Monday, April 25, 2011

I've been thinking...

this would be a good time to take the batteries out of the smoke alarms.

...about a lot of things.  One recurrent theme is selfish and it revolves around a being a stay at home mom.  Wondering what could have been?  How successful would I have become in my career had I put the kids in daycare and then school?

And then once I get over my selfishness, I wonder about my children.  Should I have put them in school?

And I look ahead to when my children are grown and have children of their own and wonder how they will raise them.  Will they want to homeschool?  Will they want me to help and would I be willing?

BN always said that had I continued on my path, I'd be running the company by now.  But back to my questions?  What would that mean for me?  For my family?

And is that our goal in life?  To be at the top of the company we work for?  To "have it all".  What does that get us in then end?  Whether you believe there is an afterlife or you reincarnate or that there is nothing at all after death, why are we here and what are we doing?

I wonder about the purpose of life and realize that all of these concerns can be answered if I find that purpose.

the fire trucks should be bearing down on our house right about now.

I received, in the mail, a christian homeschool magazine.  I don't know how I got it, but there is was and since I'm nosy and love to read, I decided to take peek inside.  About half of the stories I skipped immediately.  Stories about being a "help meet" and "subordinate to my husband" are not stories that interest me.

But one story, amid all the brainwashing, did use a few words I could understand.  She spoke of the seasons of life and how one "can't retire now at age 30-something and then bear children at 60".  And how the seasons of life are "fleeting".

To appease my wandering mind and answer my own questions, I feel like I'm where I need to be.   While there is a tiny part inside me that wants all the recognition (blog much?), it is tiny and as the years pass, that need gets even smaller.

And rather than worry about what ifs of the future, I'll tend this season that I'm in and let the future seasons develop as they will.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Update - 4/22/11

In my life this week...I rejoined the Y.  We've been Y members off and on for the past 11 years.  I think it'll last this time because the boys are older and are more interested in going.  The daycare is great but they've been too big for that for a while now, even though the age limit is 8.  RePete is very excited that at 7, he's old enough to go to the game room.  And Pete actually likes to work out sometimes.  So I'm hoping that I can get my workouts done during the day since the boys will be occupied rather than having to go at other times at which I am prone to fail.

In our homeschool this week...Just a normal week here.  No theater on Wednesday and no co-op on Thursday. Ahhh!  I feel relaxation coming my way.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...We have no plans to go anywhere or see anyone.  I like it.

My favorite thing this week was...Wow, this is getting redundant but I enjoyed the peace and quiet.  The stress of getting from here to there has been removed and I'm feeling calmer.

What's working/not working for us...We are switching theater groups.  The one Pete has been attending is quite a drive for us.  It also was a class added in at the request of homeschoolers.  As such, it has been treated like a step-child.  There is no promoting, the sets don't match our plays.  The other classes all do a version of the same play.  For example, the winter theme was Winnie the Pooh.  Each of the evening and Saturday classes all did this play and tailored it to the ages of the students. The set was painted with trees and honeybees. Our homeschool kids meet on Wed morning and our play was The Fisherman and His Wife.  Um, not quite the same theme here.  But we pay the same price per class, meet just as long and the kids work just as hard.  In fact, our kids actually memorize their lines.  Go figure.  So, we've decided to move Pete out of this class and luckily, through friends, we've found closer theater groups that fit the bill.  Looking forward to giving Pete the limelight he deserves.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...Both boys will attend camp this summer.  Pete is scheduled for a two week theater camp and Pete will do two weeks at gymnastics.  I have a lot of thinking to do about what I will do for two weeks.  Oh the possibilities.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Workout - Day One

Was a huge success for me.  I didn't get up early like I wanted to but we managed to get to the gym just after 9am and the boys enjoyed their time in the I-Zone.  I had them bring their DSi's just in case but they didn't need them.

I still need to track someone down who can give me the times that the campers and school kids are not invading the I-Zone.  My kids are not able to do anything if those kids are in the room.  It makes it 3:1 on the games.  Not quite sure why they bring that many kids into that small room anyway.  Two thirds of them plus the stragglers have to sit around waiting for a chance to play.

