Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Isn't That What I've Been Saying?

Long division has been the enemy here for a few months.

It's been months and not weeks only because of inconsistent schooling, mind you. We've been on long division for a while. Simple division? No problemo. Long division where numbers don't go in evenly and there are 3 digits in the dividend? With remainders? No good.

There has been much frustration and many set backs. I don't know why it hasn't been making sense to Sweetheart but I think I have figured it out based on yesterday's occurrence.

I believe to her brain, there was a never-ending series of steps you had to go through. These steps must have seemed very random to her because she was never sure what to do next. Or where to write the answer. Or what to do after that. I was sitting right next to her with every problem....

Me: OK---how many times does 4 go into 7? Write it here. Now multiply. Multiply 4 X 1. OK--where do you write that? Now what? Subtract. Now bring down the next number. No, bring it down to here. OK--what's next?

blah blah blah

I was hoping my voice would become her inner conversation but it wasn't happening. Girlfriend was just confused. That's all.

So yesterday I found this little tutorial and had her read it out loud.

And suddenly (cue angels singing) IT ALL MADE SENSE!!!

Why? I don't know. She's very visual. Something about this tutorial just clicked with her and math was done in 1/4 of the time it usually takes.

Praise the Lord!!!! It worked for us, so I thought I'd pass that along. And now some random pictures!

These are the books we found in Sweetheart's room during the cleaning last week. Mind you, there are supposed to be NO BOOKS in their rooms as they are all housed here in the black shelves. We found more later. 

My little family watching Christmas cartoons right after Daddy got home from work the other night. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When the Plan Goes Out the Window

I very carefully planned out our school year this summer. I scheduled all our breaks. I broke our books down into chapters and lessons and figured out how much we needed to get done each week. I copied everything and organized everything.

It was a thing of beauty.

Ha ha ha ha ha!


I guess we all know that my beautiful planning is kaput. Those every-6-weeks breaks have to go. (We'll take smaller ones as needed.) I slept through a great deal of the fall so we are behind on every subject just about.

I have often given the advice to others, "Give yourself a break. You'll have time later to catch up!"

A friend is sick as a dog through her pregnancy? I don't expect her to get school done every day! Puhleeze.

A friend lives with a chronic illness? Of COURSE she will have a different looking schedule than most!

Now I have to listen to my own self.

We put up some Christmas decorations yesterday. That was way more fun than school work. We're going grocery shopping today. Life lesson. We'll take time to read Christmas books, and make presents, and enjoy this whole month....and we will do school too.

I made the calendar. It's change-able. It's flexible. We set our own schedule around here. (So thankful!) The girls will learn, and grow, and improve in all areas (maybe not as much as I had planned), every week. They will end this school year smarter than they started it.

But most importantly, they will not live with the memory of a stressed-out mama snapping at them to get busy or skipping holiday fun for math practice. So my advice still stands. It really is true--it will be OK. An off-year isn't going to hurt anyone permanently.

Besides, I know what matters most.

(And it isn't checking off my little school list!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In Which I Lose My Mind Just Before Thanksgiving

For some crazy reason, I decided this last week would be the perfect time to deep clean and organize Sweetheart's room. I love her and I am in no way wanting to humiliate her but let me just say: her room was amazing. (In a Hoarders sort of way.)

No, we did  not find any dead animals or grossness of that nature (!) but wow. The problem was not totally hers. A few months ago, when we moved the girls to their own rooms we just sort of said, "where do you want the furniture?" and called it a day. We never really set up PLACES for everything. And she needs that.

So me and my trusty label maker worked overtime and found a spot for each and every category of items. But habits take a long time to cultivate and so mama has to stay on her hard now for the next few weeks months. And I have to--because I don't ever want to spend 2 days of my life like that again.

Little Bit, who LOVES order and is really naturally pretty good at it, wanted her room to be better too. So I had 2 rooms going on for awhile there. It was really coming down to the wire on Wednesday as we were

1. leaving to go out of town Thursday morning.
2. having people over for Bible study that evening.

So...S grabbed some trash bags and stuffed the remaining pile in there and called it a day. Now, we can sort through the bags at our leisure. I doubt much of it will come back out!

