Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's going on?

Lots of things, it turns out.  For someone who is not employed, I feel like I keep awfully busy.  I do more housework than I used to.  I think that's what takes up the slack.  Also, I exercise more and I am available to help with things for my aunt, so I do that pretty often.   I'm still doing the board game group and that amounts to 3 hours a week, not including the drive to and from.   I've been busy the last few days with something I'm very excited about, designing shirts for Amazon Merch.  I've had to learn a new program, called Inkscape and watched videos about how to promote my items and how design my items so that they will upload and display properly.  I've got 7 shirts uploaded but only 1 is actually for sale yet.  Just like it takes a while to get accepted into the Merch team, it takes a little while to get new designs approved.  They don't just let you put anything up there, which I think is a good thing.

 I've also been spending some time volunteering as a moderator for a Kentucky homeschooling board on Facebook, which keeps me active in the community.  I like that.  I'm at the age where I can mentor the younger moms and I guess that's a good thing.  I hate being old, but it's nice to be able to help others with my considerable wisdom.  :-)  

I'm looking for work and filling out job applications, even online, takes a while.  I'm taking a free course through Alison to help me reenter the workplace but right now I have no work leads.  I had a few interviews a month or so ago, but nothing.  It's very discouraging.

We've also got VBS this week.  My daughter and I are doing the crafts.  It's weird this year as they are doing an evening session, which they don't usually do and we are helping in the evenings instead of the mornings.  Since the evening session is different, very few people know about it, so we've had only a few children.  We've probably had more volunteer adult helpers than kids this week.  It's nice though.  It gives me a chance to talk and visit with people that I don't usually get a chance to talk to.  I love talking to people.  I wish I could get a job doing that.  :-P

In young adult news, youngest is trying for his driver's license on Monday (better clean the car out!) and oldest is moving back to Kentucky that same day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Summer seems like it has barely begun and now there are signs that it will be ending soon!  My daughter starts back to work in 3 weeks and my youngest son will be starting college soon after that.  My oldest son and his wife will be here in a couple of weeks to start their new jobs and new lives here in Kentucky.  Lots of good changes and I'm sure we will settle into a rhythm, but we are just going to get crazy busy, I'm afraid.  Actually, I kind of hate it when I'm not busy so to be clear, I'm not whining, I'm just processing.  My husband will be working M-F ALL DAY as usual and my daughter will be working half days M-F and my son will be going to college M-T part of the day and I'm not sure what kind of work schedule my oldest son and his wife will be doing, but we hope to see a lot of them.  I'm not sure if I will get any job offers -- I keep applying--- but I'm also not sure how to fit it in, especially my need for a car, with all of this other stuff going on.  We have 5 cars but 2 of them are not running at the current time.  This seems like a first world problem for sure now that I'm typing it, but it's true.  If one car is with my husband at work, one is at work with my daughter and one is at college with youngest son, I will be home out of necessity.  I sure wish I could find a work at home job again.

I was able, this morning, to have a problem solved with the board game group.  We had been meeting on Monday afternoons in the library, but with work and school schedules we needed to move it to Tuesday nights. We were not able to do Tuesday nights at the library because they have their own programming in their rooms on those nights.  However, I was able to move the games to a local game based business which is owned by one of the families in our new homeschool group (which is, thankfully, letting us stay in even though my kids have graduated!)  So I had a success this mroning.

Now, onto working on my son's financial aid ....  bleh.
One tiny purple coneflower amongst all the weeds.  I love these flowers but I have a hard time getting them to grow!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Socialization Good News.

