Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Daybook, Entry #54

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011...

Outside my window... The Ocean. The beautiful wonderful Oregon coast... only a few long strides from my hotel room. It is high tide. Temp?? 61 degrees when we pulled in. AAaaaaah!!

I am thinking... this little overnight get-a-way was just what the doctor called for. Stress-relief for the mom, fresh salty ocean air for all, time to be away with Pops for the day that he is home this week.

I am thankful for... the ability TO get away with our family to the coast... just a quick 2.5 hr ride to bliss!

From the learning rooms... I am beginning to think about next year. I know, last week I was freaking out, this week I have that under control and I am looking toward next years' things... Branch's States studies was becoming overwhelming to her, so we put it on a slower schedule. She might not finish until well into next year - but better that then tears everyday! I have added other things to her curriculum. I have learned my lesson with Unit Studies... I PROMISE! I am wondering what programs are available online. I have heard that Explode the Code - a phonics program is available online and I just read that a religion program that we use, Faith & Life, is available online, too. We use both of those programs, so eliminating the paper trail might be a good thing?? Anyone use any online resources for their homeschooling program? Thoughts on this ... anyone? anyone??

From the kitchen... I am gonna have a num-eee-num piece of fresh fish tonight out of a kitchen at a nice restaurant. YUM. (Who have I become? I used to HATE fish. I like a fresh piece... I am learning!!)

I am creating... a clean place that is "show ready" all the time. Stress. stress. stress. It is nearly impossible to keep it tidy! I go to a different room and my tornados tear it up in their "fun"!!

I am going... to find ways to enjoy the process of relocation... even with all of the red tape that has to be dealt with that slows the process down.

I am reading... Yes, STILL working on What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcom Gladwell.

I am hoping... that all the kids get well SOON. Sore throats have plagued our home. Doctor visits have been taking our time. Antibiotics are coursing through bodies. Strep can take a hike!

I am hearing... the ocean and The Chronicles of Narnia Radio Theatre Production as Bud finishes the school work that he procrastinated and now has to miss out on beach fun while he finishes... bummer, eh?

Around the house... House will be listed this week... and some wonderful family is going to see it and fall in love with it the same way that we did... then there will be a second family who will do the same and there will be a bidding war and ... oh, I just caught myself falling asleep and having this most wonderful dream!

One of my favorite things... Have I mentioned that I love the coast? I do.

A few plans for the rest of the week... keeping head above water. Pops will be flying out Thursday morning and will be gone until Sunday afternoon. I hope to find some time to have fun in there sometime!

A picture thought I am sharing... on the coast today - looking off the balcony with my computer's little camera; my nice camera is still tucked away.


To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Daybook, Entry #53

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011...

Outside my window... Already, the sky is dark. Where did today GO!?!

I am thinking... that a move to ANYWHERE in the midwest is closer to any and all of our family than we are currently. I wish that they all would think in THOSE terms. We might end up in Alaska, Hawaii or even Singapore, next! Who knows... just keeping an open mind!

I am thankful for... a pretty mild winter - but, the fog at night can sure cause evening travel trouble

From the learning rooms... Unit studies can be quite challenging. Any home schoolers out there who are working on a unit study that the students aren't fully invested in? Do you wrap it up, go back to a traditional type learning system, plug on through pulling tooth and nail, slow the unit study down and work on it once a week while doing a worktext type school program the rest of the days? HELP HELP HELP!! I have been struggling with this nearly all year!

From the kitchen... It has been a low carb start to the year. I have been low-carbing for nearly 3 weeks, now. That makes menu planning a bit more challenging for me. Things I normally make: spaghetti, meatloaf, potatoes to go with, stirfry with sauce and rice/noodles, steaks on the grill with potatoes, hamburgers... these things aren't ALL low-carb! Some are very high carb (and also my favorites!). So, tonight we had a tasty elk roast with salad for me, peas and dinner rolls for the kids. Tomorrow?? OH, me, oh, my... just have to take to the freezer and work on cleaning it out!

I am creating... this blog post. That's all for now!

I am going... to keep my temper ALL WEEK LONG. I am going to step away and breathe deeply and count to ten instead of raising my voice.

I am reading... still working on What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcom Gladwell.

I am hoping... that our house sells for a favorable price... anyone need a beautifully built three bedroom home in southwest Oregon???

