Monday, October 5, 2015

My return to the land of the living

Last school year passed in a haze due to my health. The short version is I have Crohn's Disease and it's only under control this summer. We've had so many changes since I wrote last. I am going to try and catch up the main events of the past year since this blog is primarily a scrapbook for our family.

Homeschool: We've started the 2015-16 school year; I have an 8th and 6th grader. I find it crazy they are both in middle school.

We're continuing with Life of Fred and Story of the World [vol. 4]  as our main curriculum. Still working on German with Duolingo and various textbooks. I really love Duolingo as a supplement. We actually have a writing curriculum this year for the first time: Jump In! by Sharon Watson.  My girls are trying hard to start their school day earlier. Last year we tried to make sure we started by noon, and no we weren't always successful. This year they are shooting to get up at 8a and start school by 9a. We haven't hit the mark yet this week, but we've improved drastically over last year.

In the House: We've subtracted 2 people, our boy and Kemmy [the 18YO who moved in with us last August]. Kemmy moved home with her parents and is doing well. The boy moved in with his grandparents last November and has grown/matured so much since then. We are very proud of him. This school year he's looking to get his driver's license and start attending college full time. YAY for our boy!

We've also added 5 animals. Not all at once. Last December we got 1 guinea pig and then we added a buddy for him a week later and then a 3rd a few weeks after that.

Our first two boys. The black one is named Loki and the other is named Hawkeye. I am amazed at how tiny they were.
June 2 was YDD's 11th birthday so  we stopped by the pet store, and came home with a puppy. That was NOT the plan, but we love having her and she's a real sweetheart.

Our little girl doggie named Prussia. These were taken the day she came home.
Her puppy training classes are held at the pet store and that's how we came home with guinea pig #4.

#1 - A picture of Loki, Hawkeye and the 3rd boy, Bruce [as in Banner]. #2 - Bruce and the 4th boy, Lutz, getting ready for a bath. #3 - Loki and Lutz have been the best of friends since Lutz came home. #4 - Lutz and Bruce learning to live together.

Dad says no more animals until one of these dies, so we should be set for a few years.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Choosing My Focus

1. I found the lost Christmas money
2. We were able to complete 1 chapter of history.
3. I felt well enough to do laundry and dishes.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A new year

2014 was a rough year for me. I haven't felt good since last March. It's been various different things sometimes overlapping. I have been putting things off until I feel better which means I have been barely scraping by each day. That is no way to live. I am still struggling healthwise, but I've decided it's time for me to control what I can control:

1. Start each day with exercise [not swagbucks]. There are things I can do to strengthen my body even when I don't feel good. I can strengthen my hands. I have a few light exercises from my physical therapist. I can stretch. My plan is to start my day with at least 15 minutes of exercise.

2. Next part of my morning routine is a shower. We have an old water heater that needs to be replaced and while we hope to do so, for now we continue to space out showers. Two things help my morning routine: the boy has moved out and the three girls are late risers. 

3. Follow the shower with 15 minutes of God Time. I have struggled to get back in this groove since before my husband's heart transplant. 

4. Eat more smoothies.

5. Eat more veggie soup.

these are not resolutions. This is a plan for getting back things I had in my life before my husband got so sick. My plan is to start modest; I don't have a time I will get up or weight loss expectations or goals. I want to focus my time in the morning alone on those activities that I prefer to do alone.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday - November 20

It has been a long time since I posted on here, so I thought starting back with a thankful post would be good.

I am thankful for the chores I was able to do the last 2 days. I am thankful for help with the boy from my inlaws. I am thankful our family counselor was able to reschedule us this week. I am thankful for prayers from friends and family. I am thankful for a good progress report in art class for ODD. I am thankful our cold weather hasn't resulted in snow or ice. I am thankful for wisdom from my husband and my Wendi and my counselor; they have all helped me understand my boy better. I am thankful my girls are responsible with their school work. I am thankful I can record football games. I am thankful for Jif cereal [which I've been eating a lot lately]. I am thankful for all the leaves from our neighbor that I will use to compost my expanding garden area. I am thankful for kids who transport the leaves to our yard. I am thankful for the rock removal the boy spent this year on. I am thankful for a good weekend with my husband last weekend. I am thankful my girl is losing pieces of her disassociation. I am thankful for the hugs she's been wanting. I am thankful for my family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Homeschool Mother's Journal - October 17 & 24

In my life these 2 weeks…it's been a heck of a ride these last two weeks. I am very thankful we now do have a conclusive result: I have an inflammatory bowel disease. My blood work was inconclusive for determining if I have Crohn's or ulcerative colitis [because I am an outlier as always], so my doctor and I decided to try me going off the medication to see if my symptoms came back. They did, so now I am back on and will be taking this stuff for the foreseeable future. I see this doctor again in 3 months. I am extremely happy to know a piece of what's going on with my body and to know the medication is necessary. The downside of gaining this knowledge is that I have been feeling worse these last 2 weeks than previously.

