Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hasta La Vista, School Year

I will not miss you. Yet. It was a crazy one. I feel like we had more ups than downs, but we didn't accomplish as much as we needed to. We missed alot during the second half of our year. I did figure a plan for next year, though, while I felt bogged down in the current year. The big girl still has two lessons to finish on her math that will take her all of 10 minutes and the baby has the test pages in her grammar book that we're going to do today. The boy did two tests on Wednesday, so, lucky thing, he's done. The kids get evaluated Tuesday, and I am mailing the papers on Wednesday.

This year we studied the human body. Pretty cool stuff, if I do say so myself. One of the freebies I downloaded to go along with our science book was a cut out of the human body. Each section highlighted a different part of the body. You clip each part together and at the end of the study you have a whole body. Yeah, I didn't do that part. I'm kicking myself now, but I can honestly say I don't think I would have coompleted it. Then I would have kicked myself for not completing it. Not going there. Next year we are going to take a general science approach. Lots of experiments covering different types of science. I have chemistry, biology, earth sciences, weather and meteorology, archaeology, health and nutrition, and physical science. I am looking forward to it. My kids are, too. That's the best part for me.

We missed some opportunities to participate in some activities I think the kids would have enjoyed. There was a great acting class that was relatively inexpensive and very close to home. We left our Tuesday co-op. We had to stop dancing. Field trips! Most of it was because we were moving. Then the move got delayed. And delayed. And it's still delayed. I hated to sign up for anything and then have to leave in the middle of it. That was crazy. So far the only thing that would be delayed would be nap time. No, wait, I don't delay that for anything.

I let myself get in the way much of the time. Depression is my illness. I'm absolutley positive when I say that much of the time I was wallowing on the couch, apathetic about the school work and whether it was getting done, I was in the middle of depression. So much going on personally I let it drag me down. Instead of cowgirl upping and riding, I wallowed around in the woe-is-me. That was my bad.

I always talk to the kids about our school year and what they are interested in. Some of it they don't really have a choice about. We are going to study math and science and history and blah, blah, blah. But at least they have some control over which aspects of those things we are going to study. If they aren't vested, they won't care is how I see it. Give them the opportunity to make decisions and choices and my kids do a bang up job.

We are taking some much needed down time and freeing our minds some. We will do some math over the summer, just to keep skills. But we are going to do fun math. I have a fun book of different types of math puzzles that the kids will work through. We will read our summer away. Hopefully we will settle somewhere, whether it be here or there. As long as we settle.  

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Taking the Good With the Not So Much

Been a long day. Not as long as it could have been, but long enough. I've been making a list. I know, you're shocked. I was thinking about some of the stuff that's been happening lately. I try to be a glass half full kind of gal, but there's a half empty glass on the other side of that. So here's the list:

  • We went to recital today. It was an awesome show as usual. So bittersweet for us, though. Normally we're there because the kids are in the recital. But today, we were spectators only. I may gripe about the four days back and forth, getting kids dressed and made up, putting hair in a bun, snack bags, coordinating times and cameras and whatever else with hubby, but I love it. I am so proud of my kids and how hard they've worked to get to recital. They are such beautiful dancers. But I'm a little partial. Loved seeing the dances and the costumes and our friends from the last eight years. Hurt my heart to not see my kids on stage.
  • We are four day a week schoolers. We don't school on Friday if at all possible. Friday is park day. I found out the hard way that working on Fridays is almost impossible for us. The occasional quick assignment or quiz is alright. To expect the kids to work and me to teach is high expectations for Friday morning. Except, I changed the date we're ending school. We were going to go until the end of June. I think a mutiny was brewing. I could normally handle that from my kids, but I was the ring leader. Now it's the end of May for us. That means, though, that we have to school on Fridays. It's the big girl's math throwing us off. If we only school 'til the end of May, she has to work on Friday's to finish and not have 4 assignments a day. She may actually learn the last few lessons that way. But, we have to school on Friday. Ugh! 
  • This moving business is starting to take a toll on us. We know that we are almost at the end of this journey, but the wait has been agonizing. We should have been in Texas for three months now. But we're still here. So many plans and so much time has gone by. On the bright side, we have been able to spend great time with our friends and family here. We've had play dates and field trips and swim dates and park days and birthday parties and memories galore. That is one thing I have been very grateful for.
  • And, finally...I made macaroni and cheese for dinner the other night. The saying in our home is that when mama has a craving, everyone benefits. I had a craving. I didn't have everything I needed to make the mac and cheese I normally do, so I had to wing it. I used organic quinoa pasta, organic butter and milk, and unbleached and unbromated flour. Of course, I used Velveeta cheese so really it was all a wash. It was also the best mac and cheese I have ever made. Even the baby ate it. And she asked for more. The leftovers got fought over the next morning. I'm ok with that.
Upside, downside. Optimist, pessimist. Sometimes I tread water in the half empty glass. After that, I float in the half full one.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Harvest Time

