Moving Day

October 29, 2008 at 9:03 am (Crafting, Creativity, Education, Family Life, Food and Drink, Homeschooling, Nature, Outdoors, Pets, Playing, The Simple Woman's Daybook, Thoughtful Friday, Treehugging)

I’ve decided to move my blog to another host.  Please join me at http://barbarasblueskies.blogspot.com/

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook

October 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm (The Simple Woman's Daybook)

 

 

 

FOR TODAY, Tuesday, Oct. 28th,
Outside My Window
the sun is shining through the tree limbs and making patterns in the grass
I am thinking
that Austen and I should spend some time outside today
I am thankful for
my friends
From the kitchen
I’m smelling the wonderful scent of coffee brewing
I am wearing
a grey zippered sweatshirt and jeans
I am creating
a cozy, loving home
I am going
to play with my 3 year old niece today!
I am reading
The third book in the Twilight series: eclipse
I am hoping
to start planning a unit study on Rocks and Minerals
I am hearing
the washing machine churning away
Around the house
I am still cleaning up from our bonfire on Saturday night
One of my favorite things
an unexpected hug from my Austen
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Read, play, love
Here is picture thought I am sharing

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Unemployed

October 27, 2008 at 12:39 pm (Family Life, Food and Drink, Homeschooling)

Today is the first weekday of my voluntary unemployment.  I just loved my job at Starbucks.  It was fun and I was privileged to meet so many wonderful people that I would otherwise probably never meet.  I have friends for life from that one little store.  I consider myself blessed.  When I was at work, it was pure fun and it was all because of my co-workers and customers!  And it was perfect in that I could leave any  worries at work and not bring it home.  However, all things have a time.  It was getting very difficult to plan our home-school days, work, chauffeur, and take care of a house and family all at the same time.  I have been stressed for weeks.   I was reaching a breaking point and the closing of our store was a blessing for me.  I say that with some reservation, however.  I won’t have the opportunity to spend so much time with my friends again and that is very bittersweet. 

Today I am looking forward to making a nice dinner and sitting down to dinner as a family again.  What is on the menu?  I’m torn, but I think I’ll go with the ultra popular tacos!  I feel like it’s too easy and that I should be fixing a traditional, labor intensive, meat and potatoes kind of dinner.  But my boys love tacos and it’s really the act of sitting down and talking with one another that is important.

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Wounded

October 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm (Education, Family Life, Homeschooling)

Today was tough.  We are trying out this Orton-Gillingham method of reading and spelling.  I’ve given Austen the assessments and now we are working on his lessons.  He really knows most of the sounds, it’s just getting him to really sound them out.  He only made one mistake today and when I asked him to look more closely at that word, the tears just flowed.  I don’t think I really know the depth of his hurt or frustration in learning.  He is an absolutely brilliant boy.  He is detail oriented with a fabulous memory!  He is creative and thinks outside the box!  He is definitely my nature boy!  It broke my heart to see those tears.  He really didn’t make a terrible mistake, but I think he feels like such a failure when he is not right.  I really hope it isn’t me.  I want so much to help him.  I try so hard not to say the words “you’re wrong, no, etc”  I just asked him to look at it again and he didn’t say anything, put his head down and I saw the tears stream down his cheek.  I think he is wounded and a whole year after leaving school, the hurt is still there.  We switched subjects and I told him we would continue tomorrow with the reading and spelling.  He seemed fine when we were listening to Story of the World later.  I guess I bring it up only because I am worried.  I wanted this to be a happy blog, never a complaint.  I wouldn’t trade our decision to home-school Austen, but this threw me.  Ah, well.  Most everything seems better after a long nights sleep.  Wish me luck…

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook

October 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm (The Simple Woman's Daybook)

 
 
FOR TODAY, Monday, October 20th
Outside My Window
a sea of red, orange, and yellow leaves under our sugar maple
I am thinking
that I really, really hate to rake!
I am thankful for
the opportunity to stay at home and focus on my family
From the kitchen
it’s left-over night:  pizza slices, homemade mac and cheese, tuna casserole, served with homemade bread, a salad and cheesecake
I am wearing
a pink polo shirt and jeans
I am creating
a cookbook of our favorite recipes for my husband, who loves to cook!
I am going
to pick up the next book in the series of books that I’m reading
I am reading
I just finished the first Twilight book and can’t wait to read the second
I am hoping
to finish planning our next unit study on Vikings
I am hearing
Austen putting together a lego set and car doors slamming.  My older son must be home.
Around the house
I am painting Austen’s old dresser with chalkboard paint
One of my favorite things
the quietness of a late afternoon before the bustle of dinner preparations and Doug and Andrew get home.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Read, decorate for Halloween and finish that unit study
Here is picture thought I am sharing

The St. Croix River at dusk

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Thoughtful Friday

October 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm (Thoughtful Friday)

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

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Life can be crazy

October 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm (Creativity, Family Life, Homeschooling)

What a wild week!  Painting, working, learning and an emergency room visit!

