the things and not actively teaching them, it's a good way for me to see that they are learning and learn a bit of it myself.  Also, it's cute.  :-)

It's valentine's week and it's also Random Acts of Kindness week so get out there and do something kind for someone this week!

Sunday, February 08, 2015


The other day one of the rows of scrapghan 2 just came undone.  I am not sure how it happened because all of the threads were still there and both of them were still looped and looked crocheted, but they just weren't interlocking anymore.  I can't figure it out, but my daughter was able to fix it.  Working on this afghan with my mom has been a great thing for both of us.  It makes our visits together have a focus, other than what I have done today because she can't remember what she has done today.  :-(  It gives us something to talk about with each other and something to talk about with the other residents.  It is a homey activity which seems to make sitting in front of the fire at the assisted living center more homey to her, I hope, and it seems to relax her.  She seems less restless on our visits when she is crocheting.  I am glad that I picked up crocheting as a hobby.  I do a few rows at home because all I can do (still) is single crochet, then mom double crochets a row for me because all she can do is double crochet.  We're starting each row in a different color of yarn and leaving the string hanging on both the beginning and the end of the row for a side fringe.  :-)    It's cute as heck and it has been such a blessing.  Every time we pull it out to start working on it, people smile at how pretty it is.  :-)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Unschooling resources.

My son brought these books to show me his current unschooling "bit of light reading".  These are his go to books to find out things and how he knows so much.  He prefers real books to internet reading.   There are also a couple of old sets of encyclopedias that he enjoys.  The one that says "The Life Of The Ocean" bothers me, because my mom used to have a complete set of these, about all life on the planet and they've gotten lost over the years.  He would have enjoyed the rest of them.  :-)

Monday, February 02, 2015

Trying to prioritize and set goals.

Trying to prioritize and set goals is hard for me and I think sometimes that it must be hard for everyone.  I don't know.  I wrote a list of things I need to do and numbered them and then did the first one first, but it's only 10:00 a.m. and I'm already a little off-track blogging instead of doing the second thing on the list.  Oh well, I'll get back there is a minute.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of things to share.  One is kind of regarding lists and resolutions and self-discipline.  I'm reading this book called Willpower by Baumeister and Tierney.    It's fascinating stuff  They say that we only have a limited amount of willpower and if we use it up without recharging, we get reckless.  It really explains a lot.  At one point they are talking about New Years Resolutions and how, if you make a bunch of them, they all compete with each other for your willpower.  "each time you try to follow one, you decrease your capacity for all the others".  Hmm.  It even talks about how things like trying to be stoic during a sad movie can drain your willpower, making you vulnerable later to doing impulsive things.  This may explain why shy people feel so drained after parties, trying to act sociable is such a strain to the willpower.  Anyway, I'm fascinated and will try to work in some reading time today. Later on in the book they promise techniques for getting around this.

I've got a training for work I need to do, grocery and a few other things and I am going to get some paint and Spackle to work on mom's house a little, to help make it more attractive to buyers.  I survived the 5th anniversary of my Dad passing away this weekend and also his birthday, since he died one day before his 80th birthday.  :-(  It does get easier, but it never goes away.

Finally, today, I'll share an 'I almost typed this" transcription funny.  I caught it.  I don't want to think about the ones I don't catch sometimes in my haste .... :-)

"The patient has relationship difficulties with pears."  Pears, was quickly changed to peers, but not before I got a good laugh out of it!

Have a great day everyone!


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