I am hearing... excessive noise from the children... I need an early bed time.

Around the house... Things are tidy today. Crossing my fingers that it "sticks" for more than two days!!

One of my favorite things... Knowing that my children can and like reading!!! Bud reads alllllllll the time. Branch reads a lot, now. Blossom has shown great promise in reading and can read well when she isn't telling herself that she can't do it... that dern ol' rotten self talk!

A few plans for the rest of the week... nothing too much... my head is spinning still from last week!

A picture thought I am sharing...


WAY back on Dec 6th, we celebrated St. Nicholas Day with a fun little "tea" that our little Blossom "hosted." She and I made giant german chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, which we decorated as a St. Nicholas, complete with a coconut furry beard! We had peppermint hot cocoa, too. After our little party, we packaged up a couple little St. Nicholas' and brought them down to our neighbors with a tea invitation, a Happy St. Nicholas Day card and a package of hot cocoa with peppermint candy canes! It was a little bit of A St. Nicholas tea for them... when they could enjoy it! What a fun time the kids (both small and BIG) had!

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Last Year...

We had a bunch of big snowflakes at the end of December and of course, the kids loved playing in the little bit that we did get. I was so enamored by the SIZE of the flakes!



There was much fun to be had! Bud and Blossom came in fairly soon to eat some breakfast. Branch came in an hour or so later and plopped down next to me. "Was it fun?" I asked. She answered, "Well, sort of. It is more fun when they stay outside with me." "Oh, well, wasn't it any fun by yourself for the last hour or so?" I queried. "Well, it just isn't much fun playing a snowball fight by myself," she replied. "Oh, so, did you throw snowballs at the trees?" I asked trying to find out what she was up to all that time that was no fun! Branch looked dejected and responded, "No, I threw them at myself."


Oh, how does a mother act with empathy at the problem of their child having no fun without their siblings when all she wants to do is roll on the floor and laugh!?! Ok, so, I didn't really want to roll on the floor, but I did have a hard time holding my chuckling down!! Love that girl!!


Looks like EVERYONE had fun outside!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Focus Pocus Friday: Finger Painting

I have missed doing this weekly post, so... I am trying to get back to it!! If you want to join in my "party" let me know and I will set up a Party Link!!


Spending a little time every week looking back through old photos has become a real treat for me. I hope that you can enjoy this magical trip back in time, too!

From finger painting to poetry, this boy!!

March - 2004

A Peek in our Schoolroom: Bud's Bucephalus

I asked if I could write my horse's story as a poem instead of a short story. Mom seemed to think that it sounded like a fine idea for a third grader! So, I tried to make a poem that sounded like Bucephalus wrote it. And here it is!

The Day I Saw Alex Fall

by Bucephalus, The War Horse

He looked proud in saddle tall,
Yet I knew that he would fall...
For that horse was bound to trip
And at that, his reigns would rip!

Into the sky I saw him tumble,
When he hit ground I heard a rumble.
Then he realized I am the one.
Back to me he came and we WON!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Peek in our Schoolroom

On Monday, Bud was working on his Narnia Unit Study and was given this information:
Find out about the role of horses in war. The article about horses in your encyclopedia will probably have a section on horses in history.

Pick one of these horses and write a one-page story about his exploits with his owner. Tell the story from the point of view of the horse.
Bud chose the horse of Alexander the Great, Bucephalus. We looked up a bit of background on the horse and found this:

(photo credit: The Baldwin Project)
WHEN only thirteen years of age, Alexander once saw some horsedealers bringing a beautiful steed before the king. The animal had a white spot on his nose shaped somewhat like the head of an ox, and on this account was named Bucephalus, which means "ox-head."
Philip admired the horse greatly, and bade the grooms try him, to see if his gait was good. One after another mounted, only to be thrown a few minutes later by the fiery, restless steed, which was becoming very much excited.
The horse seemed so skittish that Philip finally told the men to lead him away, adding that a man would be foolish to purchase such a useless animal. Alexander then stepped forward and begged permission to try him.
His father first made fun of him for asking to mount a horse which none of the grooms could manage; but, as Alexander persisted in his wish, he was finally allowed to make the attempt.
The young prince then quietly walked up to the excited horse, took the bridle, held it firmly, and began to speak gently and pat the steed's arched neck. After a moment, Alexander led Bucephalus forward a few steps, and then turned him around, for he had noticed that the horse was frightened by his shadow.
Then, when the shadow lay where he could not see it, and where it could no longer frighten him, the young man dropped his cloak quietly, and vaulted upon the horse's back. Once more Bucephalus reared, pranced, kicked, and ran; but Alexander sat firmly on his back, spoke to him gently, and, making no effort to hold him in, let him speed across the plain.
In a few moments the horse's wildness was over, and Alexander could ride back to his proud father, sitting upon a steed which obeyed his slightest touch.

