Monday, May 30, 2011

Read " Anne's House of Dreams"-you will love it!

I finished Anne's House of Dreams last night and I loved it!  If you haven't read the Anne of Green Gables books you have to.  They are so amazing!   When you read it, you feel like, if you looked up you would be sitting in the garden or the sweet little home by the sea that is being described.  You will fall in love with the characters and wait with anticipation to see if their dreams are fulfilled or if tragedy will strike.  Both happen in Anne's House of Dreams, but as they all do, this book ended on a high note as Anne gets ready to enter a new chapter of her life.  In this book she and Gilbert are married and starting their family in a little town by the sea where Gilbert is taking over his uncle's medical practice.  In their "home of dreams" they make many memories and wonderful friends that will last a life time.  Read these books.  You will LOVE them! 

Picture a day in May, Day 29: 74 books...

Nana Harmon works as a substitute in the offices at elementary schools in Spartanburg, SC (Aaron's home town) and she has been getting all sorts of books for us to use for homeschooling.  There is an elementary school that is closing down and they are converting it into Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4.  Otherwise known as "get the children out of the homes of their parents as soon as possible because we can do a better job raising them.".  Just kidding...kind of.  You may have heard of Pre-K 4-it is like head start for children at risk and those that they feel can help the children catch up to where they ought to be.  Pre-K day care.  Any way lucky for us they are doing it because Nana brought us the lasted batch of books-74 to be exact (she has already brought us several others, I posted about a while ago)!!!  I am so excited!  There are books ranging from electricity and magnetism to the Supreme Court.  There are 3 books that will be PERFECT to study during next years election that we will definitely learn about with hands on experience.There are work books and the teacher books that go along with them.  Some are for 5 grade and some are for 6th grade-AWESOME!!!  There are tons of books about US history and birds and animals...I could go on and on!  Jake didn't see them we slipped them in the trunk while he was inside.  They are packed a way in my closet with other things that I have been assembling for home schooling.  I think we are going to use it all to reveal to Jake he is being home schooled...I am thinking of wrapping it all up and maybe a scavenger hunt...I can't wait!  Thank you Nana!

Picture a day in May, Day 28: The Graduate

Congratulations Kayla!!!!  We are so proud of you and love you to pieces!!!  (How beautiful is she!?!)

Papa did what we all felt like doing during a VERY long song by the band. :)
Kayla and Jake.
Nana with the grandchildren (minus Addie Kate and Della)

Nana and Papa with the graduate.

Kayla looked adorable in her rain boots.  Everybody said it was so Kayla. :)
The Mike (Aaron's oldest brother) Harmon Family: Mike, Sara, Megan, Kayla, and Teri
The graduation was a VMI-it is a beautiful campus!

I don't really know why this picture is to the side...But we all devoured the yummy "Frog More Stew" (it is a southern thing and it is so yummy.)  Some people call it a shrimp boil.

Later on we went to the river and the "little ones", as Kayla calls them, has fun swimming and trying to catch craw fish.

Jake had fun hitting whiffle balls in the front yard and shooting air guns.
And we of course celebrated with cake.

Buena Vista is up on the top of the list of places I would LOVE to live...It made me miss the mountains and not want to leave!  It was great to be together and watch Kayla move on to the next phase in life.  Mike and Teri shook hands at the graduation and said "Two down, one to go!"  But don't let them fool ya there were some tears shed. :) 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 27: Sadie waiting for Jake...

On Friday afternoon we were going to head up to Virginia for our niece, Kayla's, high school graduation. For some reason I didn't feel good about leaving then, so we changed our plan and decided to head out first thing Saturday morning. Which worked out great-we got to see Aaron again before leaving (he had to work Friday night and 2nd shift on Sat. so he couldn't go), we cleaned the house so it is all ready for us all to have tomorrow off (YIPPEEE!), and got to bed early. In between thunderstorms we played in the back yard for a little while too. My favorite picture we took was of Sadie:
If you look closely you can see Jake outside the fence-that is why Sadie was waiting so patiently at the gate. The pot is there to hold up the plywood-she can still stick her head through it.  At one point I accidentally kicked the ball over the fence and when Jake went out to get it Sadie slipped out too...Long story short at one point she was running straight for the busy main road to blocks a way and I thought my child was going to be scarred for life watching his dog get hit by a car.  We were both screaming at her at the top of our lungs...She is definitely a leash dog so far.  When we finally got her back to the gate I opened it and let go of her collar for her to go in and she started to dart off again.  I was very proud of myself because I said her name in a way that she KNEW she better not even think about it and she went quickly into the yard.  I had a Cesar Milan  (The Dog Whisperer) moment.  I thought I was a dog whisperer...I think Emily was just so good that she would have made anyone feel like a dog whisperer.  Sadie-not so much. :)  When school gets out there will be some serious training going on.
This is just a picture of  the view looking up through the...what is it called-it is where the "porch" swing is hanging.  The sun through the leaves was so lovely! 

