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.  

Add caption

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?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The 12 types of Homeschool Moms.

The 12 Types of Homeschool Moms on Blimey Cow.

My oldest son told me this week that I was definitely the "Everything is educational" type of homeschool mom.  :-)

Friday, April 14, 2017

A week of camp.

I'm sitting here in the break room at the Montessori school where my daughter works having my lunch.  She has been off all week and I have been here all week working their camp week.  It's a day camp/day care kind of situation, while the other teachers do spring break.  There are about 18 kids, ages 3-8 and 4 teachers to cover the 10 1/2 hours that the school is open each day.   I'm a substitute teacher here and I had previously worked 1 day, so now I have 5 more under my belt.  It's been an interesting week, a tiring/exhausting week and I've learned a lot.  One thing I've learned is that I can do it.  I worried that I would not physically be able to handle it, but the worst part for me, as an introvert, has been just having someone in my face all day long, not the physical exertion.  I have been coming home pretty tired every day and my house is a mess right now.  I'm not used to balancing housework and working (never have been) so the housework suffers when I am gone all the time.   This is the last day of camp so next week, back to my regular life.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

It's hard to think of titles for posts about not much.

I've used the phrase "not much" as a title before, probably, in the 12 years that I've been blogging.   So anyway, we're doing things, its just not especially exciting, but it's fine.  My daughter has been on spring break from her job and here's what we've done this week.  On Monday, we had a board game meetup. We had a few new kids and one returning kid so it was a good group and they had a good time.  Two of the moms opted to stay, which they don't usually do, so the time passed quickly for me since I had someone to talk to, but I missed hearing the kid's conversations and knowing what games they played.  Still, I could look over every now and then and see that they were having a good time.

On Tuesday, my daughter and I headed to Louisville for her migraine appointment which she has every 6 months.  This time there was nothing but good news as she said that her headaches are only 3-4 times a week (instead of every day) and that none of them are severe.  She is able to use the biofeedback techniques that she learned last fall to 'back down" the pain.  Since we were in Louisville, we went to the gluten free bakery there that we love so much and got a cupcake and cheesecake slice and a cookie, all of which we split.  Very good.

Then yesterday, I went to physical therapy then came home, cooked some Chinese food and watched a really intense thunderstorm last night.  Our electricity went off for a couple of hours, but it was fine.  We all had books.  :-P

Today, we're meeting some friends at a restaurant for a little while and we've got to go shopping for an Easter Egg Hunt that our church is having this weekend.  Tomorrow we will go setup for the hunt and Saturday we will help host it.

Next week is scary to me.  I signed up to work "camp" at the Montessori school and so I'll be working a 40 hour week.  I didn't realize it was that many hours when I signed up for it, but basically, it's daycare for the kids while the school is on spring break.  I don't know how my arthritic knees will hold up but I need the money so I'm going to try and survive it.  It's a terrible feeling when you want to do something, but you don't know if your body will let you.  My knees have been behaving particularly bad this week, so that's not encouraging.   :-(

I'm supposed to be taking youngest son driving every day but we're not doing well on that.  He's on one of his cycles where he stays up late and sleeps a lot of the day and I just haven't made an effort to fit him in.  I need to do better.  He needs to do better.  Our goal is to take him for his test at the end of this month, so we need to get on it.   I think he's got a non-24 sleep disorder which is contributing to his sleep issues so I am not sure how hard on him to be about this.  Also, I know we both have a mild case of post-traumatic stress disorder about the driving, after our first day driving into a big ditch.  Sigh.  We just need to get this DONE.

So I guess we're not done homeschooling; we've still got driver's ed to finish!  Also, my son is still working on learning German and we meet up with homeschoolers every couple of weeks, so it doesn't seem like we're finished.  I guess it really is a lifestyle thing.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

April Fool's Day!

Doing a minimum of jokes today since I have a headache,  but still fun.  I'm filling the shoes with balloons.  I resisted the impulse to set the boots up and neaten up the shoes because I thought that might make them suspicious.   :-)  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Getting verification.