Philip was so delighted with the coolness, courage, and good horsemanship that Alexander had shown on this occasion, that he made him a present of the steed. Bucephalus became Alexander's favorite mount, and, while he would allow no one else to ride him, he obeyed his master perfectly.
Although most young men began the study of philosophy only at sixteen, Alexander was placed under the tuition of Aristotle soon after his first ride on Bucephalus. This philosopher was a pupil of Plato. He was so learned and well known, that Philip, in writing to him to tell him of Alexander's birth, expressed his pleasure that the gods had allowed his son to live in the same age with so great a teacher.
Alexander loved Aristotle dearly, and willingly learned all that was required of him. He often said that he was very grateful, for this philosopher had taught him all the good he knew. Alexander's remarkable coolness, judgment, and perseverance were largely owing to his teacher, and, had he always followed Aristotle's advice, he would have been truly great.
But although Alexander did not always practice the virtues which Aristotle had tried to teach him, he never forgot his old tutor. He gave him large sums of money, so that the philosopher could continue his studies, and find out new things; and during his journeys he always sent him complete collections of the animals and plants of the regions he visited.
After reading about this legend, Bud sat and pondered from the point of view of Bucephalus.

Bud has agreed to be our "guest poster" tomorrow! Don't miss it!! (And make sure to leave him plenty of comments so that he will continue to write and refine and share his work!!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday... well, almost!







(He loves balls and thinks that all of these ornaments are balls to retrieve from the tree and throw. Thankful for shatterproof ornaments!!)







(Goodbye Christmas Tree 2010! This mama is so happy to see you go this year. Hey, wait chubby boy! Give mama that ornament!!!)



(Even though it is all put away... I am still finding ornaments in corners and under furniture. OH, For the love of little boys who love to play ball...)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Daybook, Entry #52

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011...

Outside my window... The sun is setting on another day. Who put the clocks in fast forward mode, anyway??? SLOW DOWN (just a little bit, anyway!)!!!

I am thinking... this is going to be a LONG month. Out of the last 24 days of January, Pops will be away for 18 of them. That's right... home with us for a whopping 6 days. I am kind of afraid to see what February's calendar looks like! Please pray for the extra patience needed for a mother acting as the "everything"!!

I am thankful for... children who are relatively well behaved and usually a pleasure to be with!

From the learning rooms... We started back up yesterday - full steam ahead! I am pondering only taking "off" Sundays for this month. It will keep us moving forward, it will give us a schedule to stick with while Pops is away, it will move us further along in our year (like I hoped we would already be!)... but, am I insane?!?! We did have some good "stuff" yesterday and if Bud will not object, later this week I will post some of his creative writing - he'll be my "guest poster"... crossing fingers!! You won't want to miss it. (I am counting on him wanting to share!!)

From the kitchen... I do not feel very inspired, here... I should have looked in my freezer before starting this post! Tonight, I'll prepare Brats, curley Q french fries, salad - the rest of the week is currently up in the air! YIKES...

I am creating... lesson plans

I am going... to really miss Pops this month. After having him around a lot the past few weeks, this is going to be a LOOONG month! He will be out of town every week, and even on weekends. Blech.

I am reading... What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcom Gladwell. Other things are just put aside for now. These are a collection of several short stories. I can feel like I accomplish something in reading this book! A little bit of time gets the whole story read!

I am hoping... to make time for me this week, or I might not have any hair left when Pops returns home in the late night hours on Friday!! I am also hoping to do some good sleep training with Bump and work on weaning!! (That might be a bit challenging without another adult around, though! Nursing is part of that whole bedtime routine thing!)

I am hearing... Branch and Bump playing quietly nearby. Bark is lickin' her chops as she sleeps under the coffee table... wonder what SHE is dreaming about!