In our homeschool these 2 weeks… we're starting to get into our groove of the new school year and it's good.  We are starting school again at noon, and both girls have expressed some dislike for finishing in the evening. I told them they have 3 choices: start earlier, take fewer breaks or live with ending later. Both are thinking about it. Both girls are working more independently this year, and I shared how that is working with ODD.  With YDD I man the timer and ask her what she's doing next, but she directs her day and is doing much of her work without me. I haven't yet managed to fit in English From the Roots Up and we need to buy a replacement headset so ODD can use Rosetta Stone, but we are now getting 90% of each day's work done. This year has needed more of a warming up process rather than the jump right into full days like our previous years.

Grad School...we are almost through the first master's level class and it's been noticeably harder.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homeschooling from 5J's was a good, quick read.

My kids' favorite things this week . . .ODD's favorite was getting to see Yuki Saeki at a comic book workshop at our library. She even won a comic book by Yuki Saeki.

I’m cooking… pumpkin. Lots and lots of pumpkin. Today I am baking and pureeing the last one. My freezer is overflowing with produce from my garden and from a friend's garden. Yesterday I got 4lbs of bell peppers roasted, pureed and put in the freezer, too. I still have another 2lbs of jalapenos to process and I'm thinking of making jalapeno jelly for the first time.

I’m thankful … my family has decided they like pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread because we will be eating a lot of it this winter!

Things I am pondering…
 how does an ISTJ take care of themselves? My counselor has said I need to be a friend to me, and I am struggling with that, not sure how that looks in my life. When I am a friend to someone, I do things to help them: share my experience or work in their garden or take them a meal. A friend of mine [who is married to an ISTJ] gave me an idea to think about: do or get something that makes my jobs easier.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)… an excellent read in the midst of Pinktober: Please Put That Pink Can of Soup Down and Put Your Bra Back On. From someone who knows far more than I on the topic.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Growing Independence in My 7th Grader

Middle School Monday at Homeschool Coffee Break
Middle School Mon - er - TUESday
I missed getting this up yesterday but wanted to share how I'm helping my 7th grader work more independently. I have to start by saying this child of mine is pretty independent in the first place. She's been known to get up at 6a to get all her work done so she could play with a friend in the afternoon.

The first thing I did was give her a voice into her curriculum and I chose curriculum that she didn't need a teacher for as much as possible. I don't do a lot of planning; mostly we just do the next chapter of whatever book. I do lay out our subjects:

I put our subject into Google Calendar with red. I look over each day in the morning before my girls get up and make any necessary tweaks or notes. Any changes I bring to my 7th grader's attention. We do God Time together and then she runs her day. She adds completed subjects in pink. So you can see our partial week above to get an idea how this looks for us.
She is subscribed to the green, pink and red calendars. Any changes made show up automatically which is wonderful. [Everyone except the 10YO is responsible for regularly checking Google Calendar so they know what's going on. Any "When is ______?" I don't answer and tell the child to check the calendar.] I group subjects together, but she tends to do computer work all together in a lump. So she does Duolingo, spellingcity, sumdog and passive spanish listening together in a block.

This year, she is doing her history narrations in Google Docs and then she sends me her initial draft. I get an email from Kat Nat like seen below:
The email has a link to the doc. I go into it read and edit. Some times I ask for more detail and some times I just fix grammar. She makes changes and then prints it out for her history binder.
She does handwrite for her writing and grammar curriculums, so I was willing to compromise on history and let her type it.

We're not very far into our school year [we started October 1], but so far she is liking the increased independence and it's working well. She's asking questions as necessary which is a HUGE part of being a responsible independent learner in my book.
  Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Gratituesday - October 21

Heavenly Homemakers Post
I keep thinking that having my two weekly posts on Thursday and Friday is not the best for me, so I am going to try shifting my thankful post.

I am thankful my 10YO put a great deal of effort into her history writing [even if it took her 6 hours to finish it]. I am thankful The boy is going to visit his grandparents for a few days. I am thankful my "cousin" safely delivered her first baby - welcome Ronan! I am thankful for timers which keep us on track with our days. I am thankful for the food I prepared today and the energy to prepare it. I am thankful for my DVR so I can watch football when I have time and not when it's broadcast. I am thankful for our library and how close we live to it. I am thankful for friends who make me laugh and encourage me to overcome my introvertness. I am thankful for a friend who is married to an ISTJ and so gets me [as I am one, too] as few other people do.