Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Funny

I've been up since 5:15 and all over town this morning.  I found this on CakeWrecks and since it made us Laugh Out Loud, I thought I would share in lieu of 7 Quick Takes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Daybook

Outside my window...Darkness.  The days get shorter and I can tell.  My body knows that the daylight is dwindling and the darkness is growing.  It makes me oh! so glad I live in the South where I have more daylight than others!

I am thinking...about how beautiful homeschooling can be.  And how stressful and I wonder if I will ever find the balance between loving the learning and checking off the subjects.

I am thankful for...the opportunity to homeschool my kids.  It has taught me as much as I've taught them, or more, because I've learned new textbook lessons as well as life-lessons.

From the learning rooms...The highlight of our days is Ann Voskamp's Geography.  Pipster and Princess are loving it, and I am, too.  Yesterday was an especially good day.  I found poetry to listen to, and videos to watch about the moon landing, and an American Heritage Girls badge to work on that all go together.  I also decided to skip to the section in her science text on the planets so we could combine it all.  Today we'll make a model of the universe in the cul-de-sac and have fun!

From the kitchen...I'd really like to step up my menu planning thanks to Barb's influence, and add lunches to the menu.  I also need to find some new recipes.  I'm bored.  (That's the same entry from last time.  Nothing has changed.  I'm in survival mode, trying to make sure that I have a meal planned to go with the day's activities.)

I am pajamas and robe because my leisurely mornings are a hard habit to break.  I have to leave here in 20 minutes. The young 'uns just woke up and it's time for me to be on the move!

I am creating...A custom knit sweater for Pipster.  It's my first KAL (knit-along), so I wanted to try it, but it's crazy since I have the sweater I started for myself, the dress in the car (does that count?), and gauntlets that I promised to Princess for her halloween costume.

I am the bank and garden today.  (Ha!  Not really! That's another old entry, but every time I pass the garden, 4X a day to and from school, I think to myself how smart it was to give it up.  I'm a little wistful not to have a garden, but I don't have time for that one!

I'll be making my trips to and from school today.

I am reading...An enchanting book called What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause.  A thrill a minute, let me tell you. (Still.  5 mins. per night.)

Need to order Mockingjay which just came out, and I'm regretting that I didn't pre-order!

I am hearing...Music from Ann Voskamp's blog.  I thought I closed the window, but I guess not.  It's beautiful and soothing and makes me want to live my life with purpose, and beauty, and joy.

Around the house...Knitting needles everywhere.  Be careful where you sit!

One of my favorite things...quiet mornings.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  AHG starts tomorrow!  I'm excited for the year to start.  The troop is coming together nicely.  No choir yet.  I'm glad to have another week off.  

And I'm seriously thinking about painting a piece of furniture. My father and brother are of the "You never paint good wood" variety.  My mother was a rebel and painted everything she hated white.  I have this desk that is, of course, all wrapped up in memories of her and I want to paint it white, but part of me wants to keep it the way it was when she gave it to me.  It's not exactly, but it's close.  It's not as if it's a good piece of furniture as the veneer is completely gone from the top, but, you know.  What would you do?

