Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pajama School

Pajama School – stories from the life of a homeschool graduate

I stumbled upon a blog this morning written by a homeschool graduate who has also written a book titled "Pajama School: Stories from the Life of a Homeschool Graduate". As someone who has a passion for homeschooling and who is also the mother of a couple of homeschool graduates, I was intrigued, and happily read Chapter One of the book, which was included free on the blog through the link in the sidebar, and then browsed through several posts on her blog. I found Ms. Wickham's writing to be delightful, and her insights and experiences encouraging and refreshing, and I plan to order the book for my "library" - I think I have room on the floor next to the pile of books next to the bookcases in the living room... or maybe the dining room... or maybe the hallway. Whatever! I'll find a spot, or maybe I'll just read it and pass it along to one of my fellow homeschool bookaholics.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching Up

Can someone please tell me what happened to the month of September? Because I just turned the page from August, and now it is nearly October! Aye yi yi!

Alex has been home for a week, and I sure am enjoying having that boy around the house. Funny though, the Army hasn't much improved his tendency to leave dirty dishes lying around the house and dirty clothes on the bedroom floor! grr

Saturday was Eric's 20th birthday. Both Sarah and Eric were home from college for the weekend, so we got to go out for a family dinner on Saturday night - all 7 of us! And we went for a family walk on Sunday afternoon at Joyner Park. LOVE IT!

I have quite a number of irons in the fire right now ... and sometimes it makes my head spin!
  • I jumped back into homeschool support group leadership this year, and I probably average 2-3 hours a day on emails, calls, meetings, planning for that.
  • I am trying to coordinate a Powder Puff football game for the Lighthouse teens in November, and monthly teen meetings too.
  • I teach high school literature in our Friday TOG Co-op; that takes a few hours of prep work during the week
  • I am involved, along with Amanda and several other people, in planning a big homeschool Prom for the spring.
  • I need to get started with art classes again, for both Amanda and Jason - despite my best intentions, we just don't do art if I don't include other kids in a weekly class!
  • Mark & I are leading a high school girls small group on Sunday nights, to watch and discuss The Truth Project, starting in a couple of weeks
  • my kitchen walls are half painted... and have been for about 3 weeks now
  • I am scorekeeper for Amanda's volleyball team, and I am in charge of getting the awards for the end of the season banquet
  • I help my husband with sundry details of administrating Lighthouse Sports
  • oh, I do homeschool my 2 children who are still at home
  • and then there are the household chores.... well, I cook most nights and keep clean laundry available in a pile on the couch :-)
some of you read that list and are aghast, and others of you read that list and think, "piece of cake!" Most days I am in both camps! Things go chugging along and then something slips and I think "what in the world was I thinking?" I get through the crisis and then go right back to chugging along again. Guess it's the way I'm wired.

Well, I hope to get back into more of a routine with my blogging. I've been feeling a bit dry in that area, although there really is a wealth of things to write about. But sometimes I just don't have the energy. One of my friends recently blogged about deciding whether or not to quit blogging because her life was just so busy. But she decided that she needed to keep on writing because it was a way to keep family and friends connected to her family's antics, it was a record she was keeping for her children, in lieu of scrapbooking, and it was therapeutic for her! I relate to all of the above.

So keep coming back. Even if I disappear for a week or two, I'll eventually get back to the blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He's Home


It took almost a week, but he finally made it back to American soil, safe and sound.
Sarah and Eric both came home from college for the weekend, and we all picked Alex up at the airport yesterday afternoon! He has been in Iraq since February, and this is his 2-week R&R leave. After his two weeks at home, he'll be heading back overseas for 4 more months.

It has been great having the WHOLE family home for the weekend, although Jason has been sick with a fever and headache since Friday, so he had to lay low. The older four all went out shopping Saturday afternoon - Alex needed to pick up a temporary phone for 2 weeks - then out with Dad for Mexican food. They split up and went out with friends later in the evening.

This morning was church, then home for a lasagna dinner and then a family walk at Joyner Park. I LOVE that my kids ( including the grown ones!) enjoy spending time together and hanging out with the family.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alex Update

Alex is on his way home from Iraq for 2 weeks of R&R. Unfortunately, getting home the Army Way is a long, drawn out process and he has already had a 2 day delay, and is anticipating more of the same. Please pray for quick connections and safe travel as he travels half way around the world.

We are very excited and anxious to see him and hug him and talk with him about his experiences. Conversation over the last 6 months has been limited to some bad Skype connections and Facebook Chat or email of a few lines here and there. I'm looking forward to some good conversation, although this is Alex we're talking about, so I might be in for a reality check. He's not a man of many words - like his dad.