For the record, I'm glad that is done and I don't want to do it again. I mean, I KNOW we will have to spring clean sometimes, but mercy.

Next up? Our room. Ug. But the homeschool room, dining room, both girls' rooms, and living room are awesome.

AAAAAAHHHHHH. That's me breathing a sigh of clean-house relief.

And we did enjoy our weekend at my parent's country place. Now it's good to be home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Other Catching Up Pictures

Here are some other things I failed to blog during my first trimester.

(By the way, I am REALLY anxious to feel baby move! It's been 2 weeks since my last ultrasound and how can I know everything is OK? Hate how long it is between visits!)

We had Physics with Carrie and her kiddos a few times:

 They were packed to move on this day--boxes everywhere!

We attended the symphony with friends.

And started a Keepers at Home club with the same family. Here are the girls with their sashes....the baby HAD to have one so we quick made her one out of fabric scrap. :)

They are working on their "plastic canvas" craft badges. Little one will NOT be left out.

Today we also had a meeting but took no pictures! Sweetheart and I have been organizing her room (she's working on the Organization badge) today and we got NO school done. Sigh. Which means we will have to go one day longer before Christmas break or cram some more work in somehow.

But it was a good day. After our Keepers meeting, we went out to eat for lunch and ran into some friends so we ate/played on the restaurant playground with them and had a good time. And I went to the grocery store so I'm hoping to NOT leave the house tomorrow.

OK. I'm all caught up. (On blogging.) (Not school).

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up--Week 13

Hey! Remember when we used to do weekly wrap ups around here? Me too! Feeling like you missed something in weeks oh...6-12? Well, basically mom napped and the girls played and somehow we got a little school done each day. You didn't miss much!

But last week we were on the ball!

So..I don't have any actual pictures of school taking place, but it did. Trust me. It took a long time each day, or so it seemed since we aren't used to actually doing every subject. Saturday morning we had some school to do because I had taken last Monday off and at 5am Saturday morning I had an epiphany!

An epiphany, I tell you!

See, I've been waking up for 2-3 hours for no good reason every night. THIS particular time, I grabbed my phone off my nightstand and started typing notes so I wouldn't forget all my awesome ideas.

(And I never did get to organizing the kitchen.) (Later, OK?)

First of all, I realized some things about our homeschool room.

1. It's crowded.
2. I won't fit in there much longer.
3. We only use the table for about an hour a day.
4. We stack crap on it the rest of the time.
5. It's hard to vacuum after the birds with the big table in there.

So....out went the table. (Just stored it in the garage--it's a good table!)

And now we have sort of a library. Neat. Clean. Simple.

Uh...did I ever mention that a few months ago we moved the homeschool room back to the little room at the front of the house and the girls have their own rooms now? Hmm. Guess all that happened on my break. So I have no pictures of how crowded it was in there with the bird cage and table and TV cabinet and BOY HAVE I BEEN A SLACK BLOGGER!!!

By the way, we moved the girls to their own rooms shortly after this post and right when I found out I was pregnant. we have a room to store all our homeschool stuff in (plus the girls have bookshelves in their rooms for school books) and we work at the dining room table, the couch, the living room floor, and at their desks. I like it. I don't feel tied down to sitting in the same chair all day and we are still getting things done. AND our dining room is not junked up.

AHHH. So much better. (I really cannot believe I didn't tell you about the rearranging! Or take any pictures! Man!)

OK, so this is not really a wrap up---more of a catch up.  Here are some pics from last week:

Kids 12 and up are asked to help serve at our homeschool group's Thanksgiving feast. 

Sweetheart was SO proud to be old enough to help with the "teens." 

After lunch, Little Bit colored with some sweet  friends. 

And got to be the 5th little turkey during the Thanksgiving stories for the younger kids.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Day I Became a Nag

You know sometimes you stay home all day and get school done?

And you know how you and the kids just camp out in the living room with school books scattered all around and maybe someone snacks on the box of Froot Loops during school and leaves them out and you also decide to be industrious and fold a load of clothes in the middle of the floor while your child reads to you?

And you know how the living room looks after several hours of that?

Yeah. Well.

Then suppose you remember you are supposed to take husband's clothes to the cleaners today so you round up the kids and get everyone in the car leaving the living room in it's current state?