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

~~~~~~~~~~Standing in the middle of the sun~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The view from Neptune

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An F.O.!

Here's a lovely little thing that I finished last week, and I'm just getting around to showing you.

It was a lot of fun to knit, although I could never remember the pattern and always had to check my instruction sheet.

Of the three pictures, the bottom one illustrates the color the best.  It's a very grassy, yellow-green.

Friday, August 20, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

What I Learned During My First Week of School

You really can knit in the car!  That is, if you have a very simple project that is just miles of stockinette and doesn't require any thought, and if you have lots of stop lights.

I have both, so I don't feel as if my 2 hours in the car each day are a total waste---I'm getting something done!

Even with a 2-hour commute, with only 2 children in your homeschool, you have a lot more free time!  Of course, I should be using that free time to plan out the rest of our schedule, which might fill up some of those empty hours.

It is well to have yet another knitting project available at the school table (the other one stays in the car all the time!).  It keeps you anchored there while the children read to you or work on math problems.  You're getting something done (aside from the not-so-obvious, yet major accomplishment of educating your children), and you're not getting distracted by "just checking your email real quick!"

I don't think 180 days of math assignments is enough to finish 60" (that's 5 feet, people!) of K1P1 rib, let alone the gazillions of K2P2 rib that follow.

I don't knit very fast.

The Charlotte Mason method of education involves a LOT of books.  I've collected so many geography books that it's going to seriously cut into my knitting time.

You probably thought that this post was going to be much more about home education than knitting.  


I don't know what made you think that!

Have a great Friday/weekend!  And I hope you get a lot of knitting done!

Go visit Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A new school year must mean a new curriculum...



Around here, curricula rarely stay the same from year to year.  I almost always use one of the various "schools" as a basis, and then add in or change a few things that I like better, but we're pretty much always trying something new every few years.

I've done Mother of Divine Grace, Kolbe, Seton, and Catholic Heritage Curricula.  Am I missing any of them?  The only one I've ever enrolled in was MODG for a year or 2 to help us out with Latin and Math.

As the years go by, there are certain books that I really like and we've used for the majority of the past 15 years, but I find as I do this more that I'm drawn toward a more Charlotte Mason-like approach.  I love the idea of lots of living books and children narrating what they've learned.  I've tried this many times over the years and always enjoyed it, much to the dismay of the children who do NOT like to narrate!

Nevertheless, this year I've downloaded the Mater Amabilis programs by Michele Quigley and Katherine Faulkner to use as a basis, and I've gathered a lot of books (bought and borrowed) necessary for Elizabeth Foss's Continents and Cultures.  I'm rather excited about it, although it's an adjustment for my 2 pupils.  They rather like knowing exactly what is on the schedule, being able to fill in the blanks in the workbook, and checking off that subject.  I must admit that I do, too, but we're breaking away this year.

For the first time in many, many years, I do not have a firm schedule on the computer.  No books and page numbers listed for each day!  I'm pretty sure that experts like Elizabeth don't go about it this way, but she's had many years to read and absorb Charlotte Mason, and I have not.  We've started working already, doing the things that I know we need to do, like math, religion, and science, while I work at putting together a plan that we can implement.  And that I can put in the computer!   I'll just add in new things as I'm ready and get some sort of format into the computer for grades and whatnot.

An interesting note is that Pipster has immediately had a bad reaction to school (crying).  In working with him and talking to him, I find that although he dislikes narration, he dislikes textbooks even more.   While I like our Harcourt science books, and he gets to fill-in-the-blanks, he hates learning that way.  Today at the library, while picking up the dozen geography books I requested, I got a bunch of living science books on the same subject as the chapter we are on.  He was thrilled and asked if he could just learn his science that way instead of using the text!

I said yes, but I didn't break it to him that it will require more narration.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You don't know how lucky you are...

...that I didn't post my 7 Quick Takes on Friday!  It was the culmination of a pretty stressful week, and I was still so busy that I didn't have time to finish them!

So, I'll delete that draft and we'll move on from there, forgetting that week ever happened.

Well, I won't forget, but you won't have to hear about all of it!

Suffice it to say that it was a week of transitions:

I sent my 4th wonderful child off to a new high school.

I sent my 2nd amazing child off to his second year of college in a new apartment.

I sent my 1st precious baby off to her senior year of college in a shockingly, shabby apartment. (But she and her friends have made it very cute!)

All while picking up my 3rd fabulous child from his last week of summer football practice.  Ever.

And trying to plan my 16th year of homeschooling, which involves only 2 dear young children.

And trying not to think about any of it.

Oh, and starting that 16th year of homeschooling with only 2 children, which should be a breeze, but I'm trying something new and I don't know what I'm doing....I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

If I live to tell about it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Favorite Catholic Devotions

I'm going to jump on the Meme bandwagon with everyone else.  No one seems to be tagging anyone, or they're tagging everyone!  Lol.

So, in no particular order----that is, the order I think of them----here are the 7 devotions I practice the most (with the disclaimer that I don't practice any of them as well as I would like):

The Magnificat
For me, this is the best way to keep up with my prayers.  I have several great apps on my ipod, but I prefer a book, and this one has all the essentials that I want:  morning prayer, Mass readings, a meditation of the day, and evening prayer.

The Rosary
The old Catholic stand-by.  Our family prays a decade together nearly every night, and I try to get in a whole rosary when I'm alone.  That's not often, though.  Usually when I'm in the car and no one wants to be with me to make the long drive!

