Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's beginning to look (not feel) a lot like Thanksgiving!...

Picture me singing that to the tune of "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas".  Although it still doesn't feel like it...I have been loading up the car (with our short sleeves...) to head to Spartanburg for the weekend, [****NOTE TO WOULD BE BURGLARS:  Our house will not be empty this weekend.  Aaron is only going to be gone with us tonight and my Dad will be here at the house...So, just in case you think you know where I live and want to steal our valuables (we don't really have any by the way), some one will be here with a fire arm to stop you.  (Call me paranoid-I don't mind)****] in short sleeves, shorts and bare feet.  It is 65 degrees and I am sure there are people that don't think that is warm enough for summer attire, but I am actually in my pj's  because my clothes and flip flops (I don't wear shoes until I absolutely have to) are being held hostage in our bedroom (Aaron is taking a nap-he worked last night...all night).  But I am running around doing dishes (nope I didn't unload the dishwasher last night at midnight after I stopped blogging and reading your blogs), I went to sleep!  Smart of me don't you think?  I had to take a few pictures of why it is looking like fall...That is the whole point to this post...not all the rambling I just did.

I refer to this as "The big tree", very clever right?  The big tree is the reason for it looking a lot like fall in our yard.
This is what the brick walk way and drive way look like this morning:
The Fall Fairy's are singing and shining  praises on our lovely fall display...Okay, the sun was right behind the house and I was in a rush.  I took these pictures while packing the car so I didn't have time to take another one.
This is the pile of leaves that we are waiting for that "city" to come and suck up with  their cool leaf vacuum truck.  I wonder just how high the pile will be after we add our lovely big tree leaves to it....
And one pretty yellow leaf among the brown and my Barney Rubble feet (even when I was stick skinny my feet looked like this.  It is a real bummer when it comes to cute shoes...), just to prove I am barefoot and to show you what a lovely job Jake did painting my toes for me yesterday on our day off.  He even volunteered to do it!  I told him it was good practice for when he is married because his wife will really appreciate him if he paints her toes for her. Hint, hint Aaron... :) 
The Fall Fairy's even made a beautiful fall arrangement in the otherwise empty...what do you call that again?  Window flower holder...thingy.  That will work for now.  You know what I mean right?

I am so excited it is Thanksgiving!  It is official the holiday season is upon us.  We can listen to Christmas music and start pulling out the decorations-which I am actually excited to do this year.  Funny since I am tired of looking at all the stuff around here and now I am going to add to it...I don't add too much though and this is temporary stuff, so I am excited.  Last year I was not excited about putting out more stuff.  I was a little bah humbug last year for some reason.  But this year we are really focusing on the Savior's birth, so I know it will be worth the extra stuff. :)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It really is amazing... taking the day off can make your house look like a small tornado went through it. The sad part is Jake and I were the only ones home today! We had a LAZY day.  Today we started our Thanksgiving break!  I LOVE Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday in my favorite season...{sigh}...If only the weather would cooperate and let it feel like fall....Any way back to the house being a wreck.  It will really only take a little while to get in order.  Not has never been perfect.  There is something in side of me that will not let every area of my house be perfect.  Think of Monica on Friends and her perfectly in order house with one extremely cluttered closet...Then picture a not as perfect house with a pile on the kitchen counter, a basket of "stuff" in our room and Jake's that doesn't have a home...You get the picture right?  I am a less neurotic version of her.  There have been phases in my life that I have done a great job of hiding it.  I am not there right now.  I organized a room...all except that pile of papers (usually having some connection to homeschooling or couponing), I will deal with later and I will just stuff this "stuff" in my desk drawers.  There now it looks neat and organized and I feel slightly better than before!  I would feel great if it was really all done completely but I can"t bring myself to do it.  Am I the only one that does this?  I will spend the day, for example last Tuesday, switching bedrooms and organize everything...except that one basket of "stuff" and that reusable grocery bag of "more stuff that really doesn't have a home and probably never will" that I can just stick in the back corner of the other wise organized closet.  And then it spreads to the top of my dresser.  The cute little basket that is there to hold the things I need to put away is now over flowing.  Why do I do that?  I remember our house in Fletcher,  It was the perfect size and sometimes I thought I was pretty organized.  Everything had a place (in theory).  I didn't have to move the furniture around because it was perfect the way it was.  I really loved my little house, the colors I painted it, the layout, everything...But...You were waiting for that right?  The closet (if not the room itself) in the spare bedroom was always stuffed to the max.  I would put the stuff in plastic bins to make it look organized and then I would just end up stuffing more stuff in the cracks as I found the need.  I guess what I am trying to say is.  I hate stuff.  And yet I still have it. EVERYWHERE. Why is that?  I feel like I have probably posted about this before...or at least I have in my head.  The voice inside my head is pretty much just a brain blog, so sometimes I can't remember if it blogged about it in my head or here.  But even if I did blog about it here, I feel like it is worth being said again because I haven't changed the way I deal with stuff.  I try to hide it to make myself feel better.  Why can I not finish the job?  Most of the time half of the stuff we actually need (and just need to find it a home or put it in it's home) and the other half we don't and never did.  I didn't plan on typing all this when I sat down.  I was just going to vent about why being lazy as a mom doesn't work.  The sink has rinsed dishes in it just waiting for the dishwasher to be emptied.  There is all sorts of stuff on the cocoa table-papers, the cover to the Kirby Returns to Dreamland Wii game we rented today (that is really fun and so cute by the way), and other...stuff.  I don't make resolutions because for me that is just a sure way not to accomplish whatever it is I want to do.  I am going to make 2012 the year of SIMPLIFYING  (I did everything I could to the word so it would stand out so I won't forget.) I am going to get rid of our stuff and really be organized.  I need to make a plan to accomplish this task...I will add it to the list of things I need to do...Now where is that list?  Probably stuffed in my desk drawer. :)  Just kidding I am not that unorganized, it's in my planner.  What is in my desk drawers you ask? No idea. Right now I am not going to worry about that.  I am going to go de-tornado-ize the house.  I will start by unloading the dishwasher, emptying the sink, and then I will make a plan for getting organized and Simplifying (I now that doesn't have to be capitalized I just think it should be because it is just that important). No,actually I will leave the planning for tomorrow.  I need to go to bed...This post is yet another random mess.  Just clearing out the noggin again.  If you have any ideas for Simplifying and decluttering (and yes I know that isn't right either, but if you know me, you know that is just one of my words!)  let me know...I will take anyone's suggestions since I have seemed to be in an organizing funk. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last week I learned...

