Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Which Brenda Has Insomnia and is NOT Pregnant

Man, the last few nights have been just like when I was pregnant. I go right to sleep and then about 3 or 4am...BAM. Wide awake.

Wide awake and solving all the problems of the world. And worrying.

You name it, I covered it last night. I worried about money, a person who is living in sin that I need to write a letter to about that (wrote the letter in my head--check), Little Bit's sore gums, health, my terminally ill cousin, lack of progress in school...etc.

It's a really tiring way to wake up.

This morning I went with S to a follow up appointment at his new doctor's office. She's very nice and young but she prescribed two things that I will be researching. Not at all sure I want him on those drugs. So that's my next project.

S holding Baby Bee last fall on our camping trip.

Sweetheart asked over the weekend if the Bible said anything about modesty. That question surprised me as I've always talked about modesty with them. Guess its been years since we actually read any Bible verses about it. And now that she's as old as she is, I decided to show her how to study something she is curious about. After our first study time she said it was fun and she really enjoyed it. THAT is an answer to prayer!

Sweetheart playing in the "snow" at Daddy's work Christmas party.

Last Monday, right in the middle of history, Little Bit's tics reared their ugly head. Not just any tics, but the dreaded screaming tic.

Me: So Abraham moved from Ur to Canaan...
LB: Ur. Ur. Urururururur. SCREAM
Me: (thinking) please be kidding

All we can think is that she got overly tired from our fun weekend with the Holiday family. Whatever it was set her off from Monday until Wednesday afternoon. It was a very tiring 3 days. She was exhausted, school didn't get completely done, there were tears. One happy note is that the screaming didn't seem to bother Baby Bee at all. Sometimes she just looked at Little Bit and screamed back. That made us all laugh. And Bee managed to sleep through them too.

We upped her supplement she takes and I think we may have overdone it and given her too much and made her stomach upset. ANYWAY....all that to say...that's why I haven't been blogging.

Tourette Syndrome is more time consuming than regular life.

Little Bit at our church's children's Christmas party. Can you tell I need to upload some more recent pictures???

We broke out our copy of Front of the Class and watched it together. That prompted me to read the book again. What struck me this time I read it was Brad Cohen's description of learning with Tourette's present. It really made me think about why Little Bit is where she is in school.

Baby Bee in the owl hat Auntie Carrie got her.

And in more horrible news: Bee is crawling. Oh I'm kidding. It's wonderful news. She looks so cute scooting across the floor. Boy did big sisters start scrambling around picking stuff up when on Sunday she suddenly took off! Now she not only crawls, but pulls up at the coffee table and gets into everything. Nothing is safe anymore. Gee I wonder why I'm not more productive?

Oh wait. I AM productive.

Just in my head at 4am.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back At It

We just got home from a weekend away and it was wonderful! We went to see our good friends, the Holiday family, who moved away at the end of August. We got to spend the whole weekend together---kids playing, adults talking----so nice. The drive to Louisiana wasn't bad at all and the girls rode wonderfully in the van. Couldn't ask for a better weekend!

And now I find myself refreshed! (Forgot what that felt like!) I actually feel ready to get back to school tomorrow and work on the house (which we left clean--so nice to come home to!) and just get things done.

But tonight I have some questions for you:

1. HOW is it already the end of January????? This school year is flying by!

2. If you really want your daughters to grow up to be wives and mothers and homemakers--then what should their high school credits look like? Mrs. Holiday and I were talking about that this weekend. College is a great idea I suppose. I encourage the girls to think about "careers" or "jobs" where they could earn money and take care of their family such as photography, cosmetology, etc. Flexible things where they could work part time or from home if they needed to. But if we're serious about raising godly homemakers then what does that make high school look like? Personal finance or stewardship courses, homemaking classes, photography as an elective? What do you think?

3. How do you make a 45 year old house look new(er) without spending an arm and a leg? This is the Year of Fixing Up the House here at the House Revised. Thinking ahead to one day getting out from under a mortgage and being ready to go wherever the Lord should plans mind you just wanting to be not so tied down and, where do you start on that? I mean besides pinning stuff on Pinterest. Ha!