Seriously, I don’t think I could possibly fit anymore into this past crazy week!  I am so sorry that I haven’t posted.  I’ve got all these ideas for posts bouncing around inside my head, but first I have to get this week off my chest! 

We had been painting Austen’s new room most of last week and into this week.  I close my eyes and see black and blue!  But we are finished and here is his new room…

 

On Saturday I attended a workshop on the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching reading and spelling.  It was fantastic. The instructor, Kathy Fears, described my son to a “T” and she has never met him.  I teared up because for the first time, I met someone who knows what Austen and I are going through.  She is a homeschooler for the same reason I am.  She pulled her daughter out of public school because they just couldn’t help her and her daughter became more and more frustrated with school.  Even with the one on one that homeschooling provides, she couldn’t get through to her daughter until she found this method.  Her daughter is now a college graduate and is self-employed.  I am hoping this method will also help Austen.  He knows his phonics, but needs some help putting them together and I think we have found a way.  Wish us luck!

Right after the workshop I worked an 8 hour shift at my part-time job at Starbucks, went home, slept and worked another 8 hour shift on Sunday.  I hadn’t been home more than 45 minutes when the phone rang.  My father was in an ambulance on his way to the emergency room at his local hospital!  I couldn’t make this stuff up!  The poor guy was putting out his garbage when his knee gave way and he landed head-first on the concrete driveway.  He ended up in the operating room where they cleaned up and repaired his wound.  I think I spent about 5 hours with him and my mom at the hospital.  He is recuperating at home now, but he has a couple of serious black eyes and a large scar.

This week we have been putting the finishing touches on Austen’s room, such as painting his closet doors with dry-erase paint as shown here(Who knew there was such a thing!):

Painting magnetic paint on the back of the door to his room in preparation for the chalkboard paint!

And a new bookshelf needed filling:

Well, things will be slowing down here in the next few weeks as we close our Starbucks coffee shop and I no longer work outside the home.  It will feel good to concentrate on my family and home once again.

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Thoughtful Friday

October 10, 2008 at 7:04 am (Thoughtful Friday)

All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!

-Bob Newhart

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Changes in our home

October 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm (Family Life)

Ashley graduated from college earlier this year.  She has her own apartment in the city along with a new car and a new job.  I’m finally coming to grips with the fact that she is on her own and most likely won’t be living with us anytime soon.  I’ve managed to avoid thinking about this until recently.  Austen is moving into her old room.  As long as her room was set up the way she left it, I guess a part of her was still here.  There was possibility.  Don’t get me wrong, I know my job as a parent is to prepare my children for life on their own.  But change is hard.  Our family dynamics have changed.  This change is hard on all of us, but, especially so for Austen, our youngest.  When we have dinner together (which, unfortunately, isn’t every day because of work schedules and football schedules) I have commented how nice it is to sit down with the whole family for dinner.  Austen corrected me and told me the whole family was NOT together.  Ashley wasn’t here. 

All this introspection really has to do with the fact that we are painting Austen’s new room.  He picked out the colors, the design, and helped me to figure out how much paint we needed for the room.  (hands on math!!!)  I thought I would share some pictures.  Our goal is to be finished painting by Friday afternoon (before the varsity football game!)  Hopefully we can start moving furniture into the room this weekend.  Austen’s old room will become a learning/project room.  I’m looking forward to a place we can leave projects while we are working on them (we need that dining room table for dinners!!!).  Also a place for all the books and supplies will be nice!  Here is a picture of the room today (we’ve got quite a lot of work to do before tomorrow evening!)  Wish us luck!

 

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Crafting

October 8, 2008 at 1:10 pm (Creativity, Family Life, Outdoors, Playing)

I must confess that I am crazy about crafting with my kids.  Of course the only one left to craft with is 10 year old Austen.  Lucky for me, he also enjoys crafting.  We like to take walks in our local parks, so when I saw this idea for walking sticks, or as they call them, wilding sticks, at Full Circle, I knew Austen would have a blast creating one for himself.  Austen had a great stick ready in our back yard (he collects them, I guess!!)  Here he is beginning his project.

Here he is with his fantastic finished wilding stick!

Doesn't he look enthused about having his picture taken?!

 

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