*I take too many pictures...But I already knew that.  I can't help it.  I have a horrible memory and taking pictures helps.  If I see the picture it jogs that memory back into place so that I remember it.  That makes sense right?  And it sound like as good as an excuse as any that I can think of as to why I am addicted to documenting the tiny little moments in life with a photo of it.  Needless to say this is an intro into yet another post filled with pictures that you will probably look at and wonder why in the world did I bother post it.  I did it for me.  To remind myself that I accomplished something, I taught/learned something, I...did something.  Last Tuesday I decided we should switch
rooms with Jake.  We sleep in our room. Jake plays with his toys, hangs out and sleeps in his room.  We had a big room and he had a little one.  Of course he does sleep on a queen size bed so that takes up a lot of the little space he had. We spent the day, with Papa G.'s help (glad he didn't have big plans that day!) moving furniture.  I haven't taken a picture of the after of our new room yet.  I did Jake's because we of course finished his first.   He has even more posters and posters on the wall since I took these pictures.  And we have organized his shelving a little more since this picture was taken-we still have some major work to do on that project.  Jake is thrilled that
he know has a table in his room that he can use to homeschool..which hasn't happened yet since it has been covered with Lego's since we brought it in his room.  He has room for his desk (there are actually 2 desks in his room right now.)  He is so lucky he even has a TV in his room.  He can't watch TV on it because it isn't hooked up, but there is a DVD player.  The only reason he has a TV in his room is because our massive TV armour  (that I LOVE and Aaron finished it) has no other place to go.  He can only watch a DVD when he is given permission to do so.  I didn't include the picture taken from that angle

because I figured 2 was enough.  We popped pop corn and he watched (I watched some of it but had 
to put all our clothes in  our dressers and closet so I could sleep on our bed that night.) the first Harry Potter movie to celebrate his new room.

*I also learned that Science and Social Studies are included on the EOG's in the 5th grade...Good to know. I had a moment of anxiety when I found that out and realized that we haven't really covered anything they want us to cover in S.S. yet and only one topic in Science.  But then I reviewed the list of
what he needs to know, remembered that he is a smart kid, took a deep breath, and got to work. I mapped out what he needs to learn for S.S. and we are going to be able to finish it by the middle of April 
with out any problem..and that is taking more time than we really need to cover it all. I am going to work on our Science plan tomorrow.  Any homeschooling Mom's out there that use a lesson plan book that they really like?  If so please share your knowledge with me!!!  I am using a planned that is kind of working... Also: What is your schedule like?  We have tried about 1 million so far (that may be a conservative number...) and we are still not feeling please. :)   

*I learned or should I say was reminded that running and jumping in leaf piles is one of the best things in the world to do and that Jake is adorable.  Fall is my very favorite season...