I was sitting on the swing trying to get a picture of Jake kicking the soccer ball, but we never got the ball in the picture...

We played a little Ben 10...
Took a couple of pictures of us...

Sadie had to get in on the action too, much to Jake's surprise.
I am glad we waited and headed out Saturday morning...even if it did mean getting up at 4:30 am.  I thought Jake was going to be bummed when I picked him up from school and told him.  He was for a second and then he said: "It is probably the Spirit telling you we shouldn't go today so we better listen."  It is moments like those that make my heart happy.  It balances out the other moments I want to ring his neck. :)  (you know I am kidding right?...)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 26: The Summer Do

Neither of these are going to win any photography awards (eye partially closed, glasses lopsided), but they are Jake and he is adorable.  The Before and After of the Summer Do.



You can take a walk down my Memory Lane if you want with these links (I figured Nana and Nee would like to look back.  I know I did.):

Simple Pleasures: Confederate Jasmine...3 Weeks Ago

This funny little flower is called a Confederate Jasmine.  Isn't it adorable?  (It grows up things like: my neighbors porch, or another neighbors fence gate...etc.)  About 3 weeks ago I was going to run across the street and take a picture of my neighbors blooming Confederate Jasmine (I even asked her so she wouldn't think I was crazy taking pictures on her porch...), but it just never happened.  So, needless to say I got this image off the world wide web-thank you whoever took it! :)  I talked so much about these little beauties, that when Aaron and Jake made a Lowe's run one day, they checked to see if they had any, but they didn't. :(  The reason these little flowers are my simple pleasure is because they smell A-MAZ-ING!!!!  Every walk we took was heavenly because several houses in our neighborhood have it and you can just about smell it before you can see it.  It isn't an overpowering smell, it is just...perfect.  This is my Simple Pleasure, 3 weeks over due.

What is your Simple Pleasure?  Check out Chocolate on my Cranium to learn about other peoples Simple Pleasures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 25: Jake's a Bear and what he whittled

Don't you just love that title? Straight and to the point!  Jake has earned his Bear badge for Cub Scouts and will be getting tt next week at the Pack Meeting.  We did so much better than last years finishing up the night before his birthday...That is pretty much the story of my life for the past almost 2 years...Probably longer if I really wanted to admit it, but I don't, so I am going to stick with 2 years. :)

Sorry for the blurry picture.  I was trying to take it quickly so he could use it.  You see although this shows the date of the 25th I am really doing it on the 26th and changing the date.  Jake really "whittled" this bar of soap last night at Cub Scouts.  It was so warm out (94, I think) that it was kind of getting too soft to actually whittle so he went with a design, and I just love it. :)

I cut Jake's hair into his "Summer Do" (a tradition ever since he ended up with head lice at the end of Kindergarten.  I was awesome...) tonight (which is actually the 26th...), and he wanted to take a shower in the hose outside after rather than taking it inside and that is why he needed the soap in a hurry.  I was yelling raising my voice at him, again, to hurry up.  He is the king of stalling.  But any way, a shower in the hose works for me, and yes it is that hot here already.  It was 93 degrees out today.  It is the end of May and we have already had a LOT of days in the 90's.  Summer starts early in the South.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 24: If you have a little girl you MUST go to Target....