A few months ago I was talking to some friends about youngest son's learning issues and one of my friends recommended that he apply for services at our local vocational rehabilitation office.  So I called them and they set up an evaluation.  About a month ago youngest son met with a psychologist for several hours and just last week we got a report that we can take to the college and ask for accommodations for his now-verified disability.  The reports that we got from Voc. Rehab.  said essentially what I've been saying all along - that he has dysgraphia, but is gifted in all other areas.   I am not sure how this is going to affect his college life and work life, but it's a fact of life and we have to deal with it.  I think he's going to do great in life, once he decides to start.  Right now he's kind of in limbo and I need to keep after him to get started with something.  He still doesn't have his driver's license so that's the first step, then getting him registered for college classes and pushing him to start.  His brother and sister before him have also done this "gap year" and both are gainfully employed now, so I'm trying to relax about him and work on my own job search for now.  (That's not fun, but I'll talk more in detail about that in another post!)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great week.

We had a great week with my son and his fiancee here.  We got to hear a lot more about wedding plans and life plans and we got to have the shower and a bunch of shopping and exploring day trips and a campfire with hot dogs and s'mores, plus a lot of hanging out here at the house and watching TV and playing board games.  Now they are back to their regular lives and we are back to ours.  We hope to go see them for graduation and then definitely we'll see them in June for the wedding.  :-)    

We also celebrated Christmas this week with them because we didn't get to do that at Christmas-time.  This is the gift the youngest 2 of our kids bought the oldest, a teacarina, which is a teacup and an ocarina.  It plays music.  It's very interesting.
At the shower we played a game where the people had to put on one of these fake wedding rings and then if they said the word Alabama or Wedding, someone could steal it.   After the shower, we had a hundred or so left over, so what did my daughter do with them, she made chain mail.  Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.  I wish I'd had these 10 years earlier for our medieval unit.  :-)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Shower pictures.

Exciting Times.

My son and his fiancee are visiting from Mississippi, the first time we've seen them since November.  We celebrated Christmas a little the first day they were here and the rest of the time has been a whirlwind of activity, trying to get things done for the shower I'm throwing for them (today!) and trying to see and do all the things they want to see and do in Kentucky.  They may be relocating to Kentucky to another small town so we drove over and looked at it.  We've been shopping and doing shower prep, visiting, watching movies and playing board games.

I think the shower is going to come together but I invited a lot of people so it's a lot of food and the room we have to have it in doesn't have that much space, so I'm kind of worried about it, of course.  I'm not a caterer and not a professional at throwing events like this.  I've done one large party before, for my son when he went to college.  At that one I served tacos.  At this one, we're doing a fruit tray, vegetable tray, cheese/cracker tray, cake, chips, mints.  It's a lot of work, but I think most of it is done now.  I hope there's not a large aspect of it that I've forgotten!   I have lists and lists and lists, which keep getting revised and re-written as things get done.  :-) These pictures show the prelimary setup.  There will be a banner placed on the gift table and flowers in vases set on all the other tables and a few other things, plus hopefully the food will be beautiful.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Field Trip!

I forgot to mention that last week we took a field trip.   There is a field trip group in Louisville that only does field trips.  They don't meet in other ways as a group, no mom's nights or co-ops, just field trips.  They do them very well.  They have a web site and if you see a field trip you want to go to, you just select that and pay with paypal.  Then you show up at the designated meeting spot and enjoy yourself.  They allow college age kids to participate so we are still going to the occasional one.  Last week we went to Indiana University Southeast and saw a production of Julius Caesar that was amazing.  They did the show with minimal props and only 6 actors playing all the parts.  It was really, really cool.

Today, we are taking advantage of one of the free classes our library does and we are going to make a tartan as a craft.  I'm interested to know how we will do that.  My daughter is very interested in tartans because of something to do with her book - top secret- so she's the one who wanted us to sign up.

The last class I took at the library was the career coaching class and it was great, so hopefully this one will be too.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Frustrating Job Search.

It's really difficult looking for work.  I had a series of interviews last week with a company and today they let me know that they weren't going to hire me.  If they had wanted to hire me, it would have been a difficult choice for me because it was a long commute and the pay was not nearly as high as I had believed it would be when I applied.  Of course, I didn't find out about the pay until the 3rd interview.  :-(    The rules of etiquette forbid me from asking about the salary until I am told what it is, usually with the job offer.  I appreciate at least that they talked to me about it in one of the interviews, with the pay being about 5 dollars an hour less than I was expecting.  Anyway, it's frustrating and I hate it.