*I learned that Jack Prelutsky is a genius, has a very cool website, wrote an awesome book called:  Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to write a poem ,  and is one of my favorite poets.  He is hysterical.  Am I the only person in the world who hadn't heard of him?  Where have I been?!?! We have been taking notes on his awesome poem writing tips and writing our own poems.  I also learned that I can write a pretty good funny poem...Serious ones? Not so much but crazy silly ones?  I just may publish a book and dedicate it to good old Jack. :)  Jake also told me writing is "my thing".  How sweet is that?  Jake is working hard on his poems right now as we speak.  We were supposed to have this whole week off but we had to make up for the moving furniture day in which only a little bit was accomplished school wise.
This is a picture of Jake working hard on a poem last week.  See our leaves in the background by our pens and pencil holder?  We got those and were going to identify all the different kind of trees on our street...We still  have to do that...And yes Jake STILL needs a hair cut...

*I learned that you really can make anything out of duct tape.  Jake and Papa made a barometer last week and used some of our neon green duct tape to hold it together.  The air pressure (isn't that what a barometer measures?  I haven't been listening in on their science lessons on weather as you can tell) either
hasn't changed much around here in the past week...or it doesn't really work.

*I learned that I REALLY needed the Relief Society (this will explain to you what R.S. is if you scroll down the page a little) activity we had on Saturday at church.  We had a lesson on candy making (got some great tips and ideas),  how to have a more Christ centered Christmas (this lesson was based on the same book  that we are using for our FHE  for the next 7 weeks before Christmas...Yep it is only 7 weeks away...Scary right?), and we did a fun craft
 that I can't post a picture of because it may or may not be a gift I will be giving out this year for Christmas...It was all so great! But the best part was being able to sit and talk to my friends.  Did I mention that I got released from the Primary Presidency last Sunday?  I love primary!  But it is so time for me to be with adults again. :)

*I also learned that I could have 3 dogs. Two big dogs and one little one would be perfect.  Or maybe small, medium, and large.  We dog sat for Nana again and we really miss Pooha and Penny since we brought them back.  Especially Sadie-she had a ball with Penny.  Pooha and Penny slept in Jake's room and Sadie didn't even care that there wasn't room for another big dog on Jake's bed.  She was out cold  (every night after playing all day), on her bed in the sun room not even aware of what anyone (dog or human was doing)  The first picture (all the way back at the top) is a picture of Penny..Pooha is in it too but she is too little to see-she was laying behind Penny.  Sadie and Pooha shared a nap one day...Usually Pooha didn't want to have a whole lot to do with our silly puppy.  Seriously how cute are these two together?  Dogs are the best.  Sadie will be excited to see Penny and the other Harmon family dogs for Thanksgiving.  It is hard to believe it is Thanksgiving when it is 76 degrees out today.  Really 76?  I am soooo ready for chilly weather.  We had a couple of days of chilly and it was such a tease!  Funny how in July and August I would be dying for 76 degrees...

My apologies to you my old friends...And message to my new friend "Ignorant Anonymous"

I am doing a quick (my version of quick at least) to let you know I am now monitoring my comments.  I try not to use the word hate very much, but I am going to use it right now.  I HATE IGNORANCE.  I had a comment (that I erased so I don't ever have to see it again) that was really ignorant, malicious, and in very poor taste.  It seems that their is someone who isn't even brave enough to stand up for what they "believe",  who left a very vulgar comment (anonymously).  I am sorry for those of you who may have read it-as you know from visiting this blog in the past: this isn't that kind of blog...AT ALL.  I do not say the words that were in it (think of the worst cuss words you can-they were in it). It talked about Mitt Romney in a very negative light. Although I am a Republican (a conservative one) and happen to be a member of the same church he is, I have not come out to support him-or any of the other candidates for that matter.  I wouldn't support a candidate just because they were Mormon.  You will know at some point who I support because I am pretty vocal (if asked or provoked) about where I stand politically.  Actually I can be pretty vocal about where I stand on just about anything.  I was shocked when I read the comment and for about 1/2 a second I was livid.  And then a peace came over me.  Heavenly Father must have known I REALLY needed to see the positive in this.  Guess what?  I found it.  If "ignorant anonymous" (my little nickname for the person who has WAY too much time on their hands) found my teeny, tiny, little blog and felt they needed to lash out at me because I am a Mormon, then I must being doing a pretty good job letting the blog world know what I believe and how I live.