Sometimes I'll try to pray it as I go through my day doing chores, but I get very distracted and rarely finish. But it's something, right?  Lots of times when I awaken in the night from insomnia or night sweats, I'll think it's a call to pray for someone and I pray the rosary then.  God knows who needs it.

I love getting out to daily Mass, but it has been a long time since we did that.  I'm hoping to get back into the habit once school starts.  At least once or twice a week.

First Fridays and First Saturdays
Since we had our home consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, First Fridays are part of that.   Our parish has an overnight vigil every month.  Rosary at 8, Friday Mass at 9, prayers and adoration, Saturday Mass  at 1 a.m.   

We really try to make it every month to Confession.  It helps keep us on our toes!  

I had a priest get after me once at the huge Eucharistic Congress we have in Atlanta----he said we need to go every 2 weeks!!  He was very firm about it.  So there you have it folks, from a very holy priest:  Confession at least every 2 weeks!

Or maybe he meant just me?

Divine Mercy Chaplet
I don't do this one regularly, but I love it, and it was immensely comforting to pray it at my mother's bedside when she was dying.

I saw someone else mention this, and I heartily concur.  It might not be what you normally think of as a devotion, but I do it frequently.  I try to commit to memory hymns that I love, and I do sing them often as I go about my day.  


Your turn!  Have you listed your favorite devotions yet?

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of School!

First day of school (with hallways!) for TMax today!  Yes, I'm sending another one off to high school, and he's the first one back to school so far.  No one else starts until next week, although KT and Hitch will officially leave at the end of the week for college.
A friend asked if I was lonely today.  


I didn't have time to be lonely since I had plenty to do still.  Lots of driving.  Lots of kids in the house and at the pool.  Dentist.

Now, next week is another story.  Check on me then when all my big kids are back to school and I'm at home with the 2 littles.  Not that being home with them is bad; I'm looking forward to all the fun we're going to have.

But it will sure be quiet all of a sudden.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Giveaway!'s been a week and we still have only 4 comments on the Sharing the Love post.  We have to do better than this, folks!  I know I have a few more readers than 4....or I did until my Sitemeter disappeared and now I seem to have none...

Of course, there is always the possibility that everyone has read the book already.

I told you, Amy Caroline, that your odds were pretty good, in spite of being First!   

So good, in fact, that you are the winner of The Help!  (Someone teach me how to insert a picture of a book/product here).  Congratulations!  Shoot me an email and I'll get your book in the mail Monday.

Friday, August 6, 2010

7 (Not-so) Quick Takes

Today's Quick Takes consist of things to do on a sluggish Friday morning!  Although, truth be told, most, if not all, of my mornings are extremely sluggish.  I'm told it has something to do with my extremely low blood-pressure, but hey, who needs an excuse to be lazy?

Get your watered down cup of coffee and settle down in front of the computer.  I can hear you asking why the heck my coffee is watered down if I'm so sluggish!  Well, I can't handle too much caffeine and I've settled on this small amount that doesn't cause me problems.  It's mostly for the taste anyway!

Read your usual stuff on the internet, especially the fun linky-parties of thrifty decorating!

Add more new blogs to your Google Reader (for future sluggish mornings, dontcha know) and imagine finding the energy to go out to the weekend yardsales, find treasures and refurbish them. 

Why is it that they always have to be in the mornings and not the afternoons when I'm ready to get moving?

Fondly remember last Friday when you had plenty of morning energy (where did that come from?!) and you decided to paint your sons' large bedroom.  It was amazing.  Madden came home from football practice and was not happy to find his room torn up, so he graciously offered to help paint and re-arrange furniture.  So he'd be able to relax.  We got it 90% finished and the furniture put back in place.  I'll take pics when it's really finished.  

Start thinking about how TMax goes to school for the first time on Monday and you'll have to start driving him every morning at 7 a.m.

Or don't think about that one.  

It's too exhausting.

Plan your day:  laundry, decluttering, painting.  And think about going back to bed because the list is exhausting.

Move to another chair and do your morning prayers.  Realize that that should have been the First Thing all along, but it's hard to focus on Jesus when I can barely focus!

And finally, have a great day!

Visit Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August, Again.

Here we are.  Again.

It's hot as blazes practically every day.  My kids are scattered hither and thither; sometimes I'm driving them, sometimes they're just in the neighborhood.  Either way, it's hard to grab them long enough to get them to do a chore, let alone have a conversation with them.

August has its good and bad, you know.

Good:  Wedding anniversary!  24 years!

Bad:  Anniversary of Mom's death.  And it totally did NOT help that I read The Last Song the other day with the whole long, drawn out description of the father's last weeks.  OTOH, I did get a good cry out of it, which may have been beneficial.

Good:  Birthday.  Mine.  Wait....Is that one good or bad?  The presents part is good.  Another year?  Not so much.

Bad:  School starts.  Of the 4 schools our children attend (college, 2 secondary, home), the slow exodus begins on the 9th.

Good:  School starts.  We need the structure!  I found myself saying to someone yesterday that I can't wait for my kids to go back to school!  And I never say that!  I hate hearing it from others as if their children are an intrusion in their lives of tennis, lunches and manicures.  I love having my children around, even if they do create huge messes, but I think we're all just a little tired of the lack of structure and brainwork.  But let me pause to point out here that my high schoolers would say that they have been doing their summer reading and mini-essays, and are using their brains plenty, thank-you-very-much!

Bad:  School starts!!!  This may actually be the latest I have ever gotten around to planning our homeschool curriculum.  In fact, there are very good signs that I may not plan it at all and just wing it all year long.  I just know some of you are saying:  Wow, I wish I had the nerve to do that!  and others are saying:  Oh my goodness.  Will those children even get an education?  They will.  I promise.  In fact, we might all learn something!

Good:  Even August comes to an end, followed by September which brings glorious Fall!  I know we have a ways to go before cooler weather comes, but I'm looking forward to it.

 I'll just leave you with a picture of this beautiful lady and her daughters who miss her.


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