I know that sounds weird, but we've had some good things happen lately on the socialization front and I want to share.  First, some background.  Two of my 3 homeschooled kids are shy and they all 3 are introverts. (We sent our oldest introverted but not shy one to college 5 years ago in another state and now he is coming back here and is married).   We have joked about the homeschool socialization cliche through the years, but it HAS kind of been an issue that I have had to work at.  We live in a very isolated area with no close neighbors and our church is very small.  We have joined various (3!) homeschool groups, put together a prom for our kids and I have put together this board game group especially to help my (now) young adults meet other people their age.  It has been an effort and thankfully, we've finally got some regulars who are coming and spending time and some friendships are forming.  With introverts, making friends is a slow process and it takes a lot of time.  This week I was talking to 2 of the moms in this group and found out that their sons are going to be going to the same community college as my son!  I'm very happy and excited about this and I'm glad we didn't decide to send him to the other community college in another town, at least for now.  So anyway, my youngest son will be going to college with a couple of people he knows.

Also, I am thinking that having my oldest son and his wife coming here to live will be good for socialization because I think they will join a church and start networking and forming friendships here and then they will invite my 2 younger, shyer ones to join them.  That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

A third bit of good socialization news is that the youngest two kids have joined a D&D group and are really enjoying that.  It might turn out to be a good way for my daughter to meet young men as she is the only girl in the group, playing right into the Dungeons and Dragons stereotypes.  She, being an artist, drew a picture of each persons character and gave it to them.  I picture them going home and mentioning that a girl in their D&D group gave it to them and having their parents say not "Great art" or anything like that, but "There's a girl in your D&D group???"  LoL.

If you're going to homeschool, remember to join some groups, go to 4H and reach out to others.  If there is something that your kids are interested in, look into starting a group based around that.  Invite others to your home or arrange, as we do, to meetup at the library or restaurants.  Its good for the homeschool mom to meet and spend time with other homeschooling moms as well, so it's a win-win.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Just some funny notes.

The young adults who still live in my home are pretty hilarious sometimes.  They are always working on some project or the other.  Recently, my daughter was working on a castle floor plan that she will use in the novel that she is writing.  She was very intently working on it and had graph paper spread out on an ottoman in the living room.  Freckles, oblivious to this, jumped up on the ottoman to see if she could get her belly rubbed.  She put a claw through the paper, ruining it.   The young adults were very upset and decided to punish Freckles very severely.  What did they do?  They ate ham in front of her.  They didn't even give her a tiny bit.  They are so cruel.

Another dog funny, also, funnily enough, involving the ottoman.  My back was hurting and I moved from the position of sitting in my chair with my feet on the ottoman, to sitting up straight on the ottoman in the hopes that it would help.  Cosmo, always interested in everyone's just-vacated seat for some reason, jumped up and sat behind me in the chair.  I said "Cosmo, while you're back there, rub my back".  I then teased my daughter, telling her that she should teach her dog how to rub my back.  She said "He's still working on "sit".  It may have been that I was so tired, why this was so funny to me.

Our board game group is going strong right now, having a board game meeting or a D&D meeting every Monday this summer.  Our last meeting, this past Monday, they played several rounds of a new game we've got called Superfight.  In this game, you get a character card and a couple of attributes cards and then you challenge each other in a pretend fight and hypothesize who would win.  The other day we had Putin (with agorphobia), Canada (with the power of hypnosis) and Chuck Norris (can't remember what his special attribute was, but does he really need one?).  So to sum up, I heard my son say "Basically, we've got world war 3 and it's Russia, against Canada, against Chuck Norris."  :-)  In this scenario, they chose Canada since they felt this meant every single citizen of Canada with the power of hypnosis.  It's a fun game, especially if you like to argue, which they very much do.  :-)

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Registering for College.

We registered our oldest son for college 5 years ago and at this point, I can't remember very many of the details.  I remember my husband filled out the FAFSA and I applied for scholarships and filled out the application for the school admission.  Then we waited.  When we finally heard that he had gotten the scholarship, we only had about 5 or 6 days until he had to be there.  That was kinda crazy.  Since the college was so far away, all of my input was by phone or computer.  One of the professors walked through registration and registered my son for all of his classes.  Everyone there had to help us because we were here and not able to come down there.

