Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our School Room

After reading a post from the pajama momma's blog, I decided I could share with you our schoolroom.  (Still not sure if that's one word or two.)  This is much better this year than last, as until this summer, we didn't even have a room just for our studies. We spent the first two years of our homeschool journey at the kitchen table.  While there were some benefits to this, the drawbacks were many.  The biggest one was the plethora of materials we use for school were spread out through every room and hallway in our house, garage and attic.  Since Baby Girl never slept in her bed anyway, we moved her in with the boys and converted her old room into a much more usable space for school. It's still a work in progress and there are still some leftover art pieces from when it was my daughter's room.  I'm hoping to cover at least part of one wall with chalkboard paint, but haven't gotten that far yet.  Here it is as of today:

Maps are pretty much my favorite things.  You can NEVER have too many maps, especially in a school room!  Here are a few that hang in ours, along with a couple of art projects.

This place value chart from my time teaching fifth grade has come in handy more than once since we started homeschooling.

The books on the blue shelf are for the kiddos.  The taller shelf is a mix of teacher resources and novels for elementary age kids.

My dad picked up a couple of these old school desks at sales and auctions.  The kids now all have their own work spaces.  This is working out well for us.

I finally have a teacher's desk for all my stuff!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where I Come From

There's this guy I knew college that I've caught up with on facebook recently.  His name is DJ and he lives in West Yellowstone, MT.  Yep, that's right by the national park.  One of DJ's talents is photography.  My husband has dubbed DJ "Yellowstone Guy" and always asks if he's put up any new pics lately.  The kids love seeing all the animals that we just don't have in Kansas.  The photos are amazing.  But don't take our word for it, check him out and then like his fb page.  Tell him I sent ya.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Still Here

It's been well over a month since I was able to blog anything.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I have a couple of things in the drafts folder that I have yet to finish.  That said, there's just too much on my plate and my mind to even start.  So, in 500 words or less (or more maybe.  I'm not actually going to count), here's my life lately.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Book, a Cake and a Sunday Morning. aka, I Need a Nap!

April's shaping up to be a busy month.  To start the month, I wrote a book review.  It's awesome (the book, I mean.  The review is probably mediocre at best.).  You should check it out.

On Saturday we hosted an Army themed birthday party for my son (who will tell you that today he is three and a half years old, but will be "six" tomorrow.  So much for homeschool kids being math whizzes!).  For the party, I made a cake.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Flashcard Jeopardy

Last week, when I was making dinner, E needed to work on his math facts.  We'd been a little remiss on this lately, and he was having a hard time with his 8x and 6x facts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Farewell to Fishy

This is Fishy, our first ever betta fish. 
He was a gift from Ms Kelly, EZ's VBS teacher a couple summers ago.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Days I Feel Like It's All I Do

Some days I feel like all I do is make the food, 

feed the children, 

and clean up the mess the children make with the food.

Make the food,

feed the children, 

and clean up the mess the children make with the food.

Make the food,

feed the children, 

and clean up the mess the children make with the food.

Okay, it could be worse, much, much worse.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Agony of Defeat

My oldest son just completed his second wrestling season.  This year he was seven years old in an eight and under division.  Since he's a summer birthday, he was almost two full years younger than some of his competition.  They were, at least, all about the same size, within three pounds of each other.

E worked his booty off and won...

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am Not That Homeschool Mom

Close your eyes.  Now, quick, what pops into your head when I say "homeschool mom?"

Whatever it was, I am pretty certain I am not that homeschool mom.

I wear jeans, put on make-up (if I'm leaving the house), and swim in mixed company.  My dyed hair has not been in a bun since my second grade ballet recital.  Said ballet recital was probably the last time I wore hose, too.

I hate to cook, clean and do most other things that are traditionally considered what a "good mom" likes to do.  My family does not garden or eat only organic/raw/gluten-free/sugar-free foods. Our meals are only sometimes homemade, and if I had it my way, we would eat Pizza Hut at least eight times a week.  That, or have a personal, on-demand chef.

My floors are not swept twice a day and the laundry pile is often taller than the children.  Sometimes, it's taller than the children's father!  Dusting has become a quarterly chore and my backyard will never get landscaped.

I'm not crafty.  I can't sew on buttons that last more than a week.  Sewing machines make me more nervous than a rat in a snake cage.  I've never made anything more complicated than the pillows Mrs. Wallace insisted I put together in seventh grade home economics.  I've dabbled in scrapbooking, but even that has become too daunting a task for me lately.  My 2009 birthday gift certificate to our local scrapping store is still in my wallet, unused.

Our lives are not run on a color-coded three-ring binder schedule.  We don't get up before dawn and milk cows or feed chickens.  We watch too many movies and play a lot of video games.   My kids are often up until way past traditional bedtimes and don't always remember to say "please" and "thank you."

My kids don't play the cello, violin or even piano.  They don't speak Latin, Spanish or anything other than our Midwest version of English.  They don't study quantum physics or underwater basket weaving.

It's not that I think any of the above things are bad.  Heck, I'd love to be crafty and have an immaculate house.  There are a ton of skirt and bun wearing women out there who are amazing.  I wish we ate healthier and that I could make my own curtains.  But I will never make my own curtains.  I am not that homeschool mom.  It's just not who I am.

But I am the homeschool mom that spends hours choosing just the right projects for her kids.  I read them Scripture.  I taxi them from one activity to the other and make sure they are well-rounded, social people.  Four times a year, I make the most rockin' birthday cakes imaginable.  I facilitate an environment where they can learn, not just academics, but to get along with each other, to be home-builders, and to be followers of Christ.  I am that homeschool mom.  And I'm perfectly okay with that.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things I Wish I had Known Earlier

Last week at Dollar General I picked up some new hairclips.  For whatever reason, I opted to buy the $2 version instead of the $1 version.  This is out of character for me, as I'm incredibly cheap.  But the old ones just weren't doing it for me.  I've got thickish hair so after about 10 minutes, the old clips would be turned sideways and my hair would look ridiculous.  Also, they would fall out very easily.  Thus, I spent the extra and tried a new kind.  These are AWESOME!  My hair stays in, even if I'm jumping around or running (okay, I haven't actually tried the "running."  I'm  not really a runner.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Be Held

I spent much of last Saturday with my butt on hard bleachers and a 101.5 fever.  Add to that the 61 pound 7 year old with a 103 fever that was on my lap and you can imagine how uncomfortable I was.  My body ached, my head pounded and my butt felt like it might never recover.  I was miserable.

Even so, I was able to spend that time doing one of the most important things I will ever do be called to do; hold my son.  He was even more miserable than I and all he wanted was to be held in his mother's arms.  As big as he is now, when he was sick he just wanted to be held, even there in front of all those other wrestlers, he justed wanted to climb into my lap and be loved.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Never Again

AJ's my last baby. Short of a medical miracle, he's it.  I'm 90% okay with this.  Vance and I are old enough that some of our classmates have high schoolers or even college age kids.  Physically, I can't handle another pregnancy and the risks associated with having babies over the age of 35 just aren't something I want to deal with.  We pack 6 people in a 1200 square foot home and we're happily blessed with four amazing and healthy kids.  Asking for more than that seems a little silly.  But there are some days when I think having just one, or even two more kids would be amazing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Three Little Pigs, Faith House Version

On Sundays my mom and I lead the kids' service during church.  This last week was a lot of fun.  We used the story of the Three Little Pigs as an analogy of building a Christian "Faith" House.  We had some of the kids put on pink noses and used props to build the houses.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011

Happy New Year!

It's resolution time and I have an long, long list of things I'd like to do in the coming year.
In no particular order, here's a few.
  • weigh less than 200 pounds
  • read my Bible more regularly
  • get some much needed "me time"
  • get a passport and have it stamped at least once
  • start the long and tedious process of digging us out of debt
  • be a better mom; less screaming, more hugging
  • be a better homeschooler
  • read more books
  • blog more regularly
  • actually pray for everyone that asks me to
  • send sympathy cards when someone I know loses a loved one
  • laugh more
  • find a group of women that I'm comfortable with and together do things that don't involve our kids
  • do something fun with my kids at least once a day
  • mean what I say
  • spend less time on-line and more time in real life
  • create a 40 before 40 list
  • write a book for each of my children (I already have Ezra's planned out)
  • exercise at least 30 minutes 3-4 days a week
  • have all of my children sleep in their own rooms on a regular basis
I have no idea how  many, if any, of these things I will actually achieve this year.  Realistically, very few.  But I think that by naming them at least I'm one step closer than I was yesterday.

What's on your list for 2011?