..and buy her this bathing suit.  Seriously how cute it that?  Yes I do carry my camera in my purse at all times. :)

Also...on a totally unrelated subject and a picture that really isn't good enough to be the photo of the day...Jake was in the "Knowledge Bowl" today at school. If you were on the honor roll for 4 out of 5 terms you were invited to compete in it. Jake's team (team #9) went today, and sadly they were eliminated-but they did great! I am not even kidding you when I tell you there were a few a LOT of questions I didn't know the answers to.  Jake did great!  He was bummed that he "lost it for his team" (which he didn't) because there were 2 questions that no one was answering, so Jake guessed and got them wrong so the questions went to the other teams and they ended up getting them right.  Each question was worth 10 points and they lost by a lot more than 20 points. (I think the final score was 280 to 360 or something like that.)   I told him it is better to guess and get it wrong than not do anything at all because you may guess right!  I was so proud of him.  They were up on a stage in front of the whole 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades and he didn't even seem nervous.  So, here is the one and only picture I got to take and it is pretty pitiful so it couldn't really be the picture of the day but I had to post it. :)  You did awesome Jake!!! 

Brain Declutter: Because as far as words go..I've got nothin'.

My brain seems to be on vacation here lately.  Maybe decluttering it will help...Hopefully there is something in there that will come out and make sense....

*I forgot to go back and post about why Aaron had a week off from work. Short version: He had an accident, in which he scratched the tip of the wing on a plane while he was towing it.  The company policy is that they have to leave work immediately and take a drug test.  This happened on a Thursday night and he went and took the drug test Friday morning....Blah, blah, blah...They got the results and on Wednesday he had a meeting and he was back to work Thursday night (he would have gone back that night but he is off Mondays and Wednesdays).  Good now it is documented (kind of) for posterity's sake.

*I have a song running through my head, at least part of one that I am using to justify my "blahness".  It is from back in the day when I listened to music pretty much all the time.  I can't remember at the moment who the band is...Better Than Ezra, maybe?  Any way the line that keeps going through my mind is "Seems like it's always understood this time of year.  Well, I know there's a reason for change.  And I know there's a time for us.  Think about the good times and you live with all the bad.  You can feel it in the air.  Feeling right this time of year."  Great song.  Really the words that keep popping in my head are the "feels like it's always understood this time of year."  Some people get the blues in the winter.  I get mine in late Spring. Maybe it is another birthday?  But I don't think so.  Maybe it is the Spring Cleaning.  Cleaning and organizing gives you a lots of time to think.  I tend to think of all the things I haven't accomplished in the Spring for some reason...Maybe it is because bathing suit season is coming and I am still fat.  Not that that has ever stopped me from swimming.  Maybe it is allergies. :)  Maybe it is the end of another school year.  I CAN NOT wait for school to be out...but at the same time the 4th grade is coming to an end.  Jake will never be in the 4th grade again.  For some reason the words to the song play in my head and I feel like it is okay to reflect a little and even have the blues, just a little for a little while.  Not bad blues-just the ones that make you refocus on what is truly important and what should be a priorities and what isn't. So, that is why I keep running those words through my head "Seems like it's always understood this time of year."  That might make any sense to you, but it does to me...:)

*Jake loves to roll his eyes, sigh, and try to talk his way out of everything I ask or tell him to do. He tries to compromise EVERY aspect of what is asked of him and when he really needs to do it.  Take out the garbage, take a shower, scoop the poop, etc.  It drives me insane and I end up yelling at the top of my lungs raising my voice and he gives in.  I have started going right in at speaking loudly right after he rolls his eyes and sighs.  I am sick of compromising.  If I speak loudly he does it quicker.  I know this is not the best way to parent but all the energy I have right now.  I am thinking of borrowing a genius idea from Nike and I may make a sign that says "JUST DO IT!" and every time he rolls his eyes, and sighs I will hold it up.  It will be like yelling with out the guilt afterwords.

*I bought some tanning oil because I will not have white legs this summer.  The other day Aaron said, "Your legs are almost dead person white." Thanks for keeping it real Aaron.  The sad part is I agree with this statement completely so I couldn't be offended.  Maybe I will post a before and after. :)

*I think birth control pill may kill me...Okay, I may be a little over dramatic, but I  now know what it feels to have all those hormones in my body I am supposed to have and I don't like it.  For the record I am not taking birth control pills to control birth.  I am doing it to try to regulate my hormones (I have PCOS for those of you who don't know) and it appears there must not have been much in there to regulate...I have been keeping track and this is how is goes for me:  Week 1 on the pill I have a head ache so bad I want to crawl in to a dark whole and shut out the world.  It is horrible for one day and no fun for 2 after that. Week 2 is not being able to sleep. Awesome.  Week 3 is stomach issues and spotting.  Diarrhea and sometimes puking.TMI, I know but it is true. Week 4 is  the lightest period known to man (or woman I guess I should say.  I am used to having my period every 2 or 3 months and it being very heavy for 7 to 10 days), and being always on the verge of an emotional or mental meltdown.  Hormones rock.  This better be worth it...