And then you know, your house alarm goes off while you are gone but you don't hear the phone call on your cell phone so they call your dad down the street and he and a police officer come to the house and determine no foul play was at hand?

(How they determined that is beyond me because it LOOKED like a ransack, I'm telling 'ya.)

That's so embarrassing, isn't it?

Don't you just hate that?


Good grief.

When Friday is Not Friday

It's actually Thursday around here. I say that because we are on day 4 of our Sonlight assignment sheets instead of day 5. This, of course, is because I took that teacher workday on Monday.

So....we will be having Saturday school. A first around here that I am NOT looking forward to! But that will make everything even and happy before Thanksgiving so that is a good thing. And I feel sure it won't last very long on Saturday. More than sure, actually.

Our fun, exciting, wondrous plans for the weekend include (school) and organizing the kitchen. The girls were not REAL enthusiastic about that, but what they don't know is that I am willing to pay them. I'll post pictures next week to inspire you.

I love how Sweetheart gets ready in the morning and then goes to her room to start school. She likes getting her independent stuff done and out of the way while I work with Little Bit. She loves having her desk and locker in her room. She independently, and without being reminded now, practices piano. Twelve is a really cool age so far.

And she just asked for a make-up kit for Christmas. This is the child who, in the past, would not comb her hair for a week if she were not made to. Growing up is so funny. By the way, the "make-up kit" had nail polish and lip gloss in it. I am fine with that. :)

But let's not talk about Christmas right now because I don't have one idea or gift purchased or anything thought out at all including where will we put a tree this year(?). Let's concentrate on Thanksgiving for now, OK?

Thanksgiving involves eating. This I can do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving--a Week Early--and Some of My Friends

It's our homeschool group's Thanksgiving feast today. I love getting to eat yummy Thanksgiving food (most of which I didn't cook) a week early! I'm making mashed potatoes and so in a minute I have to go start peeling potatoes. Ug. I also signed up to bring 2 liters. Bread was already taken.

I'm all about the challenging cooking.

So we won't finish all our subjects today but that's OK. We're going to be more thankful today than productive.

The really good news is, since we had friends coming over last night, we actually cleaned the kitchen up after supper. (As opposed to the next morning--ahem.) It was a joy to walk into a clean kitchen this morning, let me tell you. Haven't done that in a while.

So this morning we're scrambling around trying to find good looking clothes to wear. It was in the 50s this morning, but will get up to 69 today and we will be helping set up and clean up from the feast do you dress for that? I'm sure we'll all pull something together.

Two more things:

My friend's 1 year old baby had major (and very long) surgery yesterday to remove a tumor from behind her right ear. This is the second tumor. The first one was removed in May. She will be in the hospital for 8 days and will have another surgery in 4 days. I have felt very distracted thinking about them. When they get in a regular room, we can go see them. She has 5 other children who she had to place in public school for the time being and I just cannot imagine what all she is going through. If you think about it would you say a prayer for baby Marissa and her family?

On a happier note, another friend was nominated for best homeschool vlogger. She really is. Even if I am slightly upset when I see her gorgeous self (EVEN with no makeup) on the videos. Do you even want to know what I would look like if I were to video myself while driving? Dear me. Check her out here and go vote if you like!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Pregnant Brain--Part1

Suddenly, having iced tea was more important than nearly anything.

So important, she heaved her tired self off the couch to make some.

And yes, the house needed picking up, and the laundry needed to be put away.




Who can explain it?

I Have a Plan

Sweetheart has been wanting so badly to be big and helpful lately. Yesterday we got home from the grocery store and I was so tired. She said she would unload the groceries for me. And she did--each time carrying more and more bags. (Which of course I bragged on her about.)

Then she asked if she could cook supper. Why, certainly!! I just happened to find a recipe yesterday that was very easy. And me sitting on the couch giving directions to Sweetheart in the kitchen was really nice and ALSO made me think about things in 6 months.

So, my plan is:
#1 Get a list of meals together that Sweetheart can make.
#2 Get some meals in the freezer. (I've been pinning freezer meal recipes.)

And, oh yeah, I also need to kind of organize the kitchen a bit better. It's gotten messy.

That's just the kitchen!!!! Sigh. There is so much to do!

