Category Archives: #nablopomo

All Those Words

Homeschooling, for me, brings a lot of joy and a lot of stress.  I mean, come on, it is now my responsibility to get them to learn all the things.  With reading being at the very core of all the things.

Teaching this skill, is not really a straight line type of thing.  It is very much one step forward, a thousand steps back.

Caitlyn came from the public school with a great grasp on reading.  She was driven and learning.

Sue, not so much.  She had learned none of the fundamentals or sight words in kindergarten and had no desire to learn any of it.  We worked and worked.  I tried everything.  You might even remember, that I dyed my hair to get her to read a Fancy Fancy book.

Wow.

I worked year after year to get her to read.  And now, in fourth grade, I think it has finally clicked.

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As she says, “I can read mommy’s texts now!”

Patrice has been my next one to teach how to read.  Honestly, I love to read.  I have been reading since I was very young.  I really thought teaching my girls how to read would be my favorite part of homeschooling.  It is not.

Teaching her how to read is tedious and tests all my patience.  Telling her 1,000 times what the e does the a (makes it say its name) or how to say th together is not as fun as I dreamed it would be.

But the gratification when she gets it?  Priceless.  When we first started learning to read, she refused to read any boring words, which was about half of the English language.  It was not fun, but all the sudden, one day–it clicked and she wanted to read.  She was excited about getting through the pages of her books.

I’ve been flying high ever since.

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Helping her sound out want or out is still not a joyride, but we are both having a lot more fun!

Sparks are a Flyin’

Back in August, for Caitlyn’s birthday, we got her a snap circuit kit.  It has parts and pieces for making almost 200 electricity projects.  She ignored it, for the most part, when we first got it.  I was kind of bummed.  I had heard from so many homeschoolers how great they were and how much their kids loved them.  And it was a dud with my daughter.

This week I learned that wasn’t exactly the truth.  Apparently, she had lost a key piece to the kit and was stuck.  Well, that problem has been solved.  Sue or Patrice lost our TV remote this week.  It is still missing, but while looking in one of the bedrooms, Patrice found Caitlyn’s missing piece.  Ever since, Caitlyn has been churning out project after project.

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Unfortunately, the kit, while it has the pieces and instructions to make 150+ projects, it does not have enough pieces to make the projects and keep them set up.  Each project can be made one at a time.

I have enjoyed watching her put together the various projects and my favorite part was when she looked at me today and said, “thank you for getting this for me!”

A little electric current of joy to mama’s heart!!

The Ever Wonderful Caitlyn

I think today we will just feast on the wonderful and lovely that is my oldest daughter, Caitlyn.

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Stewing

Last night, there was something bothering me.  I went upstairs to be alone.  And started stewing about it.  Then a kid followed me up to my room.  So, I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t making my situation better by focussing on it.  For once, I made a good decision, and headed downstairs to play a board game with the girls–Bible Trivia for Young Readers.

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I figured I was a shoo-in to win.  I mean, I have been going to church for 37 years, I went to Christian Schools for a few years, and I graduated from a Christian College.  This should be a walk in the park… 😉

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Caitlyn was a little upset when she got one wrong 🙂

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Sue had a couple questions give her a challenge.

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And Patrice actually beat us all by one point!

In  my, overly educated defense…the game was set up with a little bit of a twist.  For every time you got a question right, you drew a little card that had a random number of stars and that was your score for each question.  So, I might get a question right and only get one point, while Patrice might get a question right and get 3 stars…and at the end you added up the number of stars you had, not the number of questions you got right…so before you doubt my years of education, I did actually get more right than the girls did, but I had less stars on my cards.

Don’t you feel sad for me?

Either because I lost to my 6 year old by one point or that I am pathetic enough to explain to you how and why I lost…

Science Outside

We are having a crazy, wonderful fall.  It is quite unheard of to be outside in shirt sleeves on November 14 and yet, here we are…outside in shirt sleeves!

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Sue has been begging me to explode something.  I normally brush her off, but today, I said, “let’s make a plan and do it.

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I went to the best website in the universe, Pinterest and found this “recipe.”

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And started getting all the materials around to explode some sandwich bags.

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One half cup vinegar.

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A couple drops of food coloring.

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Finally, add one Tablespoon of baking soda wrapped in a little bit of toilet paper, seal it in the bag.

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Back up, watch it grow and pop pop!!

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(Hubby says to try dry ice next…)

Sometimes it is Worth it.

A few weeks ago we were out with my mother-in-law and passed a restaurant that I like, but is a bit heavy on the budget.  I jokingly told my hubby he could take me there for our upcoming anniversary.  We all chuckled and went on with what we were doing.

Then, a week or so later, my hubby stopped by his moms’ for something, and she handed him a gift card for that place I mentioned hubby could take me for our anniversary!

What a sweet surprise.

Well, our anniversary came and went.  We ended up somewhere else as we were celebrating with our girls in tow.

But today, my brother-in-law and his wife took our girls to the circus (my in-laws are pretty great!) and hubby and I had time just the two of us.  And we weren’t too far from the restraunt…we grabbed our chance.  It was an Italian place, so I had been careful with my diet in case there was no way to avoid some of my food issues.  I told hubby I had done that.  He said, “I don’t think that’s how that works.”  And he was right, it’s not and I wasn’t able to avoid all of the food irritants, so I am paying for it a bit tonight, but I have to tell you it was ALLLLLL worth it!

I had tilapia, hubby shared his steak, we even had dessert.  I had a safer-ish dessert of cheesecake.  We talked about the book I just finished reading, we talked about politics (of course), and (again, of course, talked about the girls.  It was fantastic.  And then, because of the adventurous couple we are, we hit the grocery store.  Yup, living it up.

We laughed, we joked, we ate.  Several hours later I stand here at the computer with my stomach getting more and more upset…and it was still worth every bite, every moment.

Those Girls

I loved the show “Say Yes to the Dress.”  Loved it.  And since that was in our baby birthing years, hubby let me watch it when I was a big pregnant mess.  So most Fridays we would watch an episode or two.  For some reason, I loved how Randy always referred to the brides’ chest as “the girls”.  I just loved that.

Well,  my girls got a workout today.

Not that kind of workout, get your mind out of the gutter.

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Yup, I am telling you I had my first mammogram.

I am a year overdue, but I got it done.  And it was the quickest test I have ever had.  I was in and back out to my car in 25 minutes.  The technician was fantastic.  She explained things, she worked with me to get where I needed to be “on” the machine, and then took the time to talk me through results information and reminding me not to freak if there is a call back for more images.

Ladies, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  Really.  If you are the age where the doctor or midwife recommends you get a mammogram, don’t put it off for a year like I did.  Get it scheduled, get it done.

Consider it self care.

The Complexity of Loss and Families

I grew up about 5 hours from where I now live.  This sometimes makes trips to see family difficult.  It seems like it should be so simple, but it’s not.  Yes, it is close enough to do the drive up in less than a day, but also far enough away to take a good chunk of a week in order to make the travel time worth it.  Now that I write that, it sounds kind of stupid, I should probably stop being so selfish and just make the trip…but I don’t.  There are always commitments or appointments.  There is always something.

That whole thought process is complicated enough.  It gets even more complicated when I have biological family members I have not seen in over a decade, that my children, and possibly hubby, have never met.  How do I explain to my family that we need to drop everything and make a trip up north to see other family members they didn’t even know existed?

In the past, I have just shoved down my thoughts and feelings and didn’t make the trip…yet again.  And felt guilt and confusion over the entire situation.

All of this came back up this week.  A great aunt of mine passed away on Tuesday.  She is on my biological fathers’ side, so again, we haven’t had much interaction with her in a long time.

But at one time, she and I were pretty close.  My mom, step-dad and I went to church with her and her family for several years (kind of odd I know, but we lived in a small town).  I have many fond memories of her from those years.  She was very loving and sweet to myself, and so many.

Yet, while I have thought of her many times over the years, I have not spoken of her much, so again, how do I explain to my hubby and girls that I need to make a five-hour trip to go to a funeral of someone they have never known?

Once again, I will package all these thoughts and put them mentally on the shelf, never saying a word about wanting to go to her funeral.  And wonder again how life gets so complicated and how to balance it properly.

Sigh.

 

I Wept

Facebook was a disaster of differing views for weeks, months, leading up to the Presidential Election.  So many declared they couldn’t wait for it to be over so Facebook could go back to normal.  I agreed, but secretly knew, it wouldn’t be that quick or simple.  And it’s not.  My Facebook feed is filled with so much anger and fear.  It is filled with people demanding to know how others voted or they might unfriend them.  It is filled with rage.

Yesterday, I sat down and connected with a friend.  And I wept for her fear, for her children’s fear, for my confusion.  I wept for us.

I told my children that our job, more than ever, is to look out for our friends and loved ones who others might not accept as equals…to reach out to help our friends who are black or brown, who are disabled, who believe differently than we do.  To love them more fiercely than we ever have before.  Love them sacrificially.  Love them when it’s easy.  Love them even more when it is hard to do so.

We need to love each other with the love of Christ.  We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus, helping those we see in need.

I don’t have all the answers, I don’t have any really.  I have no idea how that love will look most of the time, but I know it is a good place to start again, again, and again.

 

We Don’t Skip Thanksgiving Here

Sue has a November Birthday.  It often falls very close to Thanksgiving.  She gets really perturbed that the stores go right from Halloween to Christmas.  Where is Thanksgiving people?!  I knew this craft just had to be hers when I saw it.
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That’s right folks, a gingerbread turkey.

Peace and Joy from my family to yours in these days we face.