I feel like this.
Marshall's Pep Talks

Monday, March 06, 2017

What are they doing now?

In the old original homeschool group there were several families and most of their kids have grown up now and moved on from homeschooling.  Would you like to know what they are doing?

Family 1:
Son graduated last year and is working full time in a T-shirt printing company and likes it very much.
Daughter still has 2 years of high school to go.

Family 2:
Daughter got an associate's degree and then joined the air force.
Son works at a grocery store and has plans to join the national guard.
Son 2 still has one year of high school to go.

Family 3:
Daughter works as a teaching assistant with special needs children, engaged to be married.

Family 4:
Daughter is in junior year of college.
Sons graduate this year from high school and are college bound.

Family 5:
All 3 kids in college and all 3 are working part time jobs as well.

Family 6:
Oldest son works in a machine shop and attends training to be a machinist.
Youngest son still in high school.

Family 7:  Us!
Oldest son just graduated college, engaged to be married this June.
Daughter works at a local preschool.
Youngest son going to college or technical school next fall.  Plans to rule the world soon to follow.

It's fun to see them all doing something, all getting out there and being in the world.  They aren't social misfits or weirdos.  Homeschoolers are doing great.  :-)

Friday, March 03, 2017

It seems like

It seems like I'm doing a lot, but when I go to write about it, it's nothing remarkable.  I work out at PT.  I job hunt.  I clean.  I read.  I got a really good group of books at the library yesterday and I read nearly halfway through one of them last night.  Today called my congressman about some bills going into the Ky house and senate regarding homeschooling.  It seems like this is a right we always have to fight to keep.  Now that I am finished with homeschooling, I'm fighting for the right for my future grandchildren.  

 Tomorrow I'll be having my first ever job interview on Skype, which the though of makes me very nervous.  I'll report how that goes.  The job is one that I simultaneously really want and worry that I can't physically do, so there's that.  It's an "on your feet" all day kind of job, I suspect, and that will be hard for me and my knees, but I want to do it and I need the money.

We have been doing our board game days on Saturday which has cut down on the attendance a little but it was the only days I could get the library, so we've tried it.  In April, we'll be going back to Fridays.  I guess we'll keep doing this group as long as the kids want to, though eventually, they should be able to do it on their own, without me.  A board game store has opened in our area and they do games every night so we may transition to there.  We'll see.  My youngest son still hasn't gotten his driver's license to do these things without me so I have to be involved.  I'm letting him take the lead on this as he did with reading and other things, but it is starting to annoy me.  I both want him to get his license and don't want to take him driving, so there's another one of my dilemmas.  :-)
Scoring from a recent board game tournament with abbreviated participants names.  :-) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


It's the end of  February, almost a year since I lost my job.  I went to a career coaching class at our local library and now I am armed with a better resume and interview skills so maybe I'll find something.  Meanwhile, I'm keeping busy.  I'm continuing to work out in the physical therapy gym strengthening my legs to help compensate for the fact that I have a torn ligament in my left knee and God only knows what wrong with my right one.  I'm doing good.  I'm feeling stronger.  It wears me out on exercise days though.  :-)  I'm working on the house, working on planning the special events we have coming up, working on my reading list, re-learning French, brushing up my MS Excel skills and being the support person for everyone else here at home.

Last week my youngest son was evaluated by Vocational Rehabilitation to see if he is eligible for accommodations in college.  We haven't heard anything official but the psychologist said that he definitely saw signs of ADHD and dysgraphia.  I guess we'll hear something soon.

The scholarship search is kind of discouraging.  All I have seen so far require that he be a high school senior and the fact that he has taken a year off seems like it's going to make him not eligible for much.  I will keep looking, but I don't feel very hopeful.  Thankfully, he's going to the least expensive college in our state, the local community college system  but  I haven't found one that he's even eligible to apply for.  :-(

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Special Events Coming Up.

