Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's a Great Day

Travis Tritt has a song that says, "It's a great day to be alive". He's right. We had a great day today. Our church had it's annual summer picnic today and what a great time we had. Last year they had a blow up bounce house with a slide for the kids, tents with tables, and lots and lots of food.

This year it was inside our activity center and it was a lot cooler, that's for sure. As part of the Evangelism Committee, I helped host the event. It was a blast and I couldn't have had a better time. Well, a pool would have been nice, but beggars can't be choosers. It was pot luck, and there was more food than you could shake a stick at. We provided the meat and the drinks. We even had volunteers for kitchen clean up duty. How cool is that?

There was a ton of food left over. Thank goodness we got to bring some home. We sent so many hamburgers and hotdogs with people and still had a ton left over. We brought home 40 hot dogs, and at least that many hamburgers, burger buns, desserts, and an aluminum foil pan full of really good green beans. We even brought home a full unopened pan of brownies.

I definitely said a prayer for that. My husband has lunch for the next week, probably the next two. It will definitely stretch our groceries ten fold from what we have. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the blessings of the bounty you provide for us. It is with your grace and blessings that we continue through our days with joy and happiness in our hearts, souls, and thoughts.

The kids got to see some of their friends that they haven't seen in a couple of weeks. With summer vacations, and sickness, and the end of the school year, they've been missing some people. It was good for us to see some people that we haven't seen for a couple of weeks, too. I love our church family. They have been very supportive of us and our family. I really feel like we have a home there.

After we got home and took a really big nap, the kids put on their bathing suits. My husband hooked the sprinkler to the trampoline and the kids jumped to their hearts content. It was a lot of fun to listen to them laugh together, and play, and not fight. Of course, when the fun was over the fighting started, but they were still tired from their day. Now, it's family movie night and it's time to go.

I think if you have the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends over a grill and some seriously good baked beans, do it. What a great day to be alive.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Unsocialized Homeschool Children

That's probably my biggest pet peeve. When people find out that we are homeschooling, the first thing out of their mouths is, "How will your children have any friends?" Uh, that's one reason we homeschool. I didn't like some of their friends and what they were saying and doing. But it's not like we put dark curtains on the windows and barred the door.

Friday is park day. We like park day. Last Friday only two other families showed up. The children ranged in age from 3-12. But did they play well together? Absolutely! They ran, chased, dug, swang, slid, jumped, drew, laughed, cried, shouted (in joy and anger), and generally acted like a bunch of kids. It was fantastic.

Same thing happened today. Only two other families showed up. This time it was two families that we are very close to. The children range in age from 11-4. Did they play well together? Absolutely! It is fantastic to see the older kids happy to see the younger kids, and great to see the younger kids happy to see the older kids. They all worked together to build a sand wall to close in some spiders that were making a home in one area of the playground.

They would take turns filling a water bottle and mixing it with the sand. Then they would make "bricks" to use for their wall. And believe it or not, that was darn a sturdy wall. We adults were amazed at what they had done together, as a team, as equals. But those poor unsocialized homeschool kids.

By the end of the day, the kids were covered from head to toe in sand, water, mud, and who knows what else. But talk about some happy kids. It was shower time as soon as we got home. The sand in the bottom of my tub got washed straight down the drain. Like I don't have enough sand in my yard to come into my house and the kids just keep dragging more home.

We had a fantastic lunch today, too. I made cheeseburgers before we left. The cheese was still a little warm and melty when we sat down. They were thick and juicy and man I wish I had another one. We sat down together, said a big prayer, and munched until I couldn't move. It didn't stop the kids. They were even back about 30 minutes later begging for a snack. That's what happens when you're young and run around the park all day.

They even made friends with some kids they didn't know. I like the way kids can make friends and they don't have the hang ups we adults have. What a fantastic way to be. Pretty soon, there was a whole gang running from one end of the park to the other, screaming and laughing all the way. And thank God for that.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dial up bites

Dial up has become the bane of my existence. It is so slow!!! But I guess that's the price you pay for living out in the country. Sure, we could get a high speed line with the satellite, but I don't really want to spend that kind of money. When we first moved out here, it would cost us an arm of a leg. Now it would only cost us an arm or a leg.

Our science for our next school year is weather. The kids are excited, I'm excited, my husband is excited. When you live in an area that has extreme weather like we do, it's kind of an interesting subject. Anyway, I got on iTunes to see what kind of things I could download. There were six that go along with our curriculum. There were also a couple that went with our history. But it's taking forever to download.

I've been working on this for forever now. At least four days. But I have to download them one at a time. Yes, I know that iTunes will allow multiple downloads, but it makes it so slow. And a couple of the things I'm doing have over 100 MB. For Pete's sake, finish already. I've been working on one for at least three days now. So hang on, I'm doing math in my head, counting days...carry the one...just joking about the carry. I've actually been working on them for six days. Aarrgh. Dial up bites.

