Monday, June 29, 2015

To the lake!

We went to a local lake and the kids got to go pedal boating and kayaking.   So much  fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

In Summertime Mode, but ...

We're enjoying the pool, watermelon and chicken salad, seasonal fruit and other things, but we've already had our challenges this summer.  We've still got my mom's house to sell and still there are things that need to be cleaned out.  We go several times a week and work on it.  This causes an influx of junk to our house and I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it, so to make room, we've taken all of our possible yard sale stuff to Goodwill.  During this time, my husband unexpectedly got pretty darn sick and couldn't get out of his easy chair much at all for the last week.  Turns out, according to the testing at the doctor's office, he has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  I've heard of it, but I've never known anyone who had it.  It turns out that is actually what killed my husband's great grandfather according to his mom.  Thankfully, there's doxycycline now and and so my husband is on the mend.  It's been rough though.

In between things, I've been doing a lot of art, drawing a lot of big old flowers, because it makes me feel better about everything.  :-P

It's almost time for those of us in Kentucky to send our Letter of Intent To Homeschool to the school board!  It's our last one.  :-(

We're looking forward to our oldest son and his girlfriend coming for a good long visit in August!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Best Homeschooling Advice.

I'm almost done with homeschooling and I have joined this facebook page for homeschoolers.  Every day, someone comes on there and asks about curriculum, often for preschoolers and kindergartners. Most of the time I give my opinion, knowing that no one will pay attention to it.  Nonetheless, after years of reading and researching and homeschooling for 11 years, here's my advice.  Keep in mind that over the years I have become more radically pro-homeschooling.  It's just been so wonderful for us.

1.  Do it.  Plan to do it this fall and use the summer to get ready.  Homeschooling is good for kids and it's good for families.

2.  Don't over do it.  This is the most important thing and I see the older homeschoolers giving this advice over and over and over again and the younger new homeschoolers ignoring it.  It's flying right on over their heads as they begin to emulate everything that the public schools are doing wrong, overdoing it and making their kids hate school and burning themselves out.  Seriously, do the minimum and then have fun with your kids the rest of the time, reading, playing and cuddling.  This is how kids learn.  Please, if you never listen to anything else I've ever said, go read this blog.
Freedom to Learn.

3.  Have fun!  I'll say it again, read, play, cuddle, go out and do things in the community, volunteer together, get to know extended family members, go to the library every chance you get and check out as many books as you can carry, go to the park.

4.  Support Your Kid's Interests.  We had this speaker come to our homeschool group one time.  She talked about how her daughter's curriculum for several years was tailored around her love of horses, she wrote about horses, planned a business involving horses and did the math for the business and all kinds of things, on her own. The internet is full of stories about homeschoolers who follow their interests into careers.

5.  Don't Rush.  There is some evidence that pushing kids to do things before they are ready is harmful.

6.  Don't Panic.  Your kid is going to be okay.    If you feel you need a checklist, here is one.  The Checklist.

7.  Read These Books.  Free Range Learning:  How Homeschooling Changes EverythingFree to Learn,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The closest to camping we will get this summer.

The kids and I have been really good this week about getting over to mom's house and cleaning out some of the remaining junk.  We've pretty much cleared the main living areas and have a couple of boxes in the den and a few boxfuls of things in the walk-in closet.  That stuff, of course, will multiply and turn into several car-loads full of stuff when we start to go through it, but we've really been doing pretty good.  We've taken at least 4 loads of stuff in my tiny SUV to Goodwill.   The problem with this is that mom's yard has not been mowed or treated with any kind of pesticides and it is full, apparently, of biting insects.  I have been terribly bitten on each of these trips.  My right forearm alone has about 11 bites, if that tells you anything.  :-(

Then day before yesterday, our central air went out and our house quickly went up to nearly 90 degrees inside.  Our wonderful air conditioning repair man came out almost as soon as he was called yesterday and got it fixed in just a few minutes, so we were only without air overnight one night.
I laid there, dosing on and off, itching, sweating and listening to the frogs and crickets outside and thought up the title to this post.  "That's the closest I will get to camping this year, maybe ever."
And by that, I mean primitive (real) camping.  If my husband wants to invest in an RV with A/C, I'm all over that.  :-)  

Some of us around here are seriously starting to feel that we need a vacation, but mom's house, getting it ready to sell, has to be the priority.  We need to focus on that exclusively until we get it done.  I was dreading selling mom's house at first, but now I really can't wait.   Funny how time changes things.

Dreaming of the beach ... it's been almost 4 years since we've taken a vacation.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Trying to get something done.

I'm trying to get some things done.  It's my day off and I have decision fatigue and so as not to be paralyzed by the choices, I wrote some things down on little slips of paper and when I finish one thing, I grab another slip of paper and go.  In this way, I've gotten the dishes done, supper made, some elephant ear plants planted, exercised and contacted 2 people about my mom's house.  Still in the pile are visiting mom and going to her house to work some more today.  I may take a nap before I go see mom and I may put it off until tomorrow.  I haven't decided (or picked a paper) for either of those yet.  If I don't go see her, I will work on her house.

