Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

We are staying in our pajamas today. I am so excited not to have to be anywhere or do anything, well except a quick run to the post office for a dear friend to sell her some of our Rashees ( rash guard shirts with SPF 100+). We got out the Lincoln Logs for Keaton and are managing to keep him occupied. We are starting the Romantic Period in classical music. I am even thinking we should do a beginning summer art project. Maybe with a beach theme. We used our bikes again to ride to the park on Monday evening and it was perfect. Not too far, everyone got to get off and play for a while. I almost felt like a Guppy. Michael's father said our generation was being referred to as this because we are "green" yuppies. Have to admit it sounds about right, I do like my coffee drink just not in Styrofoam and preferably with organic, shade grown, bird friendly coffee. Also see my post about the Vitamix as reference to my guppiness.
Denali has been working on her Latin puzzles book this morning and I am remembering why we don't grade even though we are so strict with our schedule and our choice in curriculum. She is truly loving to learning. It is so fun to see them develop as learners.
Bryn has been continuing with her logic puzzles but also her reading is just amazing. She went from wanting nothing to do with a book to finding great pleasure in taking a book to a corner and resting. It is a relief to me as I am not sure what to do with a child who does not become giddy ina book store.
Keelin is in need of curriculum that does not need so much help. The directions need to be a little more clear so every five seconds she is not yelling "HELP." I might just feel this way because she yells as though she is actually drowning and it is not the help I am trying to avoid. This will be my plan Thursday night when Michael is at poker.
Michael and I spent last night grooming the dog which sounds perfectly easy when we say we have a five pound poodle but he is 15 years old and it takes forever to get him to cooperate. I refuse to have him muzzled and so 3 hrs later he is about 2lbs lighter. Good he is not any meds based on his weight cause we would have overdosed him. Wish I had a before and after picture, but we tag teamed the process last night. About half way through, I realized I hate when we do this with grooming or any job where it is ever so clear when two people have done the job only one should commit too. We clearly have two different visions of what the dog should look like. Another case for Michael to point out that I must let go of the perfection need in my life. Did I mention I thought I had begun too? Well, we are off to find a great art project to try. Maybe it would be good to take pictures of this.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Maybe Monday

Today is the day I have been putting off all my tasks all weekend and saying I will get to those--maybe Monday. Paid bills, grocery shopped, and managed not to lock a child in the car. Yesterday Michael handed Keaton the car keys while he buckled him in the seat. He then closed the door and before he could open the front door, all the doors locked. I tried to stay calm and mention that he only had a few minutes to TALK (loosely used) Keaton into unlocking the doors. Picture Michael telling the girls to stay away from the doors so the baby won't drop the car keys and forever lose the opportunity to open the door without the assistance of some stranger and drawing attention to our lack of parental foresight in seeing this as a potential disaster. After a few small minutes, my brother in law offering to find the security guy in the soccer parking lot and me trying not to get upset, Keaton honked the horn at least 12 times before getting the right button and unlocking the door. I could say very little about this incident since many years ago, I not only locked my children in the car but also a friend's kids. In my defense, the car was running and the ac on in that case. It did however require the assistance of a locksmith and the many people gathered. It was very embarrassing and a good reminder to be more careful with my keys. Back to the point, with all the weekend things on my plate for Monday, I was quite careful about this issue today on our errands. Thankfully tomorrow is slower and we don't gear up again until Thursday.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


It is Sunday night and I believe we are officially soccered out. Three games on Saturday and two today. Many hours on the field and what an incredible weekend weather wise. Keaton was in his element outside all day. We managed to squeeze in two Harry Potter movies and a quick pool party to celebrate soccer season. It has been fun and filling but this week holds far less activity. Thanks to Auntie and gang for showing up at the games. Thanks to Nana and Papa for hanging out all weekend with us and supporting the girls all season in the sports. No more Lead classes this week and we are going to finish up some school stuff and then begin our summer schedule next week. I am going to meal plan before I go to bed so I can grocery shop in the AM. Poker night Thursday and another pool soccer party will complete our week. Possible trip to Asheville this weekend. We are loving our bikes so if we don't take a trip this weekend, I am sure we will be on our bikes.