Around the house... I think that I SHOULD use some more of those large yard waste bags around here. Kid stuff keeps appearing scattered about. New policy?? I find it, I toss it? Or is that too extreme... it doesn't FEEL extreme... the extreme is actually HOW. MUCH. JUNK STUFF. they really do have!

One of my favorite things... school is hard to get back into the swing of things, so I am thinking that my new favorite thing is trying to create a schedule. Sticking to it might NOT be my favorite, though.

A few plans for the rest of the week... school, school, school, storytime at the library tomorrow is about bears and hibernation - a great tie-in for a little girl working on Grizzly Bears as she studies a bit about Montana, a possible trip to the big town, survival

A picture thought I am sharing... I am pretty sure that Pops is hoping to be strung up by the girls when he gets home from Orlando. He informed us that just because he was going to be staying ON Disney property didn't mean that he would get to do anything FUN - or FUN in terms of what kids think. Then... he dared to email this to the house.


To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

December Visits

Our "Western Frontier Santa" visited our town and we stopped to visit at our town's tree lighting...

Can you guess who liked ol' Father Christmas and who DIDN'T??





NOPE! Bump was not diggin' sitting with our ol' friend... and he didn't care for the Missus, either!



But, the candy cane that she shared with him... yeah. That was GOOD stuff! Perhaps if she would have given that to him first? Maybe??


Bump was much happier being near this jolly Santa... when his buddy Branch held him. Don't get him toooooo close to that red get up and furry white face! But, he'll take a candy cane, please and thank you very much!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Candy Cane Cheer







My Daybook, Entry #51 - Welcome 2011 Edition

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011...

Outside my window... Dark. Chilly. It is 10:30 pm and it has been a long day! Finally hitting the end of today.

I am thinking... about selling our house and moving.

I am thankful for... LARGE Black Yard Trashbags

From the learning rooms... We have been enjoying a much-needed break. We'll be back to the "grind" next week!

From the kitchen...

Tues: Pork Roast
Wed: Chicken
Thurs: Hamburgers
Fri: Steaks
Sat: Breakfast
Sun: Pizza for the kids - I want to try to make an "adult" portobello mushroom pizza.
Mon: Any ideas to share with me?!?!?!?!!!

I am creating... nothing right now - I did all of my creating last week!!! I made all sorts of homemade gifts for the kids for The Feast of Epiphany. I'll take pictures and show soon enough! Each (big) treekid received three gifts each (poor baby, Bump only got one!!). Each received three gifts just like baby Jesus' Gold (a gift to represent love), Frankincense (a gift to represent worship) and Myrrh (a gift to represent sacrifice or suffering). I had to streeeeeeetch to make my gifts fit into the "categories"! But, that's ok... the kids will love it all anyway!

I am going... to really miss Pops this month. After having him around a lot the past few weeks, this is going to be a LOOONG month! He will be out of town every week, and even on weekends. Blech.

I am reading... Still working on A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina and The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. I guess they are all just on the nightstand not being read while I have been creating last week! I will finish them. Really! I will!!

I am hoping... to get all of the Christmas decorations put away before Pops leaves this weekend for Florida!

I am hearing... football.

Around the house... 4 large yard waste bags, 2 boxes full and headed to St. Vincent DePaul's (all from my room, only!) I am using a swift swinging arm to decide what goes... it is looking like I am being very picky over what I will keep to be packed and moved this year! Hoping these things will bless someone else! It is A LOT of STUFF.

One of my favorite things... the feeling of freedom as things are being released!

A few plans for the rest of the week... more purging, school planning, a trip to the big town, possible camp out, enjoying our time as a family before January hits us on the 8th!

A picture thought I am sharing... My ol' Barker is surely getting older! She has "Dry eye" (the eye without the shine/reflection) and is blind in that eye. She is fallin' apart, but we still love her... when we aren't annoyed with her! Now that she is on her thyroid medication, she has more energy and thinks that she can just take off running when let out of the fence... She needs to calm back down some - she is nearly 10 years old! I gave her a doggy shower yesterday and had to blow dry her coat for a while. Her thyroid meds are making the hair grow in rather thick and I couldn't towel her dry as I have in the past few years! Her hair was so fluffy and curly that she looked more like a teddy bear than an OLD boxer doggy!


To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.