Fast forward 5 years to registering our youngest son for college (our daughter does not want to go, we have been trying to talk her into it!) and it's different.  He is planning to go to the local community college which is about 20-25 miles away and we've been over there 3 or 4 times.  We've had some issues with financial aid and we didn't want to register him until those were resolved.  He was in their system, but he hadn't registered for any classes.  Finally, they called and said that they were having an easy registration event last week, while we would be in the midst of wedding planning.  So we went over there and registered him. We spent about half an hour talking to the financial aid office and we think that he has a decent financial aid package.  I'm really not sure at this point.  He will get 434 dollars in some kind of aid based on his ACT score but otherwise he's not eligible for the KEES money (which is something the state of Kentucky gives out) because he is a homeschooler.

We've also spent some time talking to the learning disabilities coordinator there on the campus and he seems very helpful.  I think he will be a great resource for youngest son.  While we were there on easy registration day, we spoke to a professor about what our son wants to major in and he chose a major - construction technology - only to find that they are not going to offer it any more.  :-(  So we registered him for classes that would work for any major - English, history, digital literacy and math and left it at that for that day.  This week, I contacted another community college which is about 35 miles away and asked them if they still offer construction technology - and they do, so we thought briefly about transferring everything there this summer, but decided that we will let him start where he is with the LD support and all the paperwork done (hopefully) and possibly transfer him in January or even next August to finish up the 2 year degree in construction technology.

Notes for homeschoolers who are registering for college - we didn't have any trouble with his transcript, it was easily accepted and the professor who registered him was thrilled with his math scores.  He said that if there is anywhere that homeschoolers drop the ball, it is usually math.   He kept looking at the scores and saying "this is great!"  and "you are ready".  He said that most of the kids who come to their college from the public schools need remedial classes before they are ready to start college and that homeschoolers generally only need remedial math but that our son was ready to go in all subjects, which made me and his dad feel good.   Now we've got some things to work on before he's ready to go, namely, he has to get his driver's license now - no more procrastinating about that!!!!  He hates to drive and I hate teaching him to drive because it's terrifying, so we are in for a fun July!  Wish us luck!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hitched, but not without a hitch.

I looked up the origin of the phrase "without a hitch" and I couldn't find it.  I'm not really sure what a hitch is, but I know that we had a few.  The main "hitch" that we had the entire weekend was that nobody's cell phones would work and the cabins we were staying in had no landlines and were pretty far apart from each other, so we couldn't communicate but we also had a few more.

We could see the groomsmen's cabin from our cabin but not any of the rest of them.
First, the bride and groom had a blowout on the way to the park on Friday and spent 2 hours by the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance.  We did have phone service at that time and I was in contact with them and we were getting ready to head that way. (We were coming towards the park from the north and they were coming from the south).  Roadside assistance never did come but some of the relatives that were on that same road stopped and helped them. With 2 jacks they were able to lift the trailer and change the tire.

The cabins were pretty nice.  
Then on Saturday morning when we woke up, we had no electricity in the cabin.  Keep in mind that Saturday evening, I had to serve a meal to 60 people, most of which was in our refrigerator there at the cabin and I was planning to cook it all in electric crock pots.  I had a small panic attack and then got in our Suburban to drive up to the pavilion to see if there was electricity there, so that I could go ahead and put everything in the crock pots there to keep it from spoiling.  There was no electricity at the pavilion, so I walked back out and got into the car.  Then the car wouldn't start.   I tried to call my son at the campground so that he could come and get me. The call went through, but not until an hour later.  So, after a few minutes of sitting there in the car, I got out and walked to the country store of the park.  It was closed but there were 2 park rangers there, getting ready to leave.  I flagged one of them down and got him to give me a ride back to the cabin.  Then I sat down and cried for a little while.  Eventually, our son got the message and came to check on me and my husband was able to get a ride to our car and fortunately, he was able to fix it.  And then, thank God, the electricity came back on.  On Saturday evening, the rehearsal dinner mostly went as planned, but, as I mentioned in my last post, some of my relatives were texting me for directions and, of course, with no phone service, I couldn't reply, so they missed the party.  This made me very sad.