*There are officially 13 days of school left, not counting today.  I said there was 23 like 7 weeks ago I swear. :)  But this is the official count.

*Jake passed the EOG's (no surprise there).  They send home this sheet with 2 numbers that mean absolutely nothing to me, but then out to the side written in it says "Great Job!" so I am assuming it means he rocked them.  I can't remember from last year what the numbers mean but they are similar to last year and he was placed in AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) so, AWESOME JOB JAKE!

*That is all I've got.  My brain doesn't have much that needs to be decluttered...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 23: Memory Lane...

(This is NOT a hint that I am pregnant, because I am not...Just a picture that I couldn't resist posting.)
This folks is a  wonderful example of why you should journal.  Back in 2004 (can you tell that is when I finally learned how to put my pic's on the computer?  Before that it was putting them on a picture CD at Walmart...Every time I want to post an older picture the farthest I can go back really quickly is 2004...), we went to the doctor and  I remember Jake had "Blue Boo" (his blanket) and then stuck it under his shirt to pretend he had a baby in his tummy. :)  Was this at his 3 year well visit and he had to get shots that is why he had Blue Boo (yes it has to be capitalized because that is "his" name)? Or maybe a visit for me because this was the last time we did fertility drugs?  No idea.  It would be nice to know.  Let this be a lesson to me (and anyone else who needs this lesson too): Journal you dummy because you won't remember the absolutely darling things Jake did when he was 3, 7 years later!!!!  Seriously though how cute is he?  Look at that blond hair and little face...At least I always have my camera in my purse to catch the memory in a photo. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 22: As Good a Place as Any For a Nap...

...if you are a dog that doesn't want to miss anything of importance. (Meaning: any plates or dishes I will let her lick off before putting in the dish washer.)

Picture a day in May, Day 21: A life lesson taught by a Couponer

One day when I was at work, I had to run a gallon of milk (or something was a while ago and I can't remember every detail...I guess that is why I should have documented it a long time ago) back to the dairy section.  I saw a an older lady fumbling with a handful of crumpled coupons looking very frazzled.  I said hello and asked her how she was doing.  She looked at me, and said she was getting over being very sick (being a cashier at a grocery store is right up there with bar tenders, hairdressers, and therapists, when it comes to people pouring out their hearts to you...I could write a book!),  and couldn't wait to get home and get back in bed. This was her first outing since feeling a little the teeniest, tiniest bit better, but she had to get some things and her husband (shame on him) wouldn't even do the shopping for her-he was in the car waiting.  She looked at the crumpled coupons in her hands and said "THIS is my life!", and kind of shook them in the air in front of her.  We both chuckled at her little analogy and I did what I could to help her.  I have thought about that little life lesson so many times since.  Is my life (laundry, dishes, errands, callings, relationships..etc)  well organized or a bunch of crumpled up coupons that I really want to use but don't even know where to begin?  Hopefully some where in between...
This is how I would like my life to be:
 Completely organized.  In order of the aisles of the grocery store I work and shop at.  Ready to use when ever I need to.

In reality this is how my life really is:
...Way behind on everything!  Some of the coupons are cut out and where they are supposed to be, but some are sitting neglectedly (I just made that word up.  Its my blog and I can if I want to) on top of the puzzle I finished...a while ago...That my husband keeps reminding me, I said I was going to use puzzle glue on to keep it together...a while ago.  So many things to do and so little time...And yet here I sit blogging (when I really should be sleeping...).  To this I say: "THIS is my life!"  I am working on it.  I will work on my coupons tomorrow night at 9:00 pm and watch Materpiece Classics on PBS and get a little closer to organized in at least one small category of my life...But only a little...There will still be that puzzle underneath to take care of.