That's okay. I'm really not either.

I'll settle for HUGS.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Christian Music Concert

Last night, Amanda, Jason and I went to a concert with some friends. It was held at Raleigh Christian Community church in Raleigh, and featured Andrew Witt, Chris Sligh, Meredith Andrews, and Aaron Shust. I like church concerts because the setting is small and intimate, there are usually all ages attending, the atmosphere is wholesome and you don't have to worry about the drunks making out in front of you almost falling into your lap ( yeah - that was the Alan Jackson concert at Walnut Creek a couple of weeks ago ) The neat thing about a Christian music concert is that you don't just listen to music, but you get to join together with the artists and audience in worshipping our Lord and Creator. Beautiful!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Four Down... One to Go

Amanda, my fourth child and my baby girl, got her drivers license today! We spent almost 2 hours at the DMV ( N.Raleigh, if anyone is wondering ), but she got the nice lady tester there - which she was hoping for - and things went smoothly. The only glitch was when they got in the car and the lady asked Amanda for the vehicle registration.

"Uhhhhhh...... it should be here in the glove compartment." Opens to find it crammed full of papers. "Is this it? Is this it? Is this it? "


"Can I call my daddy? He'll know what it looks like!"

Oh, how did we live without cell phones!?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Family Herbalist

We are doing something a little different for Amanda's science curriculum this year. She and I are going to work through a course called "Family Herbalist", from Shonda Parker's Naturally Healthy company
During this course, we will read through four of Shonda's books, Naturally Healthy Cuisine, Naturally Healthy Woman, Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, and Mommy Diagnostics. We'll be learning about creating a healthy home, evaluating family health, and making herbal remedies. I am excited to be learning these things, and think that this will be very practical and applicable knowledge for Amanda as a young woman, both in caring for herself and looking ahead at someday having a family to care for.

I love homeschooling. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Alex Update

The latest update on my son, Alex, who is a 1LT in the Army stationed in Iraq....

Got a note from him today. He is liking his new job as Brigade Maintenance Officer. The hours are much better - 12 hours during the day, instead of all night and then most of the day too. He doesn't have any men directly under him and isn't responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment anymore, so I think his stress level has diminished greatly! He is looking forward to coming home on a 2-week leave soon, and we are very excited about seeing him! I've already made a list of his favorite homecooked meals and desserts. Glad its fall and apple season - got to make some pies!

School is going ... okay

Well, we are in Week 3 of our school year, and things are going .... okay.
We are still easing into our full schedule. Jason won't start Latin & Science with the Bartons for 2 more weeks. Piano starts next week. Amanda's Spanish class was supposed to start yesterday, but the teacher has the flu so had to postpone until next week ( it only meets once a week ). I am planning to teach Art again, but haven't figured out a good day and time for that yet. I still need to order an SAT Prep program for Amanda.

I have been struggling all summer with the new Tapestry of Grace digital format. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but not having all the pages printed and in a binder is VERY frustrating! It takes a LONG time to print off the pages I need each week, and inevitably there are pages that I find out later that I really should have printed but didn't. I can't just grab the binder and run - and I can't sit and read off the computer. I need to be able to underline and highlight and flip back and forth. One of my options is to pay extra for a printed copy. But we run out of paycheck before we run out of month pretty regularly now, and I just haven't been able to justify ANOTHER big chunk of money after paying for the curriculum already. I already have had to pick and choose from the book list, and have had one of the books I bought used literally fall apart in my hands as I was trying to read it aloud to Jason.... it is now literally a pile of loose pages. That really wasn't worth the $5 I spent on it. A couple of other books that I KNOW I bought have disappeared, and it is driving me nuts trying to find them...and they were supposed to have been read this week and next. grrrrrr I also haven't been able to look ahead and really plan out the writing and literature for my Rhetoric Co-op class like I want to... oh, my head is just swimming.

Being president of my homeschool support group again has added another whole level of busyness to my week. I spend a lot of time answering questions, going to meetings, and trying to coordinate activities and recruit helpers. The other leaders in the group are wonderful and do a lot of work as well.... this is just a busy time of year.

Sooooo, I am feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. And guess what? My time with the Lord has suffered, and that could very well account for a lot of the stress I'm feeling. I DO KNOW BETTER. So friends, hold me accountable. I can't pour out of an empty bucket.

Time for bed. I need to get up and have some time with my Bible and a cup of tea in the morning.