Then, on Sunday morning (wedding day!!!)  we got a knock on our door bright and early.  It was 2 of the groomsmen.  They had all started to get dressed and realized that one of them had misunderstood the phrase "yellow shirt" to mean "a blue and green plaid shirt with a tiny yellow stripe" and so they came over to bring our youngest son a different blue shirt because he was the best man and they figured he could get away with wearing a different shirt. So the shirt we bought was worn by the other groomsman and the groom was in royal blue, the best man in light blue and the rest of the groomsmen were in yellow.   It was fine.  Fortunately, we had an easygoing bride who took these kind of things in stride.  Also on Sunday, it rained right before the wedding and we had to delay it, but only for a few minutes.  I spent a great deal of energy during the wedding praying that it would not rain, but it didn't and the wedding was beautiful and wonderful.  :-)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Feeding 60 people.

I'm not sure how many people actually attended our rehearsal dinner.  Originally, there were supposed to be around 60 (including out of town and out of country relatives) but right before we left on the trip, as far as I knew, the number was supposed to be 54.  We did have a few extras that weren't in this number, but I think the final number was still in the 50s someplace.  I'm not sure.  I wish that someone had done a head count.

What we served was 5 pork loins, cooked, shredded and with barbecue sauce.
8 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce.
120 buns.
140 drinks.
3 jars of pickles.
4 containers of Walmart coleslaw.
3 large gallon cans of green beans.
4 large bags of potato chips.
6 cakes.  (I was expecting many people who were not in the wedding to come and have cake with us after the actual dinner.  More on this later.)

What they ate:
2/3 of the pork.
2/3 of the buns (maybe)
Approximately 120 drinks.
2 jars of pickles.
1 container of coleslaw.
1/2 of the green beans.
2 of the cakes.
part of 2 bags of chips.  2 were unopened.

So to feed 50 to 60 people, you'd need
3 1/3 pork loins
Maybe 80 buns.
5 jars barbecue sauce
2 jars of pickles
2 bags of chips
1-2 packs of coleslaw.  (get this someplace other than Walmart, it was not good.)
1 gallon can of green beans.
2 cakes.
and if it is summertime in Alabama, lots of drinks.

One reason we had so much food left over is that, I had this horrible fear that I wouldn't have enough, plus apparently everyone I asked about how much food to bring also had this fear because I bought what they advised and sometimes bought less.  Thankfully, my daughter kept encouraging me to buy less not more and she was right.  Next time I really just need to listen to her.  Another reason we had so much food left over is that no one could find the pavilion where we were.  There are no maps of the park online that anyone could find, just maps to the park and then you're on your own unless you actually find the lodge or the country store and get a map of the park.  Also, there is NO PHONE SERVICE for any carrier anywhere in this park, so we couldn't contact anyone to tell them where we were or to invite them.  It was extremely frustrating.  I hated it because I really wanted several of my family members to be there and they didn't make it.  The wedding photographer and the matron of honor had put together an awesome slide show and I hate that some of my family members missed it.  :-/    Oh well.  That's life.  More about some of our wedding challenges in my next post.  Big events like this rarely go off without a hitch and this one certainly didn't.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Oldest son is married now!
The wedding was beautiful and fun.  The readings were beautiful, the sermon was really nice and personalized to them and then they walked out to Hooked on a Feeling -- the one that starts with oooga chocka.  It was fun and left everyone smiling.  Some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen danced out together and some didn't.  The last 2 did a cute little pantomime where he pretended to ask her and she said no.  It was adorable.  The wedding was delayed for a few minutes because of a little bit of rain, but then it stopped, we dried the chairs off and started the wedding.   It was great.  My daughter caught the bouquet and youngest son was the best man -- but he didn't find out that he was until the rehearsal!  