Friday, May 16, 2008


My latest craze began 6 months ago. I really want a Vitamix. In every vegan/vegetarian cookbook I own, it recommends one for a staple in your kitchen. For those of you who don't know, it is more than just a blender. It can cook soup, make healthy ice cream, grind flour and knead bread. It is like a wonder machine but of course it has a nice price tag to go with it's wonder. You may now be wondering just how much. Well, I am a big fan of believing I am worth a whole lot. If I were to work outside the home, with my AMAZING talents I would bring in at least 6 figures ( yes, even with the teaching degree). But the vitamix requires a bit more justification. I am a Juice Plus distributor and health is of the utmost importance to us. We eat organic and unprocessed foods. We have no food coloring in the house. And yes, we do cheat here and there but we make it a practice to try to honor the body which houses our soul. Does that sound like a justification for the pricey life changing appliance? I am hoping someone who is reading knows how to reduce the price from $650. In the very long run, I am sure it will pay off. This is just a very similar process that we went through to buy the hot tub. Michael has to decide we are worth it and it has health benefits that can not be measured in money. So if any of you have one, used one or want one-please leave me a note so I can sound more convincing. Or better yet. VITAMIX could just send me one and I could blog every day for a month on the different things I have made to increase our quality of life with their outstanding time saving device!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thirteen things to do on a rainy day

1. Nap- which three of my four children are doing now. Of course, it is also what I should be doing but I am making yet another list.

2. Read- but this I do on sunny days, windy days, etc.. today I did read more on Writing Strands, Reading and am currently reviewing Science programs. Noeo and Real Science 4 kids top my list.

3. Paint my toenails but this requires no one waking up and then stepping on my feet as they ask for a snack. This must be done at night after everyone has been asleep for 1hour and fifteen minutes. This is an exact time because sleep cycles in our house tend to be very light at the 45 minute mark. If I paint at the 15 mark, I have at least thirty minutes for my toes to dry before someone needs me. More complicated than you thought huh?

4. Bake bread. I love to bake bread and am hoping that if I wait long enough for my Vitamix, that baking bread will become so easy that I will do it daily.

5. Another ploy for my Vitamix- I could be making icecream right now in a matter of a few minutes and it would be so healthy I could serve it to my kids for breakfast ( or so say the infomercial on the computer).

6. Knitting or crocheting -of which I do neither but have plenty of close friends and family who could teach me and then I could occupy my free time with these hobbies. Oh yeah- no free time.

7. Clean- I do love to do this and am very OCD but today just seems like a good day to ignore all my to do lists.

8. Make a cup of tea. I wish I was English and afternoon tea became such a ritual that I would never forget and then wish I had made tea at 3 or 4pm when I am in need of a jolt of caffeine and a peaceful moment.

9. Teach- with all the curriculum I have in our school room I am sure to find something we have yet to do and would engage everyone but instead I sit here and wonder what things we need to finish before June 1. No need to add to that list by finding one more thing to do.

10. Exercise- this sounds good until I rationalize out that I have already showered for today and have dinner plans with people so I must be clean and smell good tonight. If I were to exercise, I would need another shower and that would put me over my allotment for the week. Perhaps some of you are familiar with the young baby, no shower every day syndrome. It is one of the secrets kept by moms.

11. Shop online for all the things that are needed soon and some that will never be needed but desired. The top of this list is,yes, the Vitamix. May I take a moment to justify. My blender blew up and we are health nuts. It is recommended equipment in every cookbook I have and it could remove a few items from my counter.

12. Eat- I could try to eat something without anyone asking for a bite, demanding a different version of my original snack.

13. Blog-this was my best plan. It gives me a chance for my brain to speak out loud and not to look crazy talking to myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today's school

Wow- it gets harder each beautiful day to stay focused. We complete soccer this week which will free up a few nights. Also we have started a garden again. It will be small and so far I have managed to control Michael. One year, unbeknownst to me until it was 4 ft tall, we were growing corn. I have English garden in mind, Michael has wild unruly 45 acres where no one cares in mind. Anyway as we plant today, I will take pictures and hope to post for Wordless Wednesday. We are planting eggplant, squash, tomatoes, cucumber and many herbs which become costly. Last year we planted mint and are currently overrun with it. So if you are in the area and wish for mint, please feel free. We are having a better start to our day. Bryn has finished Spelling for the first grade. Denali is a few minutes short of finishing her Latin for class. She will need to review all summer so as not to lose her vocab. And Keely- well we are just trying to keep her occupied so she does not drive us all to madness. we have piano today so hopefully we will get new songs. Two weeks of the same song is a bit much for these short nonsense songs. But alas we have not taken up drums-- much to be grateful for!