It's looking better.  It still has a lot, lot, lot that needs to be done, but I guess eventually, we'll get there.  I am so thankful that my kids will go with me and work pretty much without complaining.  That is a blessing.

We're out of school now and gearing up for summer.  :-)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy birthday!

Youngest son turned 17 yesterday.   It seems impossible.  I always say that, but it does.   I ended up having a nonstop long day because I was going to see my mom, but decided to take my aunt to see her too and then we ended up adding in some extra stops.  After I got home, we visited a while and read our book for the nigth and then I went to bed.  I didn't even stay up long enough to get some of the birthday cake.  It was cherry cheese pie and had to be made after I came home with the ingredients and then it had to chill overnight.  I'll have some of that for breakfast.  :-)

As it is a youngest-son's-birthday tradition, I'll share some quotes from him over the years.

My youngest son came up to me a minute ago and said "do you want to see my sticker collection?" I asked where it was, he said (what every homeowner wants to hear) "its on my wall. Do you know why it is on my wall?" I said "no" and he said "because my wall doesn't have hair and I do." I guess he's had some painful experiences peeling off band-aids. ;-) 

Tonight my youngest son was talking about the Barney show again. He was puzzled. He said "The kids on that show are like, 6 years old, but they don't know anything. Barney has to teach them everything."

One time when my youngest was little, he came up to me and said "Barney loves me, but I don't love him. I like his show though."


Yesterday, we were supposed to clean the house. And we did. A little. I told my youngest son he needed to clean and he said "I don't like cleaning." I told him that I don't like it either, but it has to be done. He said "my liking of cleaning is as low as the earth's core.

The other night, youngest son climbed into bed between his Dad and I. After a few minutes, he complained that he was hot. I was barely awake and said "What? You're hot?" He said, "Yeah, you're warm and Daddy's warm and 2 warms make a hot."

After the appointment, we went to the grocery where we saw some gluten free, egg free, dairy free cookie mix.  My youngest said he could imagine the advertisement for those cookies, "Anyone can eat these cookies!  They taste terrible, but anyone can eat them!" 

We still have our let it snow wreath on the front door.  I noticed it last night and was going to take it down but my youngest said, "No, leave it up.  I'm dreaming of a white Easter."

So last night, my daughter is reading the latest Artemis Fowl installment (downloaded from the virtual library onto my tablet, so not actually a book) and the phrase three thousand odd people came up as in 3000-odd people attended the opera.  She didn't say it with exactly the right emphasis and put the emphasis on odd.  It sounded funny.  I laughed and said "They were all odd?"  and my youngest son chimed in "What?  Did a bunch of homeschoolers show up?"

Saturday, June 06, 2015


The afgan is done and the pool is going up!  Yes, it's weird what we get excited about around here, I admit it.


Friday, June 05, 2015

A couple of weeks ago. ..

I was talking to someone I recently  met and mentioned  that  we have a little dog that I was not planning to love, but who won me over.  She  asked what kind of dog she is and I told her what we had been told ...half chihuahua,  half pekingese.   She said "oh she must be pretty!"  Um, well, she's uh, cute...

Thursday, June 04, 2015

This week's version of normal.

I'm just doing the day by day thing, I guess that's wisdom that comes with my advanced age?  Or is it weariness?  I don't know, but whatever it is, I'm doing okay with it, just hanging in here for now.  My method of coping with life involves making a lot of lists and having a lot of notebooks.  I have one notebook for gratitude/prayer and one for creative ideas and one titled "To Do".  The To Do one is funny because I could use my phone or my tablet or my computer or google calendars or a paper calendar and the truth is I use all of those to some extent to keep up with things, but the To Do notebook is the best.  I think that having it on paper helps me (old school, I know) when it gets too messy for me with scribbles all over it, I can turn the page and re-write a new, neater one and the process of writing it again helps me get it in my mind.

This week's looks like this.
All the marking out is due to flexibility (moving things around) and accomplishing a few of them..

Cleaning (Listed as individual tasks so I can at least mark something off.)

Counselor 1:45

Go see Mom



This Week's Goals:
Work on Mom's house.
Practice driving.
Call doctor.
Get grad cards.
plant seeds.
call plumber?

To Buy List:

My youngest son, the only homeschooler, is still doing what he has left of school this year.  He finished World History, finished Geometry and writing and now wants to work on German all summer without interruption and always does his unschooling things.   In the fall, I will need to get him a consumer math curriculum and find someplace for him to take violin lessons.  Before you know it, we'll be done.  :-(

A picture I took of the road while my daughter was driving.  It's actually the road we live on, so we weren't just out in the park or anything.

Some of this week's art journaling.


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