Anyway, I loved the variety in my workout and at the point I would have just stopped if on my own, I kept going to the suggested number of reps.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's true. I'm lazy.

I have been sorta, kinda working out.  I've been watching yoga videos.  I go for a walk every now and then.  I've been trying to do Crossfit with BN even though it's too hard for me right now - BN says that's bull and he modifies all the workouts just for me.

But I don't want something modified for me.  I don't want to workout in my garage in this heat.  Spiders and dust and things oh my.

I want a workout that is just for me.  Meaning in a climate controlled room.  So I rejoined the Y thinking I'll just go back to doing the machines since they are dialed into me.  They have the seat height, any leg adjustments and of course the current weight I am able to lift.  And then there's all the cardio machines and cardio classes.  Definitely more workout than I can ever hope to do.

But you know what?  That bores me.  Really plays to my lazy side.

So yesterday I was talking to one of the staff while I worked out and she told me about their newest program called FitQuest.  And not only is it tailored to me, it also switches things up every day.

Every day, I get to do something new.  And it doesn't only involve the FitLinx machines.  It uses free weights - both barbell and dumbbell and it uses the pulley stuff and it uses floor exercises and more.  It's like having a personal trainer without all the annoying pep talk.

I just printed my workout for tomorrow and I can't wait to do it.

I hope I stick with it.  I want my waist back.


Monday, April 18, 2011

and then it was almost May

This month has escaped me.  First, my grandmother was ill and the doctors released her to hospice care, so we all gathered in NC.

Then, two weeks later, my dad dialed 911 and was taken in for emergency surgery.  My sister and I gathered our youngins and headed back to NC to check on him and make sure he was recovering.  He  has been recovering extremely well.

The next week, the doctors called to say my grandmother would be passing soon.  I couldn't make this trip, but the boys and I stopped in to visit her last week when we visited my dad and I'm glad we did.  She passed away on Saturday.  Love you, Grandma.


Repete had a game on Saturday and he scored two goals.  He gets so much joy from playing soccer.  He smiles the entire time.

Saturday evening, with the threat of impending tornados, the boys participated in our homeschool co-op variety show.  They both sang with their individual music classes.  And while I knew that RePete was learning recorder in his music class, I had no idea that he knew Three Blind Mice and Mary Had a Little Lamb.  What?

And Pete!  He played drums.  BN has given him a few lessons here at home, but Pete always complains that he is bored and just wants to play the drumset.  (nevermind all the rudimentary learning that comes before that)  But in his class he's been drumming to his own beat and he's good!  He played the set during the recital.

The film teacher also showed bits and pieces of the kids' work in between live performances and Pete definitely has a knack for film-making.  Really good stuff.

Those boys amaze me everyday.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekly Update - 4/8/11

In my life this week...I'm grateful for my husband.  He provides for us and encourages us.

In our homeschool this week...We've finished week 24 in our folders.  I love being able to close a folder and know we've accomplished part of our homeschooling goals.  It's always nice to check off lists.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...We have been in theater rehearsals all week.  It really disrupts our routines.  Dinner has been a disaster all week and since we don't like to eat out often, my body is begging for mercy.  I definitely feel it when we eat out too much.  

Today we participated in a Homeschool Day in Historic Isle of Wight, VA.  The area is not far from us and though things historical are typically boring for the boys, they sort of enjoyed today.  :o)

We toured St. Luke's Church (circa 1632) and its beautiful gothic architecture, visited the IOW Museum, became enthralled with Boykin's Tavern and got our energy out at Fort Boykin's Historical Park (Fort).  

I really love it when a) the docents understand and accept that they have willingly invited children into an historic place and b) invests time in them.  At the Boykins Tavern we first encountered the docent that scolded and ranted about not touching and then towards the end, we met a woman who not only knew that boys would want to see the innards of the seven-day grandfather clock but who then sat down on the benches, invited them over and filled them with images of life during the time period of the tavern.  I have never seen my boys more attentive and filled with questions.  She really made them think.  She was a special lady and I made sure she knew it.  The other one, eh, not so much.