As a side note: I happened to look out the window as the lady was slowly pushing her cart to her car.  Her husband came around the back and opened the trunk...and watched her as SHE put all the bags in.  As old as they were and as long as I am sure they were married, he really should have learned that was his job...I guess we all have things to work on.  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 20: Gross

Evidently Jake the person who did this never noticed.  It has been there for several days.  It' gone now, thanks to me.  How do you not notice your hands are that dirty you ask?  It's a boy thing I will never understand....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Simple Pleasures and Picture a day in May, Day 19: Robin's Egg Blue

This is my picture of the day. I found this on a walk with Sadie the other day and carried it carefully home, in my hand for 2 miles. :)  I love this picture for some reason....
This is my absolute favorite color.  It is my Simple Pleasure to see Robin's Egg Blue everyday.
I found the egg shell like this:
It made me wonder how it got that way...Then took it apart to check it out...
...And compared it to the set of dishes that I fell in love with ages ago and that my sweet Jake got me for Christmas (they are from Target...Love that store).  I can pretend I am a little fairy drinking my hot cocoa out of a Robin's egg every time I use this mug.
It is my simple pleasure to be able to have this amazing color in my life everyday.  It makes me smile every time I see my plates, mugs, and bowls through the glass doors on the cabinets in our kitchen.  Simple pleasure is a PERFECT description for Robin's Egg Blue...
What are your Simple Pleasures today?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: A Motherhood Limerick

I am not a poet, but I though it would be fun to see what I could come up with.  Cocoa challenged us to write a limerick and suggested we could do it about motherhood.  I decided to go with some mothering difficulties...Don't make fun of me please. :)

                    There are piles of laundry everywhere.
                    Dish washing duties? one wants to share.
                    What's that horrible smell?
                    Can anyone tell?
                    If you are thinking of visiting, don't you dare!

That's almost a Limerick, right?  What can you come up with?  Check out other better Limericks over at Chocolate On My Cranium. :)

Picture a day in May, Day 18: Wordless Wednesday-My Shadow

This is my new shadow and I love it... :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't drink the Kool Aid...

...That is Aaron's advice to me.  Remember the people in that cult a long time ago that all drank the Kool-Aid with poison in it and died because they were following what their leader told them to do?  I am heading it that direction as I am gearing up to home school.   I am trying to follow to the letter something that I think is going to work, but what if is doesn't?

Also, I  am not a perfect mom.  I have been known to lose it and raise my voice a little yell at times.  I have horrible follow through-I start things but have a hard time finishing them.  I have REALLY bad time management skills.  Jake and I are buddies and he can talk me into hanging out all day instead of cleaning or cooking.  Jake and I are a lot a like so sometimes we butt heads.  Jake is really smart when it comes to math...Me, not so much. 

The fear is creeping in.  I am becoming obsessed with a reading list.  I had a small breakdown when I learned that it is next to impossible to get one of the books on the suggested reading book list...I am scared.  My inner dialogue sounds something like this: "Can I do this?  I have to read EVER book on the suggested reading list in order to be able to do this...I am going to be able to do this whole "classic books" education?  I have just started reading the classics!  Do we need to look into a more structured curriculum?  Should I even be home schooling since I had to use spell check to spell curriculum right?????"  That is on a good day...

But, (I know you aren't supposed to start a sentence with but, but I do it all the time.  I write how I talk...) then I remember that there is no one better suited to teach my child than me.  I know him better than anyone.  I know that the school system is failing and that I have the best interest of my child in mind.  The school system does not, or they wouldn't be failing so miserably.  I will not drink the Kool-Aid.  I will not put all my eggs in one basket and assume it will work for my child.  I think the Thomas Jefferson Education is a great starting point.  A great break away from the conveyor belt that is the public school system.  If I don't read every book they suggest I am not setting myself up for failure.  I believe that they have created a great model and that we can make it work for us.  Maybe to the letter or maybe just bits and pieces...I can do this right?

Picture a day in May, Day 17: Breakfast in bed

This morning Jake enjoyed breakfast in bed.  He had mini bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, and banana's with peanut butter.  He needed a good breakfast (it was his choice), because today was the first day of EOG's (end of grade testing).  Good luck dude-you will do great!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 16: Miss Sadie May

Sadie is 5 months old.  Sorry about the creepy eyes, but isn't she adorable?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Picture a day in May, Day 15: What we did LAST Saturday...

We had a great time checking out all the cool things that were on display at the BBQ competition in downtown Monroe.  I couldn't help but think about a scene from one of my favorite movies "Sweet Home Alabama".  Have you seen that movie?  If not, you need to rent it-you will love it.  There is a scene in it where the main character is walking down the main street in her little hometown when they are having a street festival.  Living in a smallish town is so fun.  Here are several pictures of the day: