Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday's Random Thoughts

0) Please skip down and read #10 first-thanks.

1) Woman can indeed live on Chex Mix alone. I have tested this theory twice this fall already. I am not only fine, but have stored up several pounds for my winter hibernation. Bears are SOOOOO lucky. They just come out all svelt and slim in the spring. Just in time for swimsuit season.

2) McDreamy, McSteamy, McVet--oh my! (If you don't know what I'm talking about. The rock you've been under is too big.)

3)Danny Bonaduce is trying to rev up his acting career by playing in a guest spot on CSI. Only, he is dead the entire episode! Way to work those acting chops. (Sorry, I just thought that was too funny.)

4) I just made the best batch of chocolate chip cookies I have made ever. EV-ER!

5) I have recently realized I am going to miss the "We Wanna Meet" deal here in DFW. It's the only weekend my MIL has a day off from school. So, while all you cool ladies are here (in Dallas) I'll be there (in Sweetwater).

6) The good news is that I love my MIL and am very excited to see her! I'm not just saying that either. She doesn't even read my blog.

7) Because of #1 and #4, I am going to get up at 6:30am tomorrow and go for a run.

8) Did I mention how good those cookies are. Excuse me while I go have another.

9) I used said cookies to teach Reia 9 times 2, 3 and 4. I don't know if she actually got it, but since they were there, I thought we'd count it as school. Do you think God will keep the calories out of my body since I turned it into a lesson? ...........Me either.

10) Last, but the most important, please be in prayer for Theresa. Her surgery has turned into two surgeries. She has had several complications and will hopefully be released tomorrow. I will let her give y'all the details since I don't have her permission to do that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Homeschooling Journal: September

This is going to be pretty boring to most of you. Feel free to read on, or don't. I still love ya!

Biting Off More than We Could Chew

I would guess that everyone, even hsing moms, get excited about school starting. For us this meant getting into a real life structured routine. For the first time since Reia was born we were going to have places to be on regular days and times.

We were to start our week off by taking Mini-T to MDO (mother's day out) and then Mini-me and I would go to the library for our books and then off to ballet. After ballet we could go have lunch with a friend or have a mommy/daughter field trip or whatever. At 2:30 we would pick Mini-T up, and go home to get dinner ready and do some minimal school work.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays were to be days at home. School in the morning and errands after nap. On Wednesday night, Mini-me was going to AWANAs. Thursday morning we had to be at Fellowship for the homeschool co-op classes of which I am teaching two. Friday was a family day with daddy since this is his only day off.

This doesn't seem like much, but when you add this to our FIRST YEAR of doing something all together brand new (homeschooling) and the fact that we have always been at our complete leisure in the past, it was quite a shock. It didn't take long for me to re-evaluate and ditch AWANAs and I will probably pull Mini-t out of MDO in November if her napping doesn't get better. It's not worth the few hours Mini-me and I have to ourselves to deal with a cantankerous two year old for the hours after that until bedtime. I won't make a final decision until the end of October.

I figure we have many years of homeschooling so I can take my time and decide what works best for our family. And, what works best may change over time.

Days of Peace

For the first several weeks, it was terribly chaotic. Every day brought a new "issue" that had to be dealt with. Also, we were trying to have school with a toddler thrown into the mix and include her. I really wanted to re-think homeschooling altogether on multiple occasions. Are we ever going to get the hang of it? I started to question why I wanted to HS in the first place. My answers were still the same and still more than valid. I knew I would stick it out at least two years.

After letting the frustration subside and just letting go in general, we started to have some very peaceful days. We changed our routine to include school during Mini-T's nap time, and then Mini-me's room time after school. School only takes about an hour when we are not constantly interrupted by little fingers! Plus I was able to really focus on her and what she was doing. I noticed she really responds to my undivided attention and praise. (I know that shouldn't be a surprise, but ...)

We turned the tv off except in the afternoon while I am trying to get dinner ready and they have played outside for an extended period of time. It never ceases to amaze me how much difference I see in the girls without the influence of the boob tube. When the weather is nice they play outside so nicely. Yesterday, I sat on the couch for at least an hour reading while they were giggling and playing in the dirt. Ahhhh, peaceful.

For the Love of Learning

I was talking to a friend this morning who is also a HSing mom and former public teacher. We both teach a class at co-op together and were having to rethink some of our lessons. We started getting on our favorite websites for teachers of preschoolers and kindergartners. We sounded like two kids in a candy store. I love pouring over lesson plans and getting excited about various ways to teach a certain subject. I told her being a teacher was just "in our blood". But what I realized later as I was reading the Charlotte Mason Companion she gave me was what I really loved was the learning. Not just for me, even though I was the one in college who took classes that got me nowhere in my degree just because the subject matter was interesting (Fall of the Roman Empire comes to mind), but I love to see my students get genuinely involved and wrapped around a subject. I want them to love learning as much as I do.

That is part of the reason I homeschool my children. How could I not want to be a part of watching them grow in this area? See them get excited about a new character or hypothesis? Watch them develop into thinkers and doers? All for the love of learning.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Celebrate Good Times, Come on!

Last night we went out and celebrated my birthday (a few weeks late) with friends Greg and Richelle . We had Buca diBeppo for dinner and then Ad-Libs for entertainment afterwards.

We were all surprised that Buca wasn't all that good. I had the best meal (eggplant parmigiana) and even it wasn't stellar.

Ad-libs was indeed funny. It's a comedy troupe that requires audience participation. I particiapted by watching and laughing. It reminded me of "Whose Line is it Anyway?" with Drew Carey.

I just wanted to thank Terry for a wonderful evening, and Richelle for suggesting that we not only go out, but she made this adorable cake for me! She is quite the talented artist. (Shameless plug: if you live in the DFW area, this is her business and you should check it out.)

Ok, this is a pretty boring post, but I've only had a few hours of sleep and I really wanted ya'll to see my cake. =) I have decided I am too old and my children get up too early to stay up past midnight anymore. I am, by the way, celebrating the 6th anniversary of my 29th birthday and my hair is still it's natural color.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Ahh-Ha! Moment

I knew one of the best things about homeschooling was going to see Mini-Me "get it". Whatever IT was. Tonight it was reading.

We are using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons after it was recommended by more than a few HSing moms. Since we had company over today, we didn't get around to the reading lesson until about 7:30pm. (Thank goodness they only take about 15 minutes each.) So, as we get to the end I see her face completely light up. She points to a word several inches down on the page and just sounds it out and then says it fast.

After I encouraged her she did it with every other word she could read with the limited number of letter sounds we have learned. I don't know that I have ever seen her that excited. She has been so ready to learn to read. I couldn't be more proud!

Goodnight all!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Homeschooling so Far

So far, we have been homeschooling for five weeks. And each and every week something substantial has happened to cut entire days out of our precious homeschooling time. The car getting fixed, searching for a new washing machine, a trip to Miami, me getting what was either the stomach flu or food poisoning--not sure which--has made me feel a bit behind. And I don't like it very much.

I was truly hoping to be far enough ahead that when these beautiful fall days rolled around, we could play hooky and spend the day with friends who live in say, Frisco. But when they call, I have to decline. Nope, school.

I am not discouraged to homeschooling. Just re-thinking my "plan" a little. I know it reqiures so little time each day since Mini-me is just in kindergarten, so it takes quite a bit of the pressure off. Still, I much prefer when I am on schedule. Or ahead of said schedule is even better.

Any advice from you seasoned Homeschoolers out there?

(BTW, Clementine, thank you for the links you send last time. I am enjoying them!)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

And How Have You Been?

When I was taking one of my teaching "classes" via alternative certification, we listened to a speaker on organization. He began by describing several personality types. We were supposed to figure out which one we were. I knew the second he started mine.

He held up his hand with all five fingers spread. I thought, "That's about how many items/tasks I can focus on at once."

Then he said, "Some of you can only handle this much on your plate at one time." Like I said,...

He continued. "When a sixth item or task appears, and it is more important than one of the other five, something will fall off the radar until there is again space for it." Uh-huh. Yes, I concur that would be me, and something is about to replace you (speaker) on my list because I am sure I have more important things to do with my mental energy right now.

As of this moment, my five things are as follows:
1)Wife (that pretty much stays at the top unless a mothering emergency happens)

Clearly, you can see that Blogging is no where on that list. It would actually rank about 7 or 7b right now. Really, I want to do #5a at this moment, but thought I could take a 10 min break to do a quick 7-7b. I did take a few earlier to write this friend a letter. I say that here, so she knows when she gets it a month from now, it's because I don't have any stamps and even though you can buy them at the ATM for pete's sake, I'll still forget for at least three weeks.

Anyway, homeschooling is more challenging than I anticipated. My public school teacher self is still at odds with my homeschooling teacher self. You would think having been a teacher, HSing would be easier. In reality, it makes it so much more convoluted. Your brain is so trained to "do school" a certain way. HSing is much different. I am still so glad this is the path God has set us on. I can see Mini-me and I both have a lot to learn!

Time's up. See ya'll eventually. (Don't take me off your bloglines just yet. I'll get the hang of the new schedule sooner or later. Maybe I'll just start sleeping less. HA HA HA HA! Ok, really.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pizza Box Meme--a little late!

I was tagged by Susie, oh, a while back. I didn't forget, but we did start the fall schedule around here and my blogging time has been a bit limited! On that note, I am still reading your blogs, just not having tons of time to, onto the meme!

What was your favorite thing about being a kid?
Riding my bicycle all over God's green earth with no worries of being kidnapped. (Really, who would want me?)
What was your favorite subject in school? History, and then all of my teaching courses in college.
Who was your best friend when you were ten? My sister. We had just moved to Texas and I didn't know a soul. She was a great playmate!
If you could be any animal what would you be? My dog, Ellie. She eats all the food she wants without getting fat, sleeps where and when she wants, doesn't have to clean or make the bed....
What would you change about your school, occupation, or life right now?
Nothing--I'm enjoying the tarnation out of it!
What is your favorite color? Blue--nice and calm
What is your favorite crust and your favorite pizza topping? Medium crust, peperoni, dipped in ranch dressing. Pretty boring, I realize, but I don't try too much when it comes to food.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who's Your Rockstar?

I am going to go out there and say that I think Toby is going to be the new front man for SuperNova. Just a hunch. Three weeks ago, I would have said Dilana, but I'm pretty sure she blew it with her female drama. If you haven't been watching--you've been missing out!