I guess I should just be happy that at least I have a connection. Kind of hard to do these kinds of things without one. I guess I should be glad I have a computer to do this with, too. Maybe I'm just a little cranky. Maybe a snack would help. No, dial up still bites.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another day, another chance to clean the bathroom

Yea, it's bathroom day. That's probably my least favorite room to clean. Face it, we all know what happens in bathrooms. Yuck. It's even worse when you have kids that don't clean up after themselves. Thankfully, mine have been trained better than that. Well, maybe not the boy. He's been trained, it's just a matter of getting him to do it more than once. Or aim better. But my husband says it's not as easy to aim as it seems. My response-sit down then.

Another thing I don't understand is how the toothpaste gets where it gets. It seems a pretty simple thing to put toothpaste on your toothbrush. But apparently, it's also easy to put it on the mirror, the door, the cabinets, the floor. Were you really not paying attention? How did it get on the door? Do I really want to know?

And for a family that doesn't take baths, where did the tub ring come from? I mean, really, the dirt should go right down the drain, right? Do tubs come automatically with a ring? Maybe they do, but we can't see them until the tub gets wet? I'm reaching here.

And don't get me started on cleaning the floor. I can't stand to sweep and mop, but I know it has to get done. I thought I would go on strike at one point. If I don't do the cleaning, it doesn't get done. But there in lies the problem. If I don't do it, nobody else does either. And I like a clean spot to put my rear. But I am very thankful I'm not cleaning a public bathroom. Ewwww. And on that note, I leave.

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A curriculum what???

They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem. So here goes, my deep, dark secret. I am a curriculum junkie. There, I feel better already.

When we first started homeschooling, it was fun looking at the curriculum. All the bright colors, the pretty pictures, the number of exercises for each lesson all combined to suck me in and not let me go. I looked at website after website trying to find just the right combination of stuff to teach the kids and keep them interested. Did it work for them? Absolutely. They loved the workbooks and the worksheets. They might not have liked doing the work, but they loved what they were working on.

But what did it do to me? It made me a junkie. I already have the curriculum for next year. I spent three weeks combing through all the different subjects, narrowing down my choices. That's what we spent part of our "economic stimulus" package on. I actually spent less than $200 and got almost everything I need for our next session. Woohoo. And what have I done since it got here? I can't keep my hands off of it. Sometimes, I just like to pick it up and leaf through it. Sometimes I pretend I'm actually teaching the lesson.

I like to keep a lesson plan book. After all, when you are trying to teach several kids, several subjects, and on several different grade levels, you have to keep a log of who, what, when, and where. Not to mention our busy social life (ha, ha, ha). Nothing wrong with that, you say? The problem is I have penciled in all the lessons for all the kids until we take our Christmas break!!!
And I would love to do until we quit in May, but even I know that's a little obsessive. At least I did pencil,so I can change it if I need to.

Still not convinced? I am still looking at curriculum online. Sometimes, my palms start to sweat and I have this feeling that if I don't look at curriculum, I'll pass out. OK, maybe not to that extreme, but you get the picture. Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it until I come to and I'm sitting in front of the computer drooling over the cool stuff that wasn't there yesterday when I looked.

And I can tell you a lot about different curriculi. Is that the plural of curriculum? Well, it is here. Lots and lots of different curriculi. I have copious notes about curriculi. And I can't seem to make myself stop. I see stuff at thrift stores and yard sales and I am all over it. OOh, can I use it, should I buy it, will the kids like this instead? The madness has got to stop.

But I think one reason I do it right now is because it's still new to me. And I love it. And thekids love it. And my husband loves it. Homeschooling is probably the best decision we have made for our family in a very long time.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Friday!!

I cannot believe how difficult some computers make things, but here we are ready to get started.

It's Friday, thank goodness. Today was park day, which we all love. The kids get to play with their friends and I get to play with mine. It's nice to be able to sit and talk about things that are going on in our lives and others, too. To put it frankly, it's nice to know that other people are going through the same stuff that we are. Like it or not, misery does indeed like company.

I can tell you that we, including me, are not miserable. I am fed up with the way of the world I guess. High gas prices, high food prices, high everything prices. When the question becomes "Do I feed my family or put gas in my vehicle?" what has the world come to? But there is that part of me that very much loves the world we live in. I wouldn't have had children if I didn't think that this world can be a better place.

I love to open my eyes in the morning and say "Thank you, God, for loving me and being in my life." I love to be woken up with kisses from my husband as he is leaving for work. I even love it when he wakes me up and asks me to make him sandwiches for lunch that day. It's a quiet time we get to spend together, so yeehaw. I love being with my kids and seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new. I love having somewhere to post my thoughts and don't care if anyone if offended. I have learned to love this life I have been given. I guess the most important thing is that I love.

Ok, so there's my very first blog post. I feel better. How about you?