Right now I'm doing some planning for a couple of events.  My oldest son is getting married in July.  Both he and fiance are gluten free.  (She went gluten free after meeting him and got her Grave's disease to go into remission!)  So now I am excitedly planning both a shower menu and a rehearsal dinner cookout menu.  The wedding it out of state and the shower is local.  Both the rehearsal dinner and the shower will probably be upwards of 50 people in attendance.  I'm serving a full meal, of course, at the rehearsal dinner but for the shower, I'm going to go with finger foods and snacks.  Being gluten free makes everything a bit more complicated, especially if you are trying to stay on a budget.

For the shower, I'm going with a theme of dip, apparently, I'm doing fruit and dip, veggies and dip, gluten free crackers with a cheese ball, punch and other drinks and cake; which my cousin is going to make from gluten free mixes that I purchased at the salvage grocery store.  We eat these all the time and they are yummy, no concerns about quality.  They are King Arthur brand.  By buying these at the salvage store, I've saved about 4 dollars a box on them.  My cousin will do the icing.  She is good at this and she actually did my wedding cakes 28 years ago.

For the rehearsal dinner, it's more complicated.  We'll be 4 hours away from home in a state park and outside in a pavilion.  We couldn't afford to get a room in the lodge because we'd have to pay for catering.  Fortunately, the bride and groom are very easy going and even suggested a cookout.  So we're going to order these hamburger buns Rotella  and grill out burgers.  For side dishes I was kind of stumped.  I'm going to be staying in a cabin with a kitchen, but I don't know how much cooking I can do there.  It looks small on the web site and besides, I don't want to spend the entire day cooking.  I want to do vacation-y things.  Also, I am afraid that things like potato salad will get too warm and be dangerous.  So I called and asked and the pavilion does have electricity so that I can plug in crock pots.  I'm going to have crock pots full of baked beans, green beans and corn on the cob with watermelon slices and some of my special oatmeal cookies that I'm famous for, for dessert.  To feed a crowd like this, I'll probably have to borrow crock pots from several of my friends.  :-)

I'll probably bring potato chips to both, just in case we need to stretch the food a bit.  I need to find amounts of food to make for each and will utilize web sites like this one:  Cook Like a Caterer  and this one:  Chef Menus Quantity Chart

I think it's going to be fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


The word etymology is derived from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία (etumología), itself from ἔτυμον (étumon), meaning "true sense", and the suffix -logia, denoting "thestudy of". In linguistics, the term etymon is used to refer to a word or morpheme (e.g. stem or root) from which a later word is derived.

Our youngest son is very interested in words, their meanings, their origins and roots and what they mean now and what they originally meant.  He has an incredible reading and speaking vocabulary.  Today, he let me know that he has figured out the original meanings and origin of all of the English cuss words and why they are considered rude.   

I'm so proud. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

News from here and a helpful resource or two.

Our oldest son just took his last final exam of his college career.  He's going to walk the graduation walk in May, but he's officially done now.  Woot woot!  In a few months, he'll be a married man as well as a college graduate.  :-)  Youngest son got his most recent acceptance letter yesterday, to the local community college where he will probably start college.  He still hasn't decided what he's going to do.  The girl is reasonably happy in her job and working on her novel.  I'm still hanging in here, unemployed, cleaning, exercising, looking for work and trying to keep the house in order, supporting what everyone else is doing by trying to get all the errands and other things done here at home.

Homeschool helpful resources:

If you are just pulling your child out of school and wondering if they are at grade level and where you should start, here is a helpful resource.    HSLDA Placement Tests.

A good article about play:  Teacher Tom.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

More on Read Alouds

I got this article in my email yesterday from Rainbow Resource.  It's a fascinating article about the value of reading aloud and as you know, around here we are huge fans.  We read some ourselves and we listen to a lot of audiobooks.  Right now, everyone in the house is listening to an audiobook but me.  I'm reading a conventional book.  Anyway, some benefits listed in the article include building a larger vocabulary, increasing reading desire, and making kids fall in love with reading.  You should go read it as well as the rest of this post, in which I copied a post from my blog from 2014.