Until I hear from you on this, I'll just resume pinning.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Do WHAT While the Baby Sleeps???

Sleep, you say? HA!

Not me. I call collection agencies and insurance companies and pay bills.

I would really like to have a blood pressure cuff on my arm right now.

Do you work in a billing office? HOW HARD IS IT????

(cleansing breaths)

OK. In good news, I got the vacuum cleaner back from the repair shop. We're $80 poorer, but its a good vacuum and now Baby Bee won't be eating so much off the floor. we won't have to constantly be grabbing things out of her hands.

Babies have excellent fine motor skills when it comes to fuzz and strings and stuff.

School did not get completed today because of my hobby taking too much time.

In other news, I am never, not ever going to W*lm*rt again. There I said it. I KNOW you can save money but it is not worth it. I've been grocery shopping elsewhere and loving it. You just have to be careful because elsewhere has many more choices and you can spend too much if you get carried away. But elsewhere is do-able on our budget if I'm careful.

But today both girls needed new pants. Pants without holes. So we went. And we needed other things like diapers and printer ink, etc. Then the check-out lady proceeded to catch up with her good friends in front of us in line. Like seriously, it was a family reunion or something. They were all having a FINE time talking while I wrestled a crying baby. I finally got all my stuff off the conveyor belt and moved over a lane.

And yes, I was walking out while they were still talking. I have never seen people at a job who are in less of a hurry than checkers at W*lm*rt.

I bet they don't need a blood pressure cuff.

And I bet when they leave there, they start working in a billing office.

I think I need to go play with a puppy or something.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Hobby I Didn't Ask For

Wanna know what I do in my spare time?

I talk to insurance companies, doctor's offices, and pharmacies on the phone. It's a load of fun.

You remember, I'm sure, that I was in the hospital twice last year? (Once to have Baby Bee, and 2 weeks later again.) Well. We owe a LOT of people money. Doctors, anesthesiologists, labs, etc. And of course many of them have, how shall we say, issues with the billing process.

So I call.

And now S has been put on insulin. That's a good thing! But since he works full time, it's up to me to make appointments, call in re-fills, ask questions, schedule things, etc.

So I call.

No, Important Lab Company, we do not, in fact, owe you $400 for blood work for my husband. We have insurance. Oh, it was denied? Interesting.

Hello? Insurance Company? Why were we denied? Oh, you never received a claim? Interesting.

Then we proceed to have a conference call between me, Important Lab Company, and Insurance Company. They have the wrong billing code. They didn't know that this one big insurance company bought the other insurance company. OK-we'll try again.

Repeat process the next month. Call also to get them to stop collections.

Oh its fun.

You should get a hobby like mine!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In Which Brenda Moves Furniture....Again

Try to contain your shock.

We set up the 20 year old crib for Baby Bee in Little Bit's room just before Christmas. She's napped in it a few times. Not ready for sleeping there at night yet although she DID sleep through the night last night!

That kind of cramped up Little Bit's room more than I thought it would so I decided to leave the dresser/changing table in our room. After she's no longer sleeping in our room, the co-sleeper will be changed to a regular pack-n-play and shoved over in the corner for nap time. So, her changing table might as well be there too.

Then I needed a way to baby proof our homeschool stuff. I'm not usually a fan of "move every single thing the baby could possibly get into", but homeschool curriculum costs money. And there's been a lot of time and work put into it.

See, after I showed you this picture of our "homeschool area" earlier this year, we added a bookshelf there by the couch. It was full of the stuff we use every day and full of temptation for a new crawler.

So now we have moved our old TV cabinet, which stores our homeschool stuff, into the living room. (This is where it used to sit--out in the utility room.)

It looks pretty good and best of all, the stuff is all safely put away.

And I was making slow progress in baby proofing around here. Then a friend, who is a doctor, had her little 4 year old boy get into some blood pressure medicine. He was unresponsive when they found him and he spent several days in the hospital. Very scary. And not some yahoos you hear about on the news---friends of ours--intelligent, good parent friends. So that kind of made me get into gear about the baby proofing.

Right now she isn't crawling yet, just rolling around picking up every microscopic piece of fuzz and tiny scrap of paper on the floor.

And taking her socks off every 5 minutes.

But that's another issue.

Learning to be on my toes again after many years,


Monday, January 7, 2013

Little Known Facts About Our Homeschool

  • Our homeschool started in August of 2007. Sweetheart was in 2nd grade (after repeating 1st in school) and Little Bit was 3 1/2 years old.
Little Bit's 4th birthday that fall.
  • We schooled at the dining room table using Abeka curriculum.

  • We have not, however, homeschooled in the bathroom yet.

  • The best investment I ever made to our homeschool was this.

  • One thing I am very thankful for is my husband agreeing for us to use Sonlight Curriculum. It's expensive, but it's so good. I am thankful to have it.

  • I have boxes of our old work. I don't really know what to do with it, but I don't want to get rid of it. One day I'll run out of room and have to deal with it.

  • We have 1 1/2 more years until Sweetheart is in high school. (!!!!!)

  • One day I'll have a senior in high school, an 8th grader, and a Kindergartner all at the same time.

  • It took me a while to shake off the school teacher mentality. Then I got a little too relaxed, and now I'm back to being kind of stressed. It's a hard balance.

  • My children will NOT be graduating early, or half-way through college in high school, or any of the other stereotypes of homeschoolers. My children are quite normal--bordering on struggling instead of bordering on genius. And I'm OK with that.

  • I have rarely regretted my curriculum choices. I have changed my mind, but really I am pretty glad we used everything we used. (With one exception coming to mind--that one ended up in the trash can.)

  • I secretly long for a house with a huge homeschool room/playroom. One day. I will be content until then.

  • I miss doing art projects, cooking projects, and other fun stuff. It's all we can do to get through school with a baby around. But the kids don't seem any worse for wear.

What about you? Any little known facts about your homeschool?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Chores

I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized that my kids no longer need "little" chores. See, I used to assign things like, "clean off coffee table", or "sweep front hallway", or "wipe off light switch plates." But it occurred to me yesterday that they are quite capable, after being home with me all these years, of cleaning a whole room with very little instruction.

In fact, they hate for me to point out what needs to be done. It frustrates them. They see what needs to be done and want to do it in their own order. Fine then.

So yesterday I assigned a room to each girl. It is their job for the year. (At least for the rest of the school year.) Sweetheart, age 13, is in charge of the laundry room. That means:

1. keeping the room clean and picked up (a lot of clutter accumulates on the dryer)
2. washing her own clothes start to finish
3. washing the family's towels, napkins, and washcloths start to finish.

Basically anything in that room that needs picking up or cleaned is her job. I will still do our laundry, and Bee's laundry, and will help Little Bit with hers, but keeping stuff sorted and all is Sweetheart's job.

Sweetheart at the children's Christmas party at church.

She cleaned the room up today and it just makes me smile that it's not my responsibility anymore!!!

Little Bit is in charge of the front room. This room has been everything from a
play room to our homeschool room. It currently has a few uses. Our big black shelves are in there, so it's kind of the family library. All our books are in that room. Also, S's desk is in there for his preaching stuff. And also our TV/VCR/DVD player and Wii are in there. And the birds.

The beach tree we made for Daddy sitting in the front room in front of our bookshelves.

Little Bit's job (age 9) is just to keep the room picked up and tidy. She's to make sure the bookshelves are straight, the floor is swept (birds are very messy), and mess stays out of the room. It's the first room guests see when they walk in and also Daddy needs a neat room to work in. So that's her job.

The living room remains a whole family job. We pick it up everyday at 4:00 before Daddy gets home and again before bed. The girls both also clean up the dining room after meals and take turns cleaning their bathroom. Of course they are in charge of their rooms.

So that basically leaves me the kitchen and my bedroom/bathroom. Such a burden lifted!!

Does that sound like a lot of work for kids? Well the basic premise is: pick up after yourself. The rooms they are in charge of shouldn't take but a few minutes a day to tidy up. Of course they should be in charge of their own rooms--that's called responsibility. I'm working more to having them helping with things for the whole family instead of only worrying about themselves all the time.

Now I'm off to try to locate our bedroom under all the laundry. I just know its under there somewhere!