Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The day the TV went out...

It was a dark and gloomy...day.  It really was.  We had just been cleared of the two tornado warnings in our area and with all the rain and the wind, we just wanted to hunker down and watch a movie.

BN was out of town and a neighbor kid just home from school was hunkering down with us.  Then, "POP!" and the 55 inch screen went dark.  At first there was excitement over the popping noise and then disbelief that we couldn't watch t.v. or a movie or play a video game. 

That television was the only one in the house because BN and I are strict about keeping all television activity in the family room.  Our bedroom is used for two things and t.v. is not one of them.  We don't allow televisions in the boys' rooms because we don't want them spending so much time apart from the family, which happens with kids we know that have access to games and computers and televisions in their own rooms.

So when the boob tube went out and the mourning period was over, the boys grabbed their big box of markers and art pads and sat at the table drawing until dinner.

We spent the remainder of Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday without television.  The boys played outside when it wasn't raining and when it was, they played indoors.  Simple as that.

You can bet your booty that we are fixing the problem, but I'm kinda liking the silence.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Week in Review (Sep 19-23)

This week has been a testament to my garbled mind.  I've talked about funny things the boys say, clothing, gardening, cholesterol and grammar and writing.  No focus button.

Pete started his Film Crew this week and he seems happy to be a part of it.  I know he'll love it even more when the actual filming takes place.

RePete is rocking the soccer field.  He loves soccer.  In fact, he smiles the entire time he plays.  It's a joy to watch. 

I've come up with a reward system to get RePete to learn his sight words.  Money talks, people.

I met up with a friend at co-op that I hadn't seen since last spring and we had a blast catching up.  She's a total free spirit and I'm a closet free spirit and it's liberating to be around her.

I'm focusing my spare time on holistic remedies for various maladies and I'm also trying to get back into yoga.

BN has a 30 hour adventure race this weekend.  We thought about going along and camping but he won't be there for taking the tent down all the fun, so we decided to wait until another time to camp.  Not sure what the boys and I will be doing this weekend.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Growing Boys

I can't believe how big my boys are getting.  This past weekend we were hit with a cold front and Pete had zero pants and RePete had one pair.  I don't know how that happened except I do have a fuzzy memory of sneaking worn running pants into the trash each time I did a load of laundry this past spring. Pete has a thing for comfortable clothing.

I also recall a dim memory of loading jean after jean into the bag I donate to the Vets every couple of months.  RePete likes things a little more polished and likes jeans and collared shirts.   Although, his Tony Hawk t-shirt collection is spilling out of his drawer.

All this meant we had to go clothes shopping.  Of course, on the way to the store, Pete declared that he would only be purchasing running pants.  RePete stated that he needed a new hoodie since he only had one in the closet.  Hmmm.  Thoughts are seeping out that show me putting hoodie after hoodie into the Vet bag last spring when I washed and stowed our coats.

While Pete tried on his pants of choice I was looking at jeans and picked up his size with the added Husky on the label.  His issue with clothing goes back to when he was very little.  He's never liked elastic on the arms or legs and has always preferred soft clothing to stiffer items, like jeans.  But I took a chance and showed him the pants and asked him just to try them and if he didn't like them, I was fine with that.  Well he liked them.  He liked them a lot.  Even though he doesn't need a husky, that little bit of extra room kept the jeans from feeling so...jean-like.  And the jeans had the worn look, so they were softer anyway.  We bought three pair.

RePete was easy because he likes jeans and I just picked up three pair in his size.  He found the hoodie of his dreams, but they didn't have his size.  I found the manager and there were none in the back and none at the other stores.  He couldn't even find it at the store online.  So we are on the hunt for it ourselves online.  Somebody has to sell it.  Normally, I'd have him pick something else, but he's not a picky kid and will wear just about anything I give him (since I like tailored clothing myself) and I want him happy.

And then I came home and found a Rubbermaid tub in the top of Pete's closet that had a label of 8-10 winter on it.  Now Pete has six more brand new pair of pants.  These were jeans and stiffer cargo type pants that Pete would never wear.  There were also five winter shirts for Repete.  So other than the hoodie, he's done.  I love hand-me-downs.

Now to take a better inventory of Pete's drawers and see how much more shopping I need to do.


Garden Woes

Our garden was a total bust this year.  No cucumbers.  Five tomatoes. A handful of green beans and limas.  Oh and a couple of servings of lettuce and spinach.  No zuchinni, no peppers of any kind, and watermelons and cantaloupes that didn't ripen.

Look how sad this is. 

I was so disappointed that I didn't even take many pictures.  I'm not sure what happened this time around but I am seriously thinking of going back to the old row planting.  Not sure how we'll handle the moles/voles whatever they are, but this square thing isn't working for me.  I'm sure it works, I've seen other gardeners who use it, but I can't get it right.  I want to not only be able to provide food for my family during the growing season, but also be able to freeze or can items for future use.  I am so envious of the other gardeners I see or read that have been able to do this.