 As I may have mentioned, we have been doing read-alouds before bed every night forever.  When the last kid moves out, I may have to start babysitting or read to the dogs or something.  Actually, for the past year, since I have been art journaling, I haven't been doing the reading.  We have been either listening to audio books which we either check out of the library or download from our virtual library system.  This has been good for both the kids, because if my daughter doesn't know how to pronounce a word, she'll ask and my son and I both look at it and see if we know what it is.  On the rare occasions we don't (his vocabulary is extensive!) we look it up on to get the meaning and the pronunciation.  It's cool living in this age where that is available.  Also, it is great to listen to an audio book for several reasons.  Those guys all do such a good job.  It's fun to listen to the accents.  As rural Kentuckians who have been listening to an Irishman reading recently, we've enjoyed how they put random Rs in places we wouldn't think to put them.  For example in the Artemis Fowl books, there is a character named Maria which is pronounced Mareer (rhymes with career) by the reader.  Last night when my daughter would read the book we are on, she would pause every time before she said Maria and smile.  Fun times.  Other fun times we have had is when I am reading and I get overly tired and start saying things wrong with hilarious results.  I personally have to pause when I am reading any of the Brotherband Chronicles books by John Flanagan because of the giant crossbow they have in the bow of the ship, causing me to have to stop and think whether I should say bow or bow ... which in turn has led to the discussion of homonyms and now that I am looking up the definition of that word, I see that we also need to discuss homophones and homographs.  I don't remember ever hearing of a homograph before.

Anyway, here is a list of books I recommend reading to your teens or tweens:

Harry Potter  (best ever).
Ranger's Apprentice  (a close second). 
Brotherband Chronicles  (A very good sequel to Ranger's Apprentice with different characters but in the same world, very humorous.) 
Peter and the Starcatchers (The first one starts out really slow but push through this, because it gets way better and very exciting further on).  
Artemis Fowl (He starts out as a criminal mastermind but reforms gradually and goes straight.)
Lord of the Rings/Hobbit 
Hank the Cowdog Probably really for the younger kids but I enjoy these myself at my age.  Mostly.  The one about the vampire cat can grate on the nerves a bit (okay, a lot) and the one by Drover is not good.  Otherwise, the rest are cute. 

Percy Jackson - As mentioned previously the books are way better than the movies.   It is an interesting premise, that the Greek gods are real and have all these illegitimate children  with mortals and if you are religious, you might want to reject these but as we have discussed, these Greek gods would be very unsatisfying gods to have as they are irresponsible, immoral, not trustworthy, etc.  Also, it is assumed that youngsters at 12 need to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. which may make more conservative families reject these.  We have just discussed our feelings about that and went on.  The books are very educational about Greek/Roman mythology.  The companion series to these is
The Kane Chronicles - Very educational about the Egyptian mythology.
The 39 Clues.  Educational about a lot of stuff.  Reasonably enjoyable for all.

A Hero's Guide To Saving your Kingdom and The Hero's Guide Storming the Castle and the other one before that ... these were great.
Dragon Rider - not a series, just the one book.

Some that my youngest son enjoyed on his own, but his sister and I didn't not share his enthusiasm:
Deltora Quest
Eragon - series
Dragons in Our Midst 

This should get you started.  If you read all of these, that's approximately 150 books.  You'd better get started NOW.

We find that a couple of chapters before bed every night is a great way to finish the day.  

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Recommended Books for New Homeschoolers.

The group of homeschoolers that I am in on Facebook came up with this list and I wanted to share in case it might be helpful.
Ruth Beechik Books

102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy (older versions are 100 and 101)
The Christian Homeschool by Greg Harris
Mary Pride Books
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarkson
The Three R's by Ruth Beechick
Homeschooling for the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins
Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Hupp
The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson
Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson
A Survivor’s Guide to Homeschooling by Luanne Shackelford
Free Range Learning - How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon
Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto
Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin
Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson
A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille
Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
The Noah Plan, Self Directed Seminar
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Reading Challenge.

The 2 kids who live here decided to challenge themselves to read more this year.  They want to read at least 1 book every 2 weeks and audio books count.  Mangas which are short and are read very quickly count differently -- you have to read 10 of them to count as one novel.  These are the kids rules and it's their challenge, but I decided to join in.  I'd like to read 50 books this year.  I don't think that's a crazy amount for me.  The main difference for me is that I will be keeping up with what I read.  I wish I had always done it so I had a list of every book I'd ever read.  Wouldn't that be fun?  Oh well, anyway, I can start now.  It's like that Chinese proverb --"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now. " So, I'm starting now.

Here's what I've read so far this year.