And just in case you ever come back to my blog, here is a note to you ignorant anonymous:

Dear ignorant anonymous,

I want to thank you for you message.  All though it was in very poor taste and shows just how ignorant you are, it actually made me feel pretty good about myself.  You knew I was a Mormon.  A compliment that no vulgar or cruel words can take away.  I know that my Heavenly Father and His son (my brother and yours too by the way) Jesus Christ love me.  Your words don't change that.  It just makes me cling to what I know to be true even more. Your words just reinforced the path I am on in this life.  I have bad days were I doubt myself but I am loved and life is good!  I hate ignorance.  I don't hate you because you are a human being that our Heavenly Father created, and though ill informed-you are still a child of God.  Based on the message you left I can only assume some where along the way you have had contact with a member of our church who was not living what they professed to believe.  I am really sorry for that-where there is good there is always evil.  I hope that at some point in your life you will take the time to understand what we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really believe.  I am not sure where I would be with out it.  Maybe I would be where you are-in a place in my life that the only thing I can do is try to bring other people down and not even be courageous enough to stand behind the words I have written.  I could go on and on but I won't.  If you do happen to be reading this don't bother come back to my blog to put hateful words on it.  Comment moderation is a good thing. :)  Have a great day because I know I will!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

If you are my nieces or nephews avert your eyes...

...unless you want to ruin your Christmas surprise!
Did you like my little rhyming one liner poem?  I didn't even plan it.  All this poetry we have been studying is filling my brain with grand ideas for poems.  I think I am a born poet and I didn't even know it. :)  But anyway that is a whole other post!
 Christmas is just over a month away?!?! When did that happen?  I saw this amazing idea on Pinterest and remembered I bought a ton of boys t-shirts for $1 on sale at Walmart.  It is a home made Christmas around here and I am LOVING IT!!!  Now that Jake knows (because we told him)  that ****WARNING DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN"T COME CLEAN YET**** Santa isn't real, I kind of feel a weight off my shoulders. 
I feel like I can give Jake more meaningful gifts because the gifts are from us not Santa.  I am thrilled and have big plans to have the kind of Christmas we should have been having the whole time!  More on that later too...Any who!  Grab an old or cheap t-shirt, a bleach pen, and some wax paper and get ready to create!  Jake and I had an art filled day last Friday and it was soooo fun.  We woke up extra early for some reason...I guess because it was my first good nights sleep with no steroids and I woke up-with help from Jake like usual-at 5 something.  I usually hate 5 something but not that morning.  We headed to Walmart (which I usually hate and avoid like the plague also) to see if we could find some cheap shirts for all the girl cousins.  We did and headed home to create.  This shirt is actually the first one I did the night before to test the process out and see if it really works.  It did and I was so excited.  I just kind of doodled on this swirly pattern (after putting the wax paper in between-2 layers to be safe) and waited...It took about 10 or 15 minutes.  They were really long minutes because I  
couldn't wait to see if it really would work and be as cool as it seemed. When it was ready I just stuck it in the kitchen sink and rinsed and scrubbed it off with dish soap and my cleaning brush.  Then you pop it in the washer and dryer and wa-la!  Awesome, homemade, personalized tee's!  I won't show all of them because I don't want to spoil it in case they sneak on here to see.  I am going to make a couple more for people who remain nameless...It is so much fun-you should try it!!!  It is kid friendly-but it will of course ruin any fabric it touches, so wear old clothes and clean up thoroughly.  Jake loved doing it and made a very cool shirt of his own.  With out giving too much away his shirt is a nickname my sister gave him (you will see it further along in this post...) and other peoples may...or may not have their nick names on it. :)  (Have you ever seen the movie Brother Bear?  If you have then you probably remember the song in it called "I'm on my way".  Well, long story short when Jake was little he had a raspy little voice and he was singing that song over and over again. Tina thought he was singing some rock song because of the way he was singing it. 
She was pretty surprised when she heard the original. :) ) Don't you love the way the shirt came out???  I am so excited to give everyone their gifts.  I hope they like them as much as I do. If you are a family member of mine and don't like the gifts I give you this year just pretend you do, okay? :)