Speaking of the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner went well.  We had too much food.  After looking amounts up on line and making too much food for the shower, I, instead asked everyone I knew and we came up with the amounts from local, experienced cooks.  We still had too much food.  My family has been eating barbecued pork loin for 5 days.   Basically, they ate 2/3 of the food that I brought, so we must have had enough to feed 100, instead of the 60-ish people that we were trying to plan for.  I'd rather have too much than too little, but we are all really tired of barbecued pork.  

We came back to real life really quickly when we walked in the door here at home and found out that our roof leaked and our laundry room ceiling had collapsed.  I have been cleaning and doing laundry since Monday night since we use our laundry room as a family closet and all of our clothes and linens are stored in there.  

So anyway, here we are post-wedding, feeling kind of let down and kind of thinking 'what do we do now?"   Probably we need to something like declare a no spending month, clean the house thoroughly and go on a diet!  

I'll catch you all up on what else we've been up to next time I post.  Have a great day!  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Homeschool Information Page

This is what the Commonwealth of Kentucky homeschool information page looks like.  It is obviously intended to scare as many people away from homeschooling as possible.   It is crazy to me that they urge "extreme caution" for this "often overwhelming challenge"  and make sure that the parents know that they take "complete responsibility" and that there will be no state financial assistance.  Trust me, it's not that difficult, it's fun and you, too can do it.  Your family will thrive and bond and you fill find out what that "variety of academic and non-academic factors" are; better family relationships, easier time management (not being on the school's timetable), more flexibility, better education because it's tailored to the student and most of all, lots of fun with your kids.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Counting Down.

We've got the wedding coming up.  It's getting so close now!  We have so, so, so much to do!  There are so many tiny details to being in a wedding, the clothing, the shoes, the hair, the makeup and then there are all the little details of traveling, the packing, the dog-sitter, getting someone to feed the cats, and then there are so many details of cooking a meal for 60 people, the menu, the decorations, silverware, the salt and pepper, the serving spoons, the tablecloths, napkins, how to keep everything cool ... and we have ALL of that at once this week.  Throw in a doctor's appointment, a work training for my daughter, early registration for college for my son, our regular board game meeting and it gets kind of crazy.  That's where we are this week.  You should see how many lists I have been making!  It will be all worth it when it all comes together in a beautiful ceremony for a wonderful couple.  :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We had a wonderful time last night watching a Midsummer Night's Dream being performed by 2 actors with the help of puppets and masks and audience members last night.  It was delightful!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Post Homeschooling.

We're in the post homeschooling phase right now.  Youngest son just had a birthday and is now 19.  He's probably going to be starting college in the fall (either college or an apprenticeship).  We've mildly tried to talk our daughter into going with him.  Her job is only in the afternoon so she can take morning classes.  We really probably need to step up the pressure because otherwise I'm afraid she'll never do it and I think that everyone needs to have some type of career skill that they can fall back on if they need it.  Meanwhile, we are trying to enjoy summer, and planning for the wedding which is in less than 2 WEEKS!

I'm on a push to try and get the kids to socialize because that can be a problem for homeschoolers especially if your homeschool group falls apart and you have to join another one for your kid's senior year, which is what happened to us.  This new group has been great and has been extremely welcoming and I kind of wish we'd just been in it the whole time.  Right now we have plans to meet with people from this group every week of the summer for either board games or Dungeons and Dragons.  I facilitate these experiences for my young adults by reserving the room at the library and staying and supervising.  I know my kids don't need me to supervise, but there are younger kids there, so for their sake, I stay and make sure no one gets into any trouble.  I'm also trying to get them to say yes to other social events which is kind of hit and miss.

I found another D&D group they could get into and they've joined that.  This one they can do without my supervision because I'm not in charge of it.  They just go to the meeting place themselves.  This is a huge step for these 2 extremely shy kids of mine.  (And no, homeschooling didn't cause it or the oldest would be shy too and he's not. So there!.)  They said no to a festival our library was having this weekend but they said yes to an event that's happening there tonight (which I will post about later).  My main focus right now is helping support them while they launch their way into the adult world.  I do think homeschooling and my particular type of helicopter parenting has made it more difficult for them to go and do things on their own, so we are all working on it together.  I also think that both of those things have made some things better for our kids and so there was a trade-off.  They are great people and we'll get through this and they'll be fine.  It's just not the same with these younger 2 as it was with the oldest.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Art Success.

Last night there was an exhibit of art from my daughter's art class.  She had 4 pieces in the exhibit and she won 3 ribbons.  In her category which was 10 to adult, she won first place, second place and best of show.  :-P

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Latest Project.

My daughter is making little crocheted dolls based on one of her manga favorites.  So far, she's made 2 heads but no bodies.  I'm not sure if she's going to make some bodies next or just make all of the heads.  :-)  Last night she said one of the creepiest things ever:  "I enjoy juggling their heads".  It was a comment on how they fit in the hand well and are soft and don't make noise when you drop them, but it sounded really weird.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A few things going on now.

My daughter's art class is doing an exhibit.  We packed up the 4 paintings she's done this year to take to be exhibited.
These are the supplies we've gathered for the rehearsal dinner, so far, not including the pork roasts which are in the freezer, of course.  There are also a couple of board games in this picture because they are all over the house.  Ignore those please.

Last year in lieu of flowers at the funeral home, a friend of mine gave me a huge bag of flower bulbs for my house.  This is the gift that I hope will keep on giving for many years (if I don't somehow kill them!).  Aren't they beautiful?!

Finally, pet pictures from this week, Squinch and Duncan, Cosmo and Freckles.  :-)  Not pictured are our other 2 cats, Zelda and Zoey.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28, 2017.

Wedding preparation is ongoing.  We're not in the main prep because we're the bridegroom's family but we are responsible for the rehearsal dinner and we have to look good in pictures, so we needed to buy clothes.  My youngest 2 kids are also in the wedding.  We have the bridesmaid dress and we're going to go this week and get a pair of gray pants and a yellow shirt for youngest son.  Yesterday I went to Sams Club and got a lot of the supplies I will need for the rehearsal dinner.  The menu is now, therefore, kind of set in stone and I can't change it, which is good, because I've been changing it in my head about every 5 minutes since I started thinking about it, back in December.

The menu now is as follows.
Pulled pork barbecue.
Both regular and gluten free buns.
Green Beans.
Hash brown casserole.
Potato chips.
Various cakes.
Various drinks.

I'm thinking I may buy drinks not according to the flavors, but with royal blue and yellow cans, to match the theme.  Is that too weird?  I think it would be cute!   I'll also be serving bottled water.

The wedding colors are royal blue, gray and yellow, in case you couldn't tell from the rest of this post.  I dreamed last night that they had a practice wedding at our church and everyone just wore gray t-shirts, got in a circle, did a group hug and the practice marriage was complete.  :-P  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017.

I should have, at the beginning, started just typing the date as a title.  It's hard to think of titles and I always want to go with ones like "this and that" or "still here" or something like that.  I wonder how many times I've used those in the past 12 years?  Probably a lot.  

So what is the this and that of this week?

My aunt is in the hospital and I'm very worried about her.  Prayers please.

We had board game day yesterday and it was a great time.  My son got everyone excited about starting a new Dungeons and Dragons group as well but then I talked to the moms and some of them have serious reservations about D&D.  I understand this.  I remember reading Harry Potter myself to see what all the fuss was about (and loving it!) and I had some concerns when my youngest started getting fascinated with D&D.  I've since checked it out and I think it seems fine, but these ladies don't want to trust their 12 year olds to my judgement.  They don't know me that well.  I completely don't blame them.  Take me back 6 years and reverse our roles and I might not have let my youngest attend.  So, we are looking for a tabletop role playing game that is somewhat different and does not use magic.  I think we'll find one.  The other alternative is to start a D&D group but advertise it to different people or just restrict it to the over 18 people.  However, within our board game group that cuts it down to 3 and 2 of those are in my family.  :-)  Sometimes socialization for homeschoolers and ex-homeschoolers is difficult.

Third item of news is actually from last week, but I've not been blogging all that often, so it's still news.  Youngest son and I went to the local community college to try and figure out what his status is there with the financial aid office and to look around.  He's trying to decide between an apprenticeship for carpentry and going to this community college.  Right now, I think I'm in favor of the community college for a couple of reasons.  One is that we met with the learning disabilities director and he is going to really be a great help getting through the classes.  Second is that I kind of don't feel our son's future lies in carpentry because he's never really done it and I think at the college he might stumble into what he really likes.  Okay, there's a third.  There will be young women at the college that he could possibly meet.  (socialization issues again!) and (also apparently a fourth!)  fourthly, they have a choir and he really loves singing in a choir and would enjoy that very much.   We'll see what he chooses.  He really needs to get on it, deciding what he wants to do, because August will be here before we know it.

Speaking of things that will be here before we know it, the wedding is in a month!!!  We've got a ton of planning and things to do for that.  It's exciting, but kind of scary.  I'm going to have to dance in front of people!  Terrifying.

I hope you all have a good week.  Don't forget to pray for my aunt!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More pictures.


We went to Mississippi to see our son's graduation!  It was a quick, whirlwind kind of trip.  We left on Friday and came back on Monday, but we packed a ton of stuff into the trip.  Most importantly, my son and his fiance are now college graduates, with Bachelor of Arts degrees.  We also had dinner, makeovers, worked on some wedding flowers, brunch, got to meet a lot of my son's fiance's family, got to meet our son's friends and explore the town he's been living in for the past 5 years.  It was fun and tiring!  The most eventful thing was Saturday morning, during the graduation.  About halfway through, we heard a sound behind us and turned around to find that a man had passed out.  Several people got up to help and they ended up having to call 911 and perform CPR on the man until the ambulance arrived.  It was pretty intense there for a while!  For the rest of the weekend though, we had a great time.  Here are some pictures from the trip.
My future daugher-in-law gave me this succulent garden for Mother's Day.  It was my first mother's day without my mom, so being distracted on this trip was a good, good thing for me.  

We had a really nice hotel suite.  This is the kitchen part of it.  

The college where my son went, William Carey University, was devastated by a tornado in January.  They are rebuilding but have a long way to go.  Consequently, the commencement exercises were held off campus.  We drove by campus to take a look.  

This is my son and future-daughter-in-law's favorite park.  It's where he proposed.  We stopped by to take a look, walk around and play a game of pooh-sticks.  :-) 

We played a lot of board games while we were there including this one, Telestrations in which my son drew a ferret and my other son thought it was a lemon, below.  It ended up being a lemon with legs, crying and exuding rays.  :-)  It's a fun game.  

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The fun stuff.

Not really.   Today I'm sitting at the Toyota dealership waiting for them to complete a 15 point safety check on my car, then I'm going to Hobby Lobby to return a marker that doesn't work.   After that I get to take my dog to get her kennel cough vaccine and then home for cleaning, laundry, dishes and cooking supper.  Another exciting day, but I don't mind really.   :-)

Monday, May 08, 2017

Wedding Prep and Homeschooling and Other Stuff.

We are getting some things done around here.  Most of what we are doing seems to be wedding prep.  We had gotten my daughter's bridesmaid dress in December.  That's pretty easy.  They tell you which dress to buy and you order it in your size.  Mine, which we finally got on Saturday, involved a lot of shopping, one purchase and return; after which I decided not to shop online and then a lot of trying on.   I got a dress on Saturday at Dress Barn, which I just love.  

