Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Week My Schedule Fell Apart

Week 3 started out unusual for us. Monday, as I previously posted, was the day DH took the kids out for part of the day. That left us playing catch-up in the afternoon, but we got our list accomplished.

Tuesday we had a low-key day at home. This was also our first day of Science for the year. We are using a new science curriculum Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry. I do not enjoy science and I thought this was a very simple yet attractive curriculum that might help ME. T loves science so I'm not sure it matters what curriculum he uses. So far the beautiful colorful books haven't helped :)

Wednesday we left early to meet M's friends at the park. We started doing this last year after I realized most of our outings were boy centered. We created a "Little Girl's Playgroup" within our local HS group and started meeting weekly at a local park. M loves it as she is the most social member of our family. I enjoy meeting with the other Moms, but truth be told, I'd rather stay home. I see it as an interruption of our schedule. However I feel it is important for her to have the social time. No, I didn't say socialization! ;) Also, it is an opportunity for both of the kids to get a little PE time. The little girls like T to chase them and anything that gets him to voluntarily run is a hit for us.

Another new opportunity for us this year is local homeschool enrichment classes. I have a friend who helps facilitate the classes and she has been trying to get me to join for a year. I was reluctant for several reasons: driving distance, cost, and the time it will take out of my weekly schedule. She finally made me an offer I couldn't refuse and now our Thursdays will be spent with other kids learning karate, self-esteem, magic, and print making.

After a busy week, our Friday was catch-up day. Since we did not intent to be gone on Thursdays I had scheduled a full day of lessons. We did get a few things done on Thursday, but we did double up on a few lessons on Friday. We started our year slowly, so this was not a huge burden on the kids. T had lost his computer privilege for the day anyway, so this kept him busy for a little while.

Overall we had a pretty successful week. I now need to readjust my own schedule to include our "extra" activities and hopefully settle into a new routine for the first half of our year.

Friday, August 27, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 3)

1. I am exhausted. I was on the go for two days this week and that pretty much exhausted me. I've been blaming my exhaustion on my classic introversion, but now I am wondering if it is more related to my low calorie diet?

I am on a low calorie weight loss plan. I'm not going to argue the merits of one plan vs another. I won't argue that a low calorie plan is healthy vs unhealthy. I will just say this: I have lost 50lbs and I have NEVER lost more than 10 lbs at a time my whole life.

I love to shop for office supplies. Maybe I should get a job in purchasing? I made my weekly rounds to the office supply stores yesterday. Target had a 3-pack of tape for $1 and medium binder clips for $1. Honestly I never thought I would use binder clips, but they come in very handy. I went to Office Max and spent 3 cents!! No, that is not a misprint. I bought 3 reams of loose leaf paper for 1 cent each. (where is that cent sign shortcut again?)

My daughter cracks me up. We were studying proper nouns this week and talking about the proper names of people in our family. I asked her what her Grandpa's name was. She said "Queen Duck??" with a confused look on her face. Oh my, I laughed so hard. The way her brain works is so intriguing... (My Dad's real name? Donald King)

I hate science. I bought the kids a very elementary science program this year. We are doing a PRE-Chemistry level so I thought I could handle it. The first day I got stumped with "What is matter?" I couldn't really explain it. It doesn't help that my introverted brain struggles to find the words to express my thoughts. It also doesn't help that I have absolutely ZERO interest in science. It is too bad the kid's Grandfather, who happens to be a chemist, doesn't live closer.

The Sims sucks the life out of you.
My super nice friend gave me a copy of The Sims 3 recently (thanks Nathalie). I was so excited. I have been a Sims fan for over 10 years and really wanted to try the newest version. It is pretty cool. The graphics are great and Wow, it has a lot of interesting features that are so advanced from the original version. My kids love it also. We love it so much that I spent most of the day Monday playing it. Yeah before I realized it my husband was home from his errands and I thought I was a virtual person named Mommy who worked at the hospital and has really cool hair! Seriously it is super easy to get caught up in trying to advance your Sim's life that real time passes by way too quickly.

My hair sucks. Speaking of my Sim's awesome hair, mine sucks. I am very impulsive about getting hair cuts so this is not a good feeling. I was trying to wait until November to get a hair cut, but now I have hair envy. Do you think my beautician will laugh if I bring in a picture of my alter ego?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Trying something new...