Anyway, here's the recipe (any family bigger than mine will want to double it--I may double it next time so we will have leftovers.)

Tasty Taco Bake
Crush Doritoes in the bottom of an 8 inch casserole dish.
Combine chili with beans, green chilies, and a 1/2 cup of olives in a bowl. Spoon over the chips in the dish.
Spread sour cream over the top.
Sprinkle with cheese, mushrooms, green onions, more crushed chips, and olives.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with shredded lettuce.

(We left out the green chilies, mushrooms, and olives. We're picky.)

Glad I have a plan for the kitchen--now I just need to implement it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Longest Day Ever

Oh my word y'all.

We're doing every. single. subject. today and it's 2:30 and we aren't through yet. Well, Sweetheart isn't through anyway. Who knew school would take this long when you do the WHOLE smash?

And OK we didn't get started very early because mama was awake for 3-4 hours last night for no good reason and so I went back to sleep after S left for work. Then we had to run to the grocery store just to have anything to eat for breakfast.

I told you I wasn't exactly prepared this week.

But the good news is, we WILL finish every subject today and the best part is: I MADE A GROCERY LIST. That, my friends, is 50% of the battle. Maybe more.

And so we were all ready to walk out the door and go procure food and let Sweetheart finish school when we got home and then.....

Well, if you can't tell, it is POURING outside. So, we will wait.

And school taking this long wouldn't be a big deal if we just stayed home every day but somehow we have gotten ourselves into too much going this year. I hate that. Mondays and Fridays are home days at least. I really need to look at the calendar and pare down some stuff.

So, how about you? If you homeschool, do you do every single subject every day? How many days a week do you stay home?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recovery Day

We've called a Teacher Workday over here at the House Revised. School has been....sketchy the last few months. Mama has had the energy of a slow loris and we've gotten only the bare essentials done each day.

One day, after rising bright and early at 8:00am, I took a nap on the couch at 10:00am. We'll refer to that as the "low point", OK?

Thankfully, because we are using Sonlight this year, the show has been able to go on, at least a little bit. Sweetheart has been able to do her independent work and I can sit on the couch and do read-alouds. Little Bit and I have kept up with her "100 Easy Lessons" for reading (we'll be finished by Christmas!!! YAY!!!) and her Sonlight read-alouds and there has been a lot of math practice.

Other than that? Not so much.

See? Mom sits on the couch while Sweetheart does her timeline and Little Bit apparently is reading to her pillow pet. I don't know. 

But I am now officially in my 2nd trimester and sure enough, my energy is returning. I think it's been 2 or 3 weeks since I've taken daily naps. So, I have decided it's time to get back with it. I am going to plan today through Christmas, and hopefully beyond. School is top priority around here as the wonderful baby news shortened our school year by a few weeks.

But the good news? That's OK in homeschooling!!! You can get caught up.

Also, the house is still in party mode, with dining room chairs scattered all over the living room and gift bags and tissue paper everywhere. What? I was resting yesterday!

Our homeschool group's Thanksgiving feast is this week and I can't wait for that. 1. I love Thanksgiving and 2. I love our homeschool group. The best of both worlds!

I'm off to eat waffles, do laundry, and plan school!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Party and Big News

Little Bit's birthday was so much fun yesterday!

We made a little Pascal to sit on her shoulder.

Everything ready to go. Her costume, and Rapunzel hair for the guests.

I made the tower and served the cupcakes in a frying pan. I was pretty proud of that idea as it was about the only one I didn't get off the internet!

We played "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Rider."

Me spinning my niece Moose for the game.
Little Bit opened her presents gladly and shyly said "thank you" to everyone.

Then it was time for our plan. She calmly picked up the last gift to open and S got into place to take pictures of our sisters' reaction.

Everyone was leaning to see the shirt... (you know, this one)

And then...

Check out my sister way over on the left. :) it was such a slow realization that swept over everyone. It seemed like it took forever. So funny.

All the family was really happy though.

The movie kept everyone entertained while they ate cake.

And then the kids all played. Simple and fun.

And now....after a day of rest....its time to get back to work on school. Only I'm not prepared.