I have been asked by  a couple of readers to post current pics of our tower. I've been slacking, though. I should have posted some on Saturday, but excuses, excuses, excuses. I took these yesterday.

 This is the tower in all it's glory. It stands a little over or right at 6' tall. I can't see the top of it, that's for sure. Hubby is right at 6' and he can barely see the top of it. It has really taken off. This picture just does not do it justice. You can see a couple of squash peeking out at you.
 This is that squash up close. It got picked and cooked last night. To put the size in perspective, it was a little longer than my hand from finger tip to wrist. I also had clipped some for our friend T. He had gone with the family when they bought the tower. Every few days, I pick a ton of stuff, mostly lettuce right now, and hubby takes it to T. Yesterday he got green and red leaf lettuce, romaine, bibb lettuce, kale, and squash. Gotta love a goodie bag.

This is our biggest pepper. Don't let the pic fool you. It isn't that big yet. But I couldn't hold back the foliage and take the picture and get my hand in there for a size check. It still has a way to go, but we are just excited to have peppers. I imagine stuffed bell peppers everytime I see these guys. I make the best stuffed peppers.

This is our small watermelon. How cute is that? We actually have four, but this was the easiest one to get to. They make the prettiest flowers. I think we are the most excited about watermelon. We all, except the baby because she's weird, can eat our weight in watermelon. I think there might be a fight when these are ripe.

Green beans!! This is the big one. These took a little while to finally start, but now that they have they are growing like gang busters. I like my green beans raw with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. I might just eat these right off the plant. As long as I don't get caught, it'll be OK. Better not let hubby read this one or he'll be on to me.
 Cucumbers. We all, even the baby, like cucumbers. We have them almost every night with dinner. But the cucumber we are most excited about is this one...
It's growing like a weed. I was going to do the hand thing so you can see how big it really is, but when a spider came running at me, it was all over after the screaming. I just nudged some leaves aside and this is what you get. It's almost as long as my hand. Just a few more days and this won't even be around. It'll just be a memory.

 Romaine lettuce right up front. I hadn't harvested that one yet. It's time, though. Makes a great salad or lovely on a sandwich, or wrapped around some chicken salad. I'm drooling.

Pretty green leaf. It's so curly and frilly. That's getting picked today. I see a big salad for lunch in the very near future.

The greenery is so thick, we have to go in and rearrange the stalks and leaves so everything can get some sun. We found a plant that was completely hidden at one point so we moved it. It's flourishing now. So beautiful to look at.

I would say the only down fall we have run into is that every four or five days, we have to add water to it. It's like a fountain and recycles the water you put in it, but it's been so blasted hot, we have to make sure it doesn't run dry. Other than that, we have been very happy with it. We had quarter size hail the other day and we stood inside, miserable, watching it hit the tower and the plants. It knocked the tomato plants over, but we tied them up the next morning and they seem fine. We're still waiting on tomatoes, but we do have flowers on the plants. Any day now, we should see the beginnings of a beautiful snack.

Have a great day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More Lovin'

I am the luckiest mama, ever!!

Happy Mother's day!!

Love is...

my babies.

Happy Mother's Day!