FOR TODAY Monday August 23, 2010

Outside my window... the heat of August in Florida

I am thinking... that I need to be working on my history spreadsheet, but I need my DH to help figure something out

I am thankful for... the peace and quiet I am enjoying while my wonderful husband took BOTH kids to the grocery store

From the learning rooms... starting our 3rd week of homeschool... planning on beginning our science lessons this week

From the kitchen... DH is making pork chops and grilled veggies tonight

I am wearing... a new (ok goodwill purchased) tank top and some shorts

I am creating... yet another day planner

I am going... to be in a great mood after this wonderful morning alone

I am reading... several books including Shattered by Karen Robards

I am hoping... that I get myself organized soon

I am hearing... beautiful silence (and the fan on my laptop)

Around the house... things are fairly under control except for the porch

One of my favorite things... my morning coffee

A few plans for the rest of the week... girl scouts, meeting friends at the park, first week back to cub scouts, trying to start TKD for T

Here is picture I am sharing...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today is Day #8 of homeschooling for the year and yet I am still knee deep in the planning process. Well, really more of the logging process. I do have the majority of the year semi-planned, but I am still busy inputting all of the information into my HS Database program. Frankly I am wondering at what point I should just give up? My friend Nathalie has used this program for years and really likes it. I ended up buying it last year on her suggestion and I really appreciate all the ways you can use it and apply it to your daily needs. The problem is, I'm not sure I actually have the need. The organizer in me loves the fact that all the information is neatly stored and organized in the database. The realist in my is still trying to figure out why it is necessary. So here I am 10 days in and only 1/2 of my information is inputted. I think if I wait much longer I will be too far gone to want to go back and log what we have done. The other part of me really wants to utilize the database but just can't seem to find the uninterupted time to complete my project. I have tried to complete parts of it in the evening but I quickly learned that as soon as I am interrupted my mental focus quickly disappears. Where can I go hide out for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 1

I would say we had a fairly successful first week of homeschooling. Of course, how would anyone know since I haven't posted on this blog for a week! I have a mental hangup because every time I decide to post, the "photo" issues I have with blogger stop me in my tracks. My friend Nathalie posted about this last week, so at least I know I am not alone. Apparently though she actually knows how to fix it. :) I don't really enjoy reading blogs without any kind of clip art or photos, so it is hard for me to post this without an accompaniment. I will try to drown my anal retentiveness for a moment and continue with this posting.

Last week:
1. My son did very minimal complaining. If you lived in my house last year you would understand what a HUGE accomplishment this was.

2. My son did not complain when given his math assignment and actually did it!! (See #1, math being our most hated subject)

3. My idea of getting DD6 (our social butterfly) a CD player for her bedroom is working out great. When I am busy with DS and she starts getting restless I am sending her to her room to straighten up while listening to books on CD or accompanying CDs to her lessons.

4. We had a great Thursday: Our HS friends came over to swim with us and then Ts friend N got to spend the night while I got to got to MNO with my friend (N's Mom). We had a delicious steak (for me) dinner and some light shopping at Target.

5. Friday we met with our homeschooling group at a bounce house and the kids had a great time playing. Ok, it wasn't a great day for me. The noise in the bounce house was excruciating and I left with a killer headache. I am also a classic introvert, so the overwhelming chaos of the situation left me in shut down mode. I think I went to bed at 8:30 that night.

6. Saturday (our normal veg day) was a busy morning of running errands and activities. T had a horseback riding outing with his Cub Scout group. This was his first time on a horse and he LOVED it. I was surprised, since he is my child who is more reserved about trying new things.

7. Sunday I had a full day of shopping planned. I had a few items I really needed to return and I also wanted to take advantage of tax-free weekend for school shopping. I was reluctant to leave the house, but after I got started I enjoyed my day. I called a friend to meet me for lunch and we ended up spending the rest of the day shopping together. We probably bought alot more supplies than we needed, but we had a great time.

I am thankful that our new school year is starting out on a positive note. I hope we all can keep the positive attitude thru the winter.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to School Shopping

Today was our official first day of school for the year. As you can imagine, my kids were thrilled! (insert sarcasm)

We celebrated by taking the kids out to breakfast at Bob Evans. Then Hubby and I each took a kid and headed in separate directions. He took a quick trip to Lowes and to pick up our library reserves. M and I headed to staples for some back to school shopping. They had a few sales that were only good for 3 days and I didn't want to miss out on the copy paper for $1. We ended up with a few good deals:
Bright Colored Paper $4 a ream, regular price $14.99
Filler Paper .01 each, regular price
and this great last minute find of a desk organizer for $5.

I actually had a wonderful beautiful desk carousal I got from Michael's last year, but I finally had to admit to myself that if just wasn't functional for what we needed. It was created for scrap bookers and the sections are too deep for the supplies we use. I am disappointed to give it up, but the organizer in my will be much happier with a better functioning tool.

