Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Holidays

Today was President's Day. I was planning to teach today. We were going to have school. That was the plan.

Unfortunately, I started the day ... tired. It's as simple as that. Not to mention, my ears were plugged and that means extra noise, and even just my own talking, makes my brain crazy. All I really wanted was to be alone.

So, we can usually get through a morning like that and just get a later start. No biggie, since I didn't have to work today.  But no ... instead, my mood went farther south. Along the lines of depression, or mourning. Could it be because my good friend's grandma is dying and she posts the most beautiful status updates about her latest visit with her? This reminds me of my own father's last days ... I recognize the moments she's describing. Yes, I think this could be it. And as much as I'd like to avoid her posts in order to avoid these feelings, I just can't. You'd have to read these posts to understand their beauty and why I wouldn't want to NOT read them.

Anyway, all this is to say: Momma didn't feel good and didn't want to do anything with her kids today, so school was cancelled ... it just happened to be a holiday.

The funny thing is, when a holiday-no-school-day happens to fall on a Monday, and the kids have had no school all weekend ... Andrew. gets. bored! He managed the day pretty well, but by about an hour before bedtime, he couldn't keep it in anymore. "I'm bored!" he cried.

No problem. By that time, Momma was feeling better and was ready for some interaction. (Not our first of the day, but the first that I wasn't forcing myself to do it.) Luckily, Andrew and I had started reading a book about Thomas Alva Edison last week (he loves non-fiction, historical fiction, biographies ... and just about anything else that I'm willing to read to him so he doesn't have to read it himself). I started to pull it out and he complained "No, not school!" (Obviously he wasn't THAT bored!) However, he didn't know what I was pulling out. When he realized what it was, he was more than happy to curl up with me. We read a few pages, with a lot of discussion as well, and some internet research into where Milan, Ohio is and what telegraphy is, and a telegraph machine, and the Universal Morse Code.

We didn't get very far in the book, but it was ... like my friend's posts ... a beautiful moment. We ended because he was yawning, ready for bed.

This was the most precious moment of my day, this time spent "doing school" with my 9-year-old son, when he thought we weren't. How thankful I am. How thankful I am.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Days Are Like That

Most days I just have a general outline in my head of what I want to get accomplished. I'm lucky if we get most of it covered. If I write it down, we're more likely to get it done ... but when I don't write it down, it's sometimes more interesting where the kids take things themselves.

Today is a work day for me, which means that I have to get a shower in the middle of our "school day" ... because I'm not one of those "early to rise" people. Quite the opposite. I stumble from the bed after waking "naturally," and it's best not to ask me anything too complicated before I drink at least a third of a cup of coffee. It's just who I am.

I generally put the shower off until an hour before I have to leave, but today I taught up until lunchtime, then took off to get that shower in ... really, just because I was cold and wanted to stand in the hot water, not because I was feeling ambitious. 

My plan was to return to MY plans for the school day after my shower, but Annie had other ideas. They are playing games in Sunday School as they learn to recite the books of the Bible in order. When I came back downstairs, she was busy crafting Books of the Bible flashcards for herself, and alternating that with reading from a Bible storybook so she can learn more about the people from the Bible.

Yeah, some days are like that. Self-directed. Self-taught. Why mess with something that's working?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Days

We don't usually take snow days at our house. The neighbors (public-schooled) have a free day today because we had freezing rain last night that left the roads icy-slush covered. Since we don't leave the house, we have no need to skip school due to weather, although, because we are kind of laid-back schoolers, and because we rely on some electronic media for our schooling, if we had a power outage, we'd probably use that as an excuse. Then again, I might use that as a day to read extra history or do some kind of science experiment I've been saving, or paint ... something we don't do as often.

Nope, we don't need the weather for this mom-teacher to declare a day off. But I wanted to share some reasons for why we DO take the day off from school sometimes.

  • "Ugly Gray Days" - Sometimes, when the weather is disgusting, ugly, sloppy, wet, gray and nobody feels like doing anything productive, I just don't force it. We take the day off.
  • "The First Nice Day" - Oh me oh my! We live in Ohio ... we wait and wait and wait sometimes for a nice day to finally get here. Once it does, you might as well forget school! The kids head outside to play, the dogs go outside to the kennel, the windows go up, the door stands open, and Momma gets busy cleaning ... because nice weather energizes and inspires me! (And having everyone out from underfoot finally is ... ahhhh, wonderful!)
  • "Sick Days" - If I have a child who is sick enough to need care (i.e. vomitting), or they have something that makes them miserable (one just got over a sinus infection and pink eye in both eyes), or they are sick enough to need a doctor, then school is definitely not in session. 
  • "Momma is Sick Days" - No substitute teachers here ... if Momma is sick, school is canceled. That said, there are days when Momma is sick, but school work can still be done, albeit a little differently. The kids can watch PBS shows like "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" and "Wordgirl." They can play educational games on the computer. They can do their independent workbooks. (Now that we're also trying Time4Learning  they can work on their lessons on there as well.)
I will go a little more into "Momma is Sick Days" in another post, because sometimes Momma is REALLY sick, and I want to share my thoughts on this. Until then, what excuses reasons do you use for canceling school?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time4Learning Review

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for a month in exchange for a candid review. Their online program can be used for homeschool, as an after school tutorial and for summer learning. My opinion will be my own, so come back and read about my experience. You can write your own curriculum review, too!

You'll be able to read my review in a later post! Until then, happy days, everyone!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sonlight Curriculum

I've been drooling over the Sonlight catalog for months now. Have you seen all these glorious learning materials, all in one lovely bundle?!? Do you suffer from create-your-own-curriculum-itis? I did. That particular disease was causing lethargy and discontent in this homeschooling mama!

This is our 3rd year of homeschooling, and we love it. But I'm tired of reinventing the wheel. Also, I started working part-time, and my kids aren't getting any younger. I need someone else to do the research, find the books, make the worksheets, and lay out the plan!

As I started looking for an answer to my desire for someone else to do the planning for me, I remembered Sonlight. I had resisted it in the past because of the money and because it seemed like more work than I could handle (I had been sick for some time until we diagnosed my severe lactose-intolerance, and, in addition, a condition with my uterus that required a hysterectomy).

I started looking at Sonlight again, a few months ago, online. Then I requested that they send me a catalog. Oh me, oh my! Let the slobber run! (Ewww. No, don't.) But I think I did actually maybe drool a little.

I read, and noted, and read some more, and changed my mind about the levels, and finally wrote out all my decisions on every aspect of where I wanted to start the kids as soon as we can start. I wanted to start with the New Year (2012), but the finances haven't jived right (hubby has a new, better-paying job, but their payroll department has messed up our budget with the timing of their MAILING of his first few checks (always over a holiday weekend, making it come several days after the anticipated paydate).

Soon, soon, I will be ordering from Sonlight. Until then, keep something handy to protect yourself from the drool!

What curriculum materials make you drool?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Time to regroup.
Time to think, rethink, get it figured out.

Get what figured out?
The homeschool curriculum conundrum.
The budget.
The schedule.

I was doing great. I was making progress. And I was being SO patient as I waited, and waited, and WAITED for some money to work its way into our lives. Then my main man, my hunka hunka hubby, got a new job! With more pay! (I know, call me blessed.)

So finally, it's almost here, and I was trying to make a plan for a little to go here and a little to go there and a LOT to go THERE ... when the man came in and effectively shut down my operations.

See, he's been waiting too (it's only fair, he's the one working for that check!) ... and it seems he had plans for that money too. Unfortunately, his plans and my plans don't jive. He wants a LOT to go SOMEWHERE ELSE, and then a little here and a little there.

But alas, that extra money is only trickling in! I am slowly, ever so slowly, doling it back out to pay this bill and that bill as they come due ... and waiting for the new employer's payroll department to get onboard with MY program!!!

I think they need to regroup. ;)

Did you regroup over the winter break? (Did you take a winter break?!?)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Momma's Got a Job!

Our local public library has a new addition. A new employee. Someone who really wants to work there.

Me! (Yay!)

I wasn't really looking for a job, even though I wanted one. Sure, I checked into the career boards now and then, and checked the job openings pages for our local university and community college once a month, and I did take applications to a few places a couple weeks back because I was so feeling the financial pressure.

But, as a homeschooling mom, my husband made it clear to me that he did not expect me to go out and get a job just to try to make ends meet.

But I tried to keep my eyes and ears open just in case God had a plan that meant me working in order for Him to be able to provide for our needs.

Then lo and behold, I stumbled across an ad in the newspaper ... we don't even GET the newspaper at our house! We happened to be at my in-laws to pick up a tractor on a Saturday. I picked up their's and was reading it. There was a published list of people who were behind on their taxes, some of whom I knew. I asked if they were done with the paper so I could take it home with me. I wanted to pray over those names.

It just so happens, the employment classifieds happened to be in the section of the paper that I took home.

It hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw this little ad stuck in the middle advertising a part-time, evenings and weekends position as a Children's Services Assistant at the library! What could be better?!? I already practically live there, I know the Children's Services manager and another employee in that area, I can still do school during the day and Daddy can be with them in the evenings, and besides earning a small paycheck, I can make a contribution to our community.

I whipped up a resume to turn in with the application they required. I hand-delivered it on a Sunday afternoon, 6 days before their deadline. They called me the day of the deadline (Friday), asked if I'd like to come in on Tuesday for an interview. (Would I?!?) I interviewed on Tuesday and was offered the job on Wednesday --- a week and half after delivering the resume. It was meant to be.

I start on Monday. Today is Saturday. I can't wait!
My To Do list hasn't changed for this weekend though ... "Go to library" is still on it!

Watch out, world! Momma's finally got a job!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where Do You Grow?

It’s In the Valleys I Grow
by Jane J. Eggleston

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe.
It’s then I have to remember
That it’s in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced some pain
I would never appreciate God’s love
And I would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow.
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it’s in the valleys that I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do
But, I am very sure of one thing,
My Lord will see me through.

He’s never failed me yet
Since His grace I’ve come to know,
And I can face life’s problems
For it’s in the valleys I grow.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death
His victory was Satan’s loss.

Forgive me, Lord, for complaining
When I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it’s in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for the valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it’s in the valleys I grow.

Copyright © 1977, 2005 by Jane J. Eggleston (Williamsburg, Virginia).

Monday, September 26, 2011

That would be no.

The answer is no.

We are not moving! Anyone who follows me on Facebook already knows this only too well.

I am ecstatic! I am thrilled! Now I can just get on with my life! Yay!!!!!

So, getting on with my life ... ugh. The 8-year-old son is crying. The 10-year-old daughter caused it. She's now here to admit that she hit him because he was having an attitude with her and she didn't like it.

I sent her off to go fix the problem. She caused it, she can fix it.

Back to my life ... my printer bit the dust. Not fair!!! Every penny we've saved has gone into our new barn, every penny we can get on credit is being considered toward the new barn. I don't have money for a new printer! And I use my printer/copier multiple times a day for our school work! Errrggg! Not fair!!!

Things I want ( but not really):

  • to go back to work so I have more money
  • to send my kids back to school so someone else can deal with them
  • to live closer to a grocery store, the library, and more neighbors for the kids to play with
Things I want (really):
  • for my kids to just get along
  • for my kids to WANT to do schoolwork all day everyday
  • a new printer/copier with a lifetime supply of free ink and paper
  • for groceries to be magically delivered to my door daily, for free (a girl can dream, right?)
Things I have:
  • the freedom to worship as I choose
  • the freedom to educate my children at home, any way I'd like
  • an extremely supportive husband
  • good friends
  • a barn (it's not built yet, and it's not actually truly paid for either (dang debt), but all that wood and steel is mine, by golly!
I'm reminding myself that it's good to count my blessings. Hope you're counting yours, too!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

What's it gonna be, Girl? Yes, or, noooooo???

I don't know. Still.

My dear, darling husband has been offered a new job. It's a great offer. It might be the answer to our prayers about him being delivered from his current awful job. We didn't go looking for this job. It came to him. And they REALLY want him.

But we will have to move if he takes it.

Brian has lived in this county all his life. Grew up here, went to college here, settled here.
I came to this county at the tender age of 17 for college and never left! I like it here.

But I might like it "there" too.
Facebook allows me to stay friends with people all over the world.
There are so many what-if's, I can't sleep at night.

I just want to know, for sure, which way we're heading with this ... going or staying? Either way, I can wrap my mind around it. But I can't keep up with all the gazillion mind-numbing thoughts that are plaguing me in the interim.

Oops, that's him calling now.