I've been practicing cooking some of the menu items for the rehearsal dinner.  I have to serve 60 people in a park pavilion in another state, which I am told has electrical outlets, but I am not sure how many crock pots I can plug in.  Also, I don't want to have to work really hard the whole time I'm there, I want to be able to relax some and enjoy myself so I'm trying to come up with a menu that is easy and not too expensive.  For now, the menu is pulled pork barbecue, green beans, coleslaw, potato chips, various drinks and cake for dessert.  They are having a wedding brunch on the day of the wedding, with no cake, so we won't be redundant serving cake.  Also, I can cook the cakes here and ice them there and that will be easy peasy.  Now that I've got that planned and my dress bought, the next thing is to outfit my youngest son who is a groomsman.  That won't be too difficult.  He's an easy size and I've been told what to buy.  

These first 2 pictures are from a trip to Q-Doba during the dress shopping adventures and are to illustrate my daughter's neat hand napkin, table napkin, table napkin, face napkin technique for eating nachos and my pile-o-napkins method.  I just think it's funny how different we are.  The next picture is Cosmo, just because he's cute.  Please ignore the piles of clothes and vacuum cleaner behind him.  :-P   The other pic is a page from the Fredrick Bachman book I just read, Beartown.  Wow, that was an intense read.   I felt like I had truly been in another world for a few hours.  It was more serious/less funny than his other books and therefore I don't know if I'll read it again.  I've already read the other 3 each twice since discovering him as an author last year.  

In homeschooling type news, we had the board game group meetup today which was fun.  We had a good turnout of 8 kids/young adults.  My favorite line from the meeting was when one of them asked if there were any nerds here and another one looked at him and said "Dude, we're all nerds."  :-)   Since we are in the launching stage of homeschooling, I am going to call the local community college and set up my son's orientation.  He still hasn't decided if he's going to community college or going to do an apprenticeship.  We'll see.  I keep trying to prepare for any eventuality, scheduling things like this, keeping up with his application status and scholarship applications and things like that.  I've also started moderating a homeschool group on Facebook, so I'm lending my voice of experience to younger moms, which is kind of cool.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring! (Random news from around here).


It's beautiful and then it storms and then it's BEAUTIFUL and then it rains and the pollen counts are over the moon, but I'm still enjoying spring.  Our lawn mower is not working again and we have huge weeds in our yard, but this seems to have increased our wildlife sightings.  In this picture, there is a turkey right in the center, at the base of that tree.  I know you can't see it well, but we got a thrill out of seeing it.  It was fun.   Then the other day, we had a turtle walk across our deck, notice the hole where the tree fell on the deck and decide that yes, he could definitely fit in there, only to get stuck and need rescuing.  :-)


I can do this!

No, no I can't.  

Spring also brings my birthday and I got a couple of presents and had a wonderful cake, so that's good.  I still don't like getting older, but I do enjoy the cake part of birthdays.  :-)

I'm officially as of last night, halfway through my challenge to read 50 books this year and I currently have 3 that I'm reading, so that's going well.

My daughter only has about 18 more days of work until she's off for the summer.  

Youngest son has decided that he will not learn to drive from me, so I've been fired from that position.  His dad will have to step up or he'll have to wait until his sister turns 21 so she can teach him legally.  That will be in August.  I'm kind of relieved. Now I can take it off my every day list.  Every day I have been asking him if he wants to go driving and he pretty much always says no.  Now I don't have to ask.  It's on him.  It's his responsibility.

In other random news, oldest son is graduating from college next month and getting married the month after that so we're trying to get ready for those 2 events.  I am doing a lot of dress shopping for the wedding, but I haven't found anything yet.

I just set up a couple of board game meetups with the homeschool group.  I'm thankful they let us do this because the group is growing and everyone seems to be having a good time.

I'm also job hunting and job hunting and job hunting, but I haven't (obviously) found anything yet.  I'm tired of it, but what can I do?  Keep trying, that's what.

Anyway, that's the random news from here for today.

I hope you're having a good one!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What is the purpose of education?

Peter Gray is asking for opinions on his blog.  What are the proper purposes for a system of schooling?

I'm not sure how to put my response into words.  Maybe to prepare for adulthood, to teach the basics of literacy and to teach kids to teach themselves so that they never stop learning.

What do you think?


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