Then, since I left some required items at home, we had to scrap our trip to the post office and bank. We headed home to begin our schooling for the day. Let's just say I am glad I planned light because it is chaos. Even though I spent last week planning, I can't seem to figure out what I need to do next. Luckily, I know I am not alone with the first week disorganization.

Friday, August 6, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 2)

1. I just returned from a month long vacation. Well maybe not quite a month, but I just spent an extra long time visiting family in Ohio. It was a long three weeks that started with an unexpected death of a family member. It was a tough month, but I did get to spend some time visiting with old friends and attending my BIL's wedding. We are glad to be home.

I am knee deep in the planning process. We are starting back to our homeschooling on Monday. I am not prepared. I had been very proactive and had a good start before I left on vacation. The problem is that now I have no clue what I did. I can't really remember any details of my overall plan or where I left off. Because I am a visual person I now have to rewrite all my plans on paper so I can figure out what I have left to do.

My daughter barely spoke to me while on vacation. No, we weren't in a fight. She is 6 and a social butterfly. She had so much fun with her cousins she didn't even have time to stop and say "Hello." Plus her Grandma manipulated her time and cuddles. I am glad to have her back to myself.

I caught up with a friend yesterday. It was good to be home and to spend some time with a good friend chatting yesterday. She came with her kids for a scheduled "pool day" for our Co-Op. Ooops, our community pool was unexpectedly closed for maintenance. So instead we chatted while the kids played. It was good to catch up and be able to discuss some upcoming plan for our HSing.

I am getting a new computer. Well first let me admit that technically "the kids" are getting a new computer. At least that is how I sold it to my husband when we made this decision 6 months ago. The desktop they were using had issues and almost every time they used it, the result was a drama filled disaster. Someones game wouldn't work or it was too slow, etc, etc. Finally, Mommy couldn't take it any more and decided "the kids" needed a new one. Hmmm, I foresee the kids getting a lot of use out of my laptop in the future.

This is my first year of actually planning out my homeschool curriculum. This is my 3rd year of HS, but my first year of planning. Ok, in the past I had an overall plan, but I mainly just followed along in whatever workbooks/curriculum we owned. So we would get up and do the next page in our books. I had a plan of the subjects and curriculum, but not an overall written out plan for the year. Frankly I'm not sure it is worth all the work, but we will see.

I am already overwhelmed. School starts on Monday and I have no idea how I will be ready in time. I am overwhelmed by all the things I have planned this year. I am going to try to just focus on a week at a time to keep my sanity. Happy School Year Everyone!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Layout

Thanks (or maybe not) to my friend Nathalie, I have also been messing around with my blog layout. I am not sure I like it so there might be more changes in my future. However, I would rather do this than the homeschool planning I SHOULD be doing. So who knows what the day will bring....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Extended Vacation

I'm finally back from an extended vacation we took in July. The kids and I went to visit my family in Ohio. We have started a tradition of going every July, mostly because my niece and nephew participate in the county fair during this time. It was a really exhausting time and I am not sure we will go for the fair next year. I love to see them show their animals, but they want us to be there every day and that is just too overwhelming for me anymore. I am happy I got to see them with their steers and horses. My niece got a 1st place with her steer and also 1st in showmanship. She also did very well with her horses, earning multiple ribbons. My nephew placed 1st in the costume class with his pony and cart. That has special meaning now as we just learned his pony died the day we returned home.

My trip actually started out on a sad note. My Brother-In-Law passed away the day I arrived. He and my sister had struggled in their relationship, but were in a good place and working it out. His passing has been especially hard on his step-son, my nephew, who had grown up w/ my BIL in his life. My 6 yr old niece, his biological daughter, has shown no real emotion but has been acting out in ways that worry me. I hope someone is able to see this and help her instead of just giving in to her every whim. My sister is doing ok. I think she struggles when she is alone. I grew up in a family where we were not allowed to show our emotion. Now that we are all grown, this is an issue that still plagues us. We do not share our feelings with each other. I think it was a huge disservice our parents did to us and this is why I let my kids speak their minds.... perhaps too much. :)

On a lighter note, we also attended the wedding of my other BIL. This was my hubby's brother. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time. T and M were part of the wedding party and behaved themselves wonderfully. I was very proud of them. We were able to spend several days with my hubby's family and he flew in for the weekend. I was glad to see him. It has been a trying visit (with my family) and I was glad to get away for a few days.