Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Last year: Blogging Bust

I didn't blog at all last year.  Homeschool mommy burnout was in full swing.  On top of that, the senior was being a bit difficult in getting his work done.  It seemed that I was always dealing with him instead of focusing on the girls.  In retrospect, I really wasn't but it sure seemed that way during the year.

Our graduate celebrated his homeschool finish with a small graduation party.  Family and friends came from all over to celebrate with us.  It was a wonderful day.  We are truly blessed!  The graduate starts at the community college in August.  He really wanted to go off to school but after looking at the cost, he determined it was better to live at home which is free and have homecooked meals.  I think he thinks his favorite, chicken pot pie, will be on the menu often.  
The week after the graduation party, we celebrated my stepson's wedding to his beautiful and very sweet bride.  It was a wonderful event and we had a fabulous time.

My garden wasn't quite finished this year.  I never did plant the green beans.  I made some other areas larger but that meant building a new green bean bed and I literally ran out of time.  I have been sorting and dumping all kinds of junk in the house and was busy painting for the graduation party so it was never done.  I'm disappointed but there's nothing I can do about it now.

Another major even this month, is hubby's retirement ceremony from the US Navy.  We are very excited and I'm busy working on his scrapbook for this event.  Did I mention that I had to do over ten years of scrapbooking photos for the graduate's event?  ugh, Never again.  I plan on starting to work on the girls this winter.  I don't want to go through that again!

I am just starting to work on lesson planning this week.  I gave myself a much needed and well deserved break from homeschooling.  I have found that I am now more interested in getting creative.  The last two years we've been doing textbooks and workbooks.  Homeschooling was accomplished but not really fun.  I plan on amping up the fun this year.  

As usual, I am utilizing Homeschool Tracker for my lesson plans.  I really really love Homeschool Tracker.  I can insert all of my lesson plans and then move them over to the assignment grid when needed.  It is so very nice!!  This year, I will include chores on their daily schedule and give the older girls a login to check their assignments off when completed.  No more printing out the daily schedule.  I'm excited about that part.  

Enjoy your summer!!  I'll be back soon after the retirement!!  I'll be busy finishing up lesson plans and canning!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

The days that we pioneered.....

So last Saturday our water starting come back up into the basement.  Everytime we used a sink, tub, or toilet.  Thankfully, I discovered it after one toilet flushing so it wasn't too bad and it went down the drain in the basement.

So for the entire weekend, we used a bucket or the great outdoors as our bathroom.  Showers were done at a friends or we washed up in a little tub we emptied outside.  Good times.

Thankfully Monday afternoon I was able to get the guys out to pump out the septic.  We had it done last year and knew that our septic was on its last legs so I assumed that was the issue.  I was wrong.

On Tuesday, the plumbers came and discovered that there wasn't a clean out valve down in the basement so they took a line through the bathroom toilet.  It worked and we were good to go.....for about six hours and then it happened again.

On Wednesday the plumbers were able to come back and cut all the pipes downstairs, clean it out, and put in a new clean out valve.  There was feet of gunk in the pipes.....apparently its never been cleaned out since the house was built 80 years ago.  The previous owner also used to pour grease down the drain which added to the gunk.  Last year we had to replace the kitchen line because it was filled with grease. 

So after five days of using a bucket as a latrine, we finally are able to flush and use the sinks and tubs.  Thank goodness!!  That was exhausting and yucky!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Literally on the go.....all the time....

Or so it seems anyway.  We currently have activities Tues through Friday nights and will be adding riding lessons on Mondays.  Thankfully Tues is only twice a month and Wednesday nights are only for a few more weeks, we'll take a short break, and then start again with a different bible study at church.  Thursdays is banjo lessons for Bug-a-bug so that's not really a big deal and Friday night is youth night at our church and I just drop off, someone else brings them home.  Its still tiring though.

School is going well.  I'm enjoying the year so far.  I'm a little behind in lesson planning some items so I hope to get on track this week.  We have eye exams tomorrow and that will take a few hours with buying glasses also.  So I'll use the remainder of the day to take care of some homeschooling items.

I started working on writing a high school government class for Schoolhouse Teachers.  I'm still just on the second unit and hope to have the class done soon for them to be able to start it up.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes and hopefully doing another class or two for them.

I'm sorry for the short post but I must run.  I'll try to get on here later this week and write a more detailed post.  Until then God Bless!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

update in pictures

So we have been incredibly busy here.  I've already decided next year in Sept and Oct we will only do school four days a week.  There is so much canning and gardening work that needs to be done, I just can't keep up with it all.  Plus, we have to get everything ready for winter.  I'm still not done but thankfully its been really really nice out; in the 50s which is unusual for us. Yesterday it was in the 60s and I opened the windows. 

Here's some pictures from the girls' rodeo that took place in Sept.

Princess Buttercup with her ribbons; two first and two second place

Careful around the cones

Princess Daisy riding Moonshine

Being careful not to knock over the cans

Bug-a-bug riding Windsor; her favorite horse

Princess decided not to participate this time.  The girls have been taking riding lessons since March.  They each participated in four different games.  It was a long but fun day.  They absolutely love Morning Glory stable and so do I.

TL has bought a guitar and started taking lessons.  He's doing really really well and enjoying learning an instrument again.  He did piano and violin when we were in Japan.  Bug-a-bug wants to learn "country instruments" like violin (fiddle), guitar, and banjo.  We'll have to see if we can get something going next year for her.

The youngest three are still in American Heritage Girls.  Princess didn't want to but decided to try it again on Tuesday night.  I'm hopeful that she will be want to join us again.  A lot of really wonderful girls for her to be with.

TL is still in taekwondo although a foot issue had him miss many classes this summer.  He went to Philmont with his scout troop but has decided that he's pretty much done with scouts.  It saddens me that he won't make eagle but I understand that with the issues with leadership and the lack of organization with our troop has changed his attitude towards scouts.  Still he's working a lot and doing okay with his school work so he's a pretty busy young man.  And of course, he's very helpful around the house here.  I depend on him a lot and am very grateful that he does whatever I ask of him without questioning or complaint.

School is going well; although we are a little behind where I wanted to be.  Not too bad considering all that has to be done here to get ready for winter.  We're really getting into some good stuff now and the girls are really enjoying their lessons.  The littles are learning about volcanoes now.  I can't wait to pull out the rocks from our kids from Northwest Treasures.  I'm loving the books that come with the kits.  Full of some really fun things for the kids to do.

We had our two pigs butchered and now our freezer is literally stock full of pork.  I'm excited about that!!  Hopefully the chickens will start laying any day so we'll have fresh eggs once again.  And the pantry is getting full with the sales items I've been buying.  My goal is to have several months worth of food on hand.

I'm busy making some items for Christmas gifts now.  Doing some knitting and making some quilted items.  I hope to get some done for around the house also.  I never seem to have enough time!  After Christmas I will be focusing on scrapbooking;  TL  is graduating and his book is done through age six and hubby retires and his hasn't been started yet.  UGH!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I'm here! I'm here!

Busy busy first few weeks of school.  Getting back into the swing of things proved harder than I thought.  The big girls volunteer one day a week at our church's free after school program and American Heritage Girls is in full swing.  Plus, the girls have riding lessons one day a week until the end of October.  Last week was their rodeo and it was so much fun!  Thankfully TL drives now so I don't have to run him to taekwondo or Boy Scouts.  He's had a nasty corn on the bottom of his foot from standing at work so much so he hasn't gone to taekwondo the last few weeks.  It is too painful.

We've only done four days of school each week.  That may be the norm from now on in September.  Its still canning season and trying to get it all done is proving difficult.  Last week I canned 10.5 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 6 more quarts of chili, and 20 quarts of applesauce.  I still have 5 more bags of apples to process.  I hope to get 16 quarts of apple pie filling and the rest in more applesauce.

Once the canning is done I need to clean out the barns and garage for winter.  It shouldn't take long but it keeps me very busy. 

I'll see ya'll on the flip side!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First day done!!

I didn't take any fun first day photos.  I should have but didn't.  I had a blazing headache all day long today.  This afternoon it was even worse.  I imagined that I was a pressure canner and just wished I could release the pressure in my head.  Thank goodness its finally gone!

We have quite a successful day today.  Got everything done without grumbling, complaints, and even finished early. 

I need to call the doctor first thing tomorrow thought for TL who has a corn on his foot that is very painful.  We've tried the corn things but it isn't gone and since he stands all day long on his feet at work, it needs to go.  I haven't put our schedule together for tomorrow yet since I don't know when or if I will be able to get him in.  I tried calling this afternoon just to book an appointment but six weeks from now is not realistic.  If I can't get him in I may end up in urgent care and who knows if they will even remove it there.

I was very excited to find Reading Rainbow on Netflix for my littles.  Who doesn't love Reading Rainbow right?  I still loved it in sixth grade when we went every week to the tv room to watch that and some boring science show.  Apparently, Princess Daisy hates's not filled with enough action.  Princess Buttercup and Bug-a-Bug were entertained though so I guess its not ALL bad.  lol 

Take care everyone and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

On the homestead:

I'll be finishing up lesson plans tomorrow. I'm excited for this year but I've been really busy with the animals and garden.  Our pigs head off to be butchered this week.  I'll be really glad to have a full freezer again (and very thankful for more bacon!)  The chickens are growing well and we should be getting eggs from them in another six to eight weeks.  I'm happy about that.  I've been buying eggs for the first time in three years and not enjoying these egg prices at all.  The cow should be ready to butcher sometime in April/May.

This week I've accomplished a lot of canning.  I'm glad that the tomatoes are finally coming in because I can a lot of spaghetti sauce and chili to get us through those cold months.  I use green peppers and onions from the garden.  Only the oregano, basil, and garlic are bought to season the sauce.

This week I've canned:
  • 8 half-pints of spiced pear jam
  • 10 quarts of corn (I didn't have anymore room in the freezer)
  • 4 quarts of green beans
  • 9 quarts of chili
  • 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce
  • 6 half-pints of raspberry plum jam
I've added more zucchini to the freezer.   This week I will be pulling up all the onions and carrots.  I have a few more green beans which we will just eat for dinner.  I also grabbed the broccoli before it flowered and we will have it for dinner tomorrow.  We've been also picking a bowl of raspberries off the vines every day this week and just snacking on those.  Too little to can; well probably not but the kids eat them to fast.

On the homeschool front

Last week we did math and literature every day, with some days being more successful than others.  I wanted the kids to have a little under their belts before we jumped in feet first on Tuesday.

I just realized that I didn't post what curriculum we are using this year.

I will do that tomorrow or later this week as time permits.  I'm too tired right now and hot from standing in that really hot kitchen.  Thank goodness we have air conditioning because its been close to 90 everyday with 90% humidity. 

Have a wonderful Labor Day and blessed week!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How a homeschool parent gets ready for school

Ways that a homeschool parent gets ready for the school:

1.  Shop for school supplies.  Go to the nearest store and wander around the school supply area casually grabbing the needed crayons, markers, glue sticks, pencils, and paper for the year all while watching the moms with the page long list of supplies that their kindergartner needs.  Giggle to yourself while that mom races frantically from aisle to aisle searching for that elusive item on their list.  Your cart totals $30 in supplies for three kids and hers is $100 for just one.

2.  Shop for curriculum.  Take a few friends for a girls’ weekend and head to the nearest homeschool convention.  Go out to eat, relax, sleep, and enjoy yourself all weekend long while public school moms are busy at home shuffling their angels from activity to activity trying to get everything done during summer vacation.

3.  Shop for school clothes.  Well, that really isn’t necessary since most days your kids spend in their pajamas so just stock up on some nice warm flannels and you’re done.  Meanwhile, the other moms are dropping a mortgage payment making sure that their children have the latest fashions so they are not picked on during the year.  You cruise in and out of the store while they circumnavigate the mall three times with three cranky children who never seem to find what they like.

4. First day of school-Gather at the window in your robe and drink your favorite coffee or tea. Watch all the kids and their moms gather at the bus stop.  New clothes, backpacks, sneakers, and everyone is smiling and taking pictures.  After the bus leaves, go rouse your children out of bed and start your first day by letting them wear pajamas for the day.

5.  Week one.  Watch the neighborhood kids get on the bus still smiling because they are enjoying their first few days at school.  You spend the day teaching your child about Michelangelo.  Then you tape paper to the bottom of the kitchen table and let them color and paint just like the Sistine Chapel.

6.  Week two.  The neighborhood kids are now miserable and tired at the bus stop.  The moms are racing after them bringing items that they forgot.  Other sleepy kids are munching on a pop tart.  Bagged lunches designed by pinterest ideas have been replaced by PB&J.  You still watch from the comfort of your window, sipping your coffee, and then rouse your kids after the bus leaves.  This week’s study is on the Oregon Trail and your children are making food that was made on the trail, playing the game on the computer, and packing for their own simulated trip in the house where you’ve set up problems for them to solve in each room.

7.  Week three.  It pours for two days.  Mom are sitting in running cars at the bus stop so their kids don’t get soaked, which unfortunately they do when they tried to leave the car to get on the bus.  You spend one day at the local science museum and the next day helping your kids research a scientist or invention to do an oral report.

If only this were true!!  We have as many struggles as public school parents. 

·        We sharpen pencils every morning only to have them sucked into the void the next morning. 

·        Planning is often difficult and ruined when the flu bug hits.

·        A run into the store after a field trip yields strange looks and the “why aren’t your kids in school?” question.  This produces an entire uninvited conversation on “don’t you worry about socialization?”

·        Most days we want to curl up into bed and pull the covers over our heads. 

·        Leaving the kids to do their school work quietly while you change the laundry around results in a full scale shouting match and eraser war.

·        There is not enough caffeine in the world to make it through the day

·        Pinterest lunch ideas are thrown out the window.  Open a can of ravioli and call it lunch.  Add an apple and you’ve added a fruit.

Best of luck to all my fellow homeschool parents!!