Friday, September 16, 2011

He said, He said

We have a new little girl living in our cul-de-sac.  It doesn't bother her at all that only boys live around these parts.  Pete came in from playing the other day and said, "Girl are too hard to play with.  They're so bossy." 


We had our annual termite inspection done on the house and we had the bug guy take care of the ants by the back door.  He let me know that while under our house, he came across a snake skin and it wasn't a black snake.  He believes it was from a water moccasin (we live on the water) and he laid the skin just inside the crawl space door to warn anyone entering to be careful and look for snakes.  Pete and RePete speculated on what other type snakes it could have been (BN had to kill one recently and the fascination with snakes is high right now) and RePete asked, "Do you think it was a black mama?"  He meant mamba.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

I burned water

 I've said for years that I wanted a personal chef.  I think this is proof that I require one.  I forgot that I put water on the stove to boil.

I've heard people use the expression that they are so bad at cooking they burn water.  I've officially done it.  I'm that bad. 
I wonder if my pan is safe to use.  It was actually smoking. This is a comparison of what my sauce pans usually look like and what happened with the water incident.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

D = 33

The other day, Karmyn commented on my blog post about schedules that she was disorganized and couldn't get her chaos under control. 

I've decided that since I turned 40, I am always in some stage of discombobulation.  In fact, I should probably start each post with my number.  You know, like a sleep number, only mine would tell my discombobulation number.

Today...not so bad.  I managed to get everyone up, get to the soccer field on time, clean bathrooms, clean carpets and now I'm settled in for a relaxing night.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DonnaYoung.org Schedules

I started keeping our schedule on a form that I found on DonnaYoung.org and it has worked great except that it makes me think in weeks instead of days.  If we have a holiday or an impromptu visit from family or friends and we miss a day of our "week", then I get all discombobulated.

I then have to add that day to the next week but since we can only school four days during the week, it leaves me having to double up or skipping, or moving that last day to the next week and it's like bowling pins falling one after the other.  At some point we knock them all out, but it takes time.  And I'm frazzled.  

And slightly crazy.

I could save myself the frustration by using a weekend day to complete the work or the evening of that missed day, but those times are sacred to us as a family.  And even though I like to consider myself a hip homeschooler and an outside the box thinker, in reality, I like the inside of the box.

So I need to do something else.  I think it will be as simple as erasing the days of the week from the top of the page and just doing the next day.  Technically, I already do that, but seeing that Monday, Tuesday... at the top of the page really makes me crazy when it's Monday and we are doing Thursdays work!

Now where's my whiteout?  Do they even sell it anymore?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Laptop

I got a new laptop.  RePete broke my old one a few years ago and I just couldn't justify buying another - although I pined for one.

This year I decided I could justify it.  My photos are taking up all the available space on our home computer.  Add Pete's *films to the gigabytes* have officially overloaded the Mac.

Between being able to move my photos here and having the mobility to work on them while the kids are in co-op and being able to bring school work with us, I bought one.  What I couldn't justify was the price of a new Mac, so it's old school for me.  Windows?  I am having to reteach myself what that means.  Are they still called IBM compatibles?  Mine is a Sony VAIO.

I miss the Mac. I miss my comfort level and I don't like that every time I turn this thing on or off, updates have to load before either happens.  What happened between yesterday and today that is so important that it just has to be uploaded?  You'd think that as long as Windows has been out, it'd be a done deal by now.  I can't figure it out.

The other learning curve is that I no longer have Adobe Bridge.  I use it on the Mac to organize my photos.  It was left over from when I had PhotoShop CS3.  Now I use Elements because I just don't need all the bells and whistles on PS.

Elements 9 has its own organizer and while I like it, it has bugs, I think.  Every so often it quits on me.  Or is it Windows fault?  I have no clue.  My technologically challenged brain can't comprehend these happenings.

Which begs an answer to why I think I can scrapbook on the computer?  Circle cutters anyone?


Thursday, September 1, 2011


I love this time of year.  I love that the heat will simmer down.  I love that nature turns on the colorvision and I love that school starts.

Even though my kids don't hop on a yellow bus and leave me at home, we do get back into a routine, or more like a rhythm.  Our co-op starts.  Soccer and bowling leagues start.  We participate in homeschool days at local sites and of course we "do school" each day.

We started our bookwork about five weeks ago and this week I decided to take off.  We had a pool party with our co-op today and tomorrow we leave to visit family and I figured we'd just enjoy this last week of summer without school.

That turned out to be a mistake.  My natives are restless and I am so glad this week is over.  It's really put a damper on things having the squabbling start back up.  I've found that keeping them busy prevents most of the fussing.  Bored kids don't have time to fight.

Their future looks to be VERY busy.