See these cute little animal prints?  A friend of mine moved and gave these to me.  I have big plans for them-not as they are-but...well I can't say too much because the people that will be getting the final product do in fact read my blog.  I will post the after of what they become when the recipients open them. :)  I am getting so excited for Christmas!!!!  
Maybe the weather will get colder so it will feel like it is that time of year.  Jake had on shorts and a t-shirt yesterday.  It started cooling down this evening so I am HAPPY!  I am so ready for colder weather. I am ready to wear my sweaters and drink hot chocolate. And Jake will be too when I give him this blanket (that is becoming very huge) that I am crocheting him.  I crocheted a baby blanket for a baby shower and he asked when I was going to make him one.  Making it right now dude. :)  Aaron told me that the colors are pretty close to the Carolina Panthers colors...which I totally planned!.  Don't tell Jake I am making it-he doesn't read my blog so he will never know unless you do!  I also saw a very cool necklace
that someone made on Pinterest and decided to try it.  All I had was a paper clip and ribbon but I think it is still pretty cute.  In case you can't tell it is a bird.  Jake thought it was awesome and he tells me the truth about stuff like this, so I am giving it away for Christmas.  It was so fun to make that I got some wire at a craft store to try to create other fun little things...Turns out paper clips are easier to use.  I will keep trying with the real stuff and see what happens.  Okay, so I have rambled on enough.  If you are pulling your hair out wondering what you are going to do for Christmas you should really try the bleach pen t-shirts.  I am officially addicted and am thinking about buying stock in bleach pens because it is such
a cool idea I know you are all going to run out and  
buy some to make your own.  :)  I have other projects I am working on that I will of course post about later. A majority of my ideas have some from...can you guess where? PINTEREST.  I love Pinterest...As Jake was telling me "whoever thought of Pinterest must be rich."  I hope they are because they so deserve to be.  :)

Oh and Aaron-if you are reading this:  YOU MUST  I want you and Jake to make me a bleach pen t-shirt for Christmas...okay?  I even have an old t-shirt that you can use.  I have 3 you can choose from  and I won't know what you guys are putting on it, so it will still be a surprise. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sometimes when I do sleep...

I have better perspective on life's challenges. :) It took a while but after venting out my whoa's I went back to sleep. I woke up and was ready for the day...Sleepy, but ready.  I cleaned, I did laundry, I played Leggo Harry Potter Years 5-7 (it came out on Friday and we rented it as soon as Family Video opened that morning.), I grocery shopped (and was excited when I found out I got 10% off still even though I work at the most 8 hours a month), I built with Lego's (and me a Jake laughed our heads off.  He told me he loved hanging out with me...and all was well in my little universe...), I even cooked beef stew...I did a lot and I felt better.  Just having let it out and moved on I felt better.  I also felt better when Aaron got home from work that morning, hugged me, and told me I needed to not let stuff bother me so much.  He then told me that Jake asked him if he loved Nee that same day  he asked me if I loved Nana.  I guess Jake was just trying to figure out if it was even possible to love someone else's mom when he has such a great one like me. :)  That is what I get for worrying and assuming the worst about myself. Thanks Belle for your insight.  You are so right about reading a scripture out loud-it is almost like it becomes part of the air around you to protect you. It reminds me of this quote:
 I need to memorize a few that will fit perfectly when those feelings of uncertainty and self doubt creep in.
Have I ever told you about my blog friend Belle?  She is amazing, funny, and just plain wonderful in general.  You should go read her blog because every time I do I leave a better person.  Belle is one of those rare "real" people that no matter what she is discussing it means something different (in a good way) to you after having learned from her.  She is one of my life mentors on how to make the world a better place-seriously.  She is high up on the list of people that I wish were my neighbors.  Read her blog-I know you will love it.  I do.   I am going to check out the song that Anika likes mom.  I have heard other songs by Cherie Call and I love them.   

I am too hard on myself.  I think it may be a woman thing.  Ladies why are we like that?  Why do we have to be super woman all the time?  I guess that is exactly what Satan wants.  For mothers to feel insecure so that we can pass that on to our children and they will be lead astray more easily...Curse you Satan..You got me again.  But I am ready for you this time. I am going to just be me and leave the whole Super Woman thing to some one else who is a whole lot better at it.

I slept great last night.  I accomplished a ton yesterday and today I am feeling so much better.   What a difference a day can make!  Have