My favorite thing this week was...the few precious moments we've been home.  And the fact that Pete actually said, " I love this math."  Gasp!  We finished our units on decimals and fractions and I really felt like he needed some good review since I'll be skipping him into 7th grade math next year.  We found Math Minutes (5th gr) at Barnes and Noble and it is excellent for our purposes.

What's working/not working for us...RePete's math.  We've used a combo of Math Mammoth (1st) and MUS Alpha and he's not crazy about either method.  So I've been printing free worksheets off the internet to continue covering skills I know he needs to master this year.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...I can't believe I am saying this, but after investing time and dollars in...drum roll please...Saxon, Right Start Math, Singapore, Math U See, and Math Mammoth, we are coming back full circle to Saxon.  It just covers the materials best for my kids.  They both prefer me teaching over watching videos and feel like they don't comprehend it enough to read it themselves and self-teach, and Saxon fits this style the best.  So there we go.  I've eaten all the words I said about Saxon and will be purchasing next year's materials soon.  I'll also be skipping Pete ahead to 7th grade math since 6th and 7th are basically the same, we want him in Algebra by 8th grade and he can handle it.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Did I Just Say

I can't believe some of the things that come out of my mouth.

Like today, we were driving to the library and I actually said, "Boys, put those magnifying glasses away so you don't burn a hole in the seat."

They had been burning leaves with them right before we left, so I really felt like it was necessary.

And when did my boys start noticing boobs?

Here's a comic that RePete is working on.  RePete is seven.  Notice that even in profile, he draws them in and even gives them a lift while she's falling.  Very realistic.

Love that attention to detail.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Giddy Gardener

That's me.  I love this time of year when we plant goodies in our garden.  I love sitting on my deck and admiring our work.  And watching things spring from the ground and grow.

Lots of things are coming up right now.  I love when beans and legumes come up.  The beans that we planted have split open and are growing what will eventually become the bush beans and limas.  I love how the original bean tries to cling on for as long as possible.

One of the first things to break ground this year was our corn.  It was a race against the squirrels and their voracious appetites and we won...this time.

And a little surprise was this tiny fellow.

Last year we tried to grow asparagus and we had these beautiful fern-like stalks that filled their little square.  And that was about it.  So in preparing the garden this year, I pulled the still beautiful fern-like growth out.  I thought I got all the roots but gladly, I did not.  I may have to pull out the silver to dine on this delicious little morsel.  I think I'll designate a permanent location for asparagus now that I'm learning how it grows here.

~R, the Giddy Gardener.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My First Weekly Journal

In my life this week...We spent time with family that I hadn't seen in a few years and a few that the boys had never met.

In our homeschool this week...Due to all the traveling and visiting, we decided to make this week our spring break.  Love the flexibility of homeschooling.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...We traveled to North Carolina.  My grandmother isn't doing so well and I wanted to make sure the boys got to see her one more time, just in case.  Sadly, it does seem we don't get down there unless someone is ailing or departed.  I'd like to work on this.

Pete got to see a cousin he hadn't seen since they were this big.  

Pete (left) with his cousin and my aunt and uncle.

We also attended our weekly co-op and are sad that we only have two weeks remaining in the semester.

My favorite thing this week was... The pride RePete felt when he was cavity-free and able to have his picture taken for the "Smile Club" at the dentist yesterday.  Poor little fella has had such a hard time with his baby teeth but thankfully his adult teeth are beautiful and healthy.

What's working/not working for us...I switched gears last week after some friends and I chatted at our monthly WTM meeting.  I've decided to get back on course with Writing With Ease.  I believe in the process but having to convince my boys that it is best has been hard.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...Looking forward to finishing our school year and gearing for the next.  Spending a lot of time thinking about how I want our next year to look.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...I'd like to share a quote from Our Life in Words.  The post is in my feed but not on her blog so I can't link.  The post was on critical and higher order thinking and something I strive to teach to my boys.  I would have loved to have been in that class with that teacher.

When I was in high school, I clearly remember Mrs. Leahy saying, "You can do the work and answer the questions and get an A.  Or, you can read the work and think about it and form your own opinions and conclusions and challenge ideas and be an interesting person who goes places."