Minor detail, right?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

From My Head Today

  • Thank you everyone for your congratulations yesterday!
  • I spent the last 2 months struggling with worry and I plan to blog about that some next week. 
  • I am approaching full-on panic mode about the state of our house and how we cannot possibly have a baby in this disorganized place. 
  • We've only been getting the bare minimum done in school the last month and a half due to all the napping (mom's, not theirs). But next week I plan to add subjects back in that have been sorely neglected. 
  • Our previous plan of 6 weeks on/1 week off is out the door. We've got to get as much done as we possibly can because when May rolls around....the current school year is over. 
  • Our camping trip was fun and Little Bit's birthday will be fun too, but what we really need after all this fun, is a payday. Does anyone feel me?
  • Speaking of which, today I need to go buy her a birthday gift. 
  • There is only 1 1/2 more weeks of school before Thanksgiving!
  • I do not have one single, solitary Christmas gift purchased, made, or decided on.
And now I have a question. 
I did not do a baby registry for either of my other babies. It seemed presumptuous to me. (Mind you, baby registry was pretty new back in 1999.) We needed everything and knew I would appreciate anything anyone got us. We had a shower with Little Bit only because we were at a new church and the education minister's son and his wife were having a baby. We were both due near the same time and were in the same Sunday school class so how could they leave me out? I didn't need a baby shower, but we got lots of diapers and handmade blankets and nice things. 
THIS time....I have a question. Do I register? Do I just make a wish list on Amazon? Because I don't want a lot of stuff. I feel very differently about what we "need" this time around and we also don't have space for a lot of stuff. And even though I don't want a lot of stuff, we um...need some things. I'm not saying we're going to have a shower because I have no idea. But I know people will ask what we need and I tell them I'm registered or what? That feels strange to me. What's the word on this? What's proper these days? I am way out of touch.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Now I'll Know Who is Paying Attention!

    Little Bit's birthday is this Friday (11-11-11) and we are having her little party on Saturday evening. She has requested a Tangled party, for which there are tons of ideas online. I made a Pinterest board a few months ago and this week I'm putting it all into action.

    Sure, they sell Rapunzel dresses at Wally World for $20, but they were too short for her and plus, I made this one for about $3.00.

    Of course, Rapunzel needs hair.

    Still need to glue some flowers in the braid.

    I've got printables to go up around the house and I'm going to attempt to make Rapunzel's tower out of Swiss Cake Rolls. We'll see how that goes.

    But since family will all be gathered for the event, we figured the party would be a good time to give her this as a present:

    See? Are you paying attention? S made the shirt for her last night with his mad computer skillz. She knows about it--the girls are in on the plan. It'll be the last gift she opens and she'll turn it around to show everyone and we get to watch our family's faces as it slowly dawns on them.

    Can't wait for this party! (And can't believe my little girl will be 8!)

    **If you are my Facebook friend or friend IRL.....SSSSHHHHH!!! :) **

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    One Week Was Not Enough

    Sigh. We're back at it this week, but our week off of school was SO nice! We camped Monday-Wednesday and then just took Thursday and Friday off to play/do laundry/relax. This morning we'll be cracking the books again, but only until we get a few days off for Thanksgiving.

    We camped with some friends and the girls all worked on earning their camping badges for their  Keepers of the Faith club. One task we had them do was set up a tent by themselves.

    All the big girls with the finished project! Ages range from 12-4.

    We had so much fun we barely took any pictures! Plus that first night we were too cold. It was a brisk 44 degrees that first night and may I just say, that is a BIT cold for tent camping?

    The last morning we went fishing in the same spot we fished in 2 years ago and I could not believe the effects of the drought!

    See that big log laying there? Mark that in your mind.

    Now, let's look at that log 2 years ago:

    Do you see it in front of Little Bit there? Yep. This was all part of the lake 2 years ago.

    Two years ago...

     Last week...
    We just couldn't get over how this:
     Could turn into this:
    But it was a fun time camping. I love camping.

    Then we ended the week with a bang. Sweetheart was playing baseball in the backyard with her cousins and she tripped on one of the bricks that edge our garden and fell into the garden, cutting herself up on the bricks in the process. She has a pretty good gash on her knee, which was handled with butterfly bandages, and lots of scrapes and cuts.

    Good thing it's back to school today--we couldn't handle much more fun!