Monday, May 12, 2008

our school work

We are trying to finish things before our school year ends and our summer school begins. Yes, that does sound silly but in my OCD mind it makes perfect sense. And in my world this eliminates the need for me to keep up with a small piece of paper with these lists.
Denali is to finish her handwriting, her Latin curriculum with Abbey, and a good bit more of her Wordly Wise before Memorial Day. She is going to finish: Singapore 4B, Cyber Ed Earth and Space, Perplexors and Venn Diagrams from Critical Thinking, Wordly Wise and study one period in Music for the summer. By September 1 this will be done or we will not go to the beach without school books!!! I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle with summer coming and the ever busy Keaton.
Bryn is going to have finished by September 1: Singapore Science Book 2, Singapore Math 1B, Handwriting Italic C, Spellling Workout A, Explode the Code 3, and Eclectic Reader 2.
Having typed this out, I feel this may occur as I must rise to the occasion now that it is published.

We did begin today Classical Karoke for kids. It is a lot of fun and organized well in my humble opinion. Keeping in mind, I would rather be listening to eighties music through now. But somehow I feel that this is an important part of teaching in the classical way.

My list for Expo includes:
Spelling Workout B and C F and G
Easy grammar Grade 6 and wkbk Grade 2
Critical Thinking Book 1 and 2
Singapore 5a and 5b 1a and 1b
Perspective Time Line Game (looks very cool and I may not wait until Expo)
A World of Faith
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (yes-we should have had this years ago and no it is not pricey)
A Child's Story of America
Handwriting of some sort
Easy Writing???
IEW??? (wow did I write that but I got another recommendation for it - must see it myself to decide with it's price tag)
Odyssey Story of the World and Audio version of Volume 1
Any of the Shakespeare Can be Fun Series
Copywork and Dictation book (looking for recommendations here ??)
and then anything that just inspires me - which to say is the whole place!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday thirteen

Katrina inspired me with her list of if money were no object in homeschooling list so here goes:

1. A science teacher- it is my least favorite subject to teach but I find others who are fascinated and passion about it very interesting. I like the nutrition and health aspect of science but find it all a little too heady for me. I would love for someone to come inspire my kids each week into becoming scientific in their thinking and research.

2. Audio books by the dozens. I like to (or have developed) the necessity of multi tasking so I found that audio books are great. I can make muffins while the kids hear history or even just a classic novel.

3. I have to agree with Katrina and say unlimited funds would keep us experiencing the world and not just reading about it. Travel!!

4. All of the IMAX films

5. A geek squad guy to help me (ok do it for me) all the cool things I know exist like my computer hooked to my tv screen so we could all watch the shuttle liftoff without tears of who can see the 17in screen.

6. A pottery wheel and kiln- these are things I have never used but always thought they would be amazing therapy and less caloric then my current therapy of ice cream.

7. A schoolroom with 3000 sq ft - a chalkboard and magnetic area, a science experiment area, an art area - basically a school sized down a little.

8. The entire collection of Critical Thinking Company stuff.

9. A greenhouse for growing things, specifically indoors to control bugs and mosquitoes without chemicals and to be able to have tomatoes year round (they are not tasty in winter flown from South America).

10. The capability of the itouch with maps on the wall. I would love to use my fingers to spread or shrink an area that we were discussing. An interactive map that would allow us to really understand where things are.

11. Meet the Masters - the whole series. My girls love to do art but it is pricey and requires my undivided attention. So maybe a young teen to help entertain the baby while we do this.

12. A writing program that inspires my kids- whatever the cost!!

13. My actual dream would be for me to set up a school in a big house and make it a boys only and girls only for curriculum but share the common area like kitchen and science. The school would have only 5 kids per grade grouping. It would also be more fluid in grade levels. I would hire only passionate people for each subject so that in reality, each child would be taught by someone who could not help but inspire all the kids. I have grand visions and just need someone to fund my beautiful plan!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Birthday and Beach

We spent the last few days at the beach celebrating Denali's birthday and attending a wedding. It was wonderful and the weather was perfect. Michael and I got new bikes after Denali got a new one from my parents for her bday. We spent hours riding around Hilton Head and Keaton would have preferred that we ride home the hundreds of miles but I am guessing that is because he is not sitting on a pole but instead a cushy baby seat and does not have to pedal. As always, I am reminded that the kids need more safe places where all our answers are yes. We stock the fridge and pantry with healthy options, head to the beach and let everyone play in the sand, ride bikes, and RUN as fast and as far as we can see them. We are returning to school and busy plans for the weekend but well rested and revived.