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar   My review:  I enjoyed this and would like to read more by this author.  I don't think I'd want to read it over and over again as I do some.  :-)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  My review:  Pretty good.  The fact that the main character has a drinking problem and sometimes doesn't know what she has been doing really adds a depth to the mystery.
Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve  My review: This was a second reading.  It's okay.  It's actually a children's book, one of the prequels to the Hungry City Chronicles, which I have read in the past and enjoyed.  The reason I chose this one was that we hadn'd gone to the library and it was here at home on our own bookshelf.  I may read the HCC books again at some point.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah  This was pretty fascinating, a look into South African culture.  I would recommend it.

I may have to throw some shorter ones in there to get the 50 I am challenging myself to read this year but we'll finish the audio book we are listening to together tonight and I can count that one.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

It's weird.

It's very weird being unemployed.  I am not sure how to act.  I've been doing quite a bit of cleaning during the time that I have been off and lately, I've been working very hard on getting in shape.  I've been going to the physical therapy gym and exercising for 45 minutes 3 times a week.  I still have more cleaning and organizing to do, my bedroom and the laundry room are crying out for re-organization, but after working out, I am so tired.  I'm getting there though.  I did 25 minutes on the exercise bike this morning and the rest of the time did knee physical therapy exercises.  I have improved on all the exercises and I am feeling better.

I am going to start working at the Montessori school where my daughter works as a substitute and I've been doing some things to get ready for that.  They've pursued me.  I would like to work there, but I like to have a daily routine and so being a sub doesn't really appeal to me.  I said no twice and finally, when no other job has presented itself, I said yes, reluctantly.  I really want to find something more regular, but maybe this will work into something.

We're working on wedding and shower plans and that's exciting.  We're going to have a wedding shower in March when my son and his fiancee are here visiting us.  I'm also working on getting my youngest son assessed for his learning disabilities so that he can get accommodations for college and filling out college applications for him.  It seems likely that he will go to the local community college.  I don't think he wants to leave home right away and I am good with that.  I will let you know how it goes, going to college with dysgraphia/dyslexia or whatever it is that he has.  It should be interesting.  Hopefully, the college will be easily able to accommodate his needs and he won't feel embarrassed to need the help.   We went to vocational rehabilitation yesterday and though they don't think he will qualify for their services, they are going to see if they can get him assessed for us so that we will have documentation of the learning disability.  This is the kind of thing that homeschoolers have to do, because he's not coming from the public school system with an IEP.

That's it for us.  It's quiet around here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Some things never change.

First you have to go back and read this post from 2005.  I'll wait.

So, 11 years later, our youngest son (age 18) was up last night, doing laundry or something in the laundry room and started looking at the water heater.  He got curious about one of the valves/safety features on the water heater and, of course, couldn't resist twisting it.  It started dripping, so he put a towel under it and made a note to self to tell his parents about it in the morning.  Unfortunately, he was up late and didn't exactly wake up in the morning.  I got up, went into the laundry room to do some laundry and heard dripping.  At this point, the water had soaked the towel and gotten on the floor a little, thankfully, not too much.  I contacted my husband at work and he had me take a picture of the leaking part and send it to him, stopped by and bought a new valve and came home from work a few hours early.  After he got home, youngest son woke up and came in to tell us about the valve and the curious episode to confess and apologize.

So to sum up.

Cost of valve:  16:00
Other costs:  Half a vacation day.

Son reminding us how some things never change .... priceless.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Some random things since the New Year.

These are in reverse order, because that's where they were on my phone.  The lion is a painting my daughter did in art class.  She just does a good job at everything she sets her mind to do.   I really can't wait until her novel comes out.  :-)  
The next 5 pictures are some of my art.  I've started doing some of it actually in the bible.  Someone put me into the group Illustrated Faith on Facebook and this is what they do, so I'm trying it.

These next 4 pictures have to do with the new homeschool group we joined a couple of years ago after our old one disbanded.  We have board game meetups every other week with them and this is the group of games we took last time, followed by a picture of the game Labyrinth which is one of the games we got for Christmas.  I like it very much, but it makes me feel that everyone else is way smarter than me.   The last picture here is of the huge, ginormous Nerf battle we participated in for New Year's Eve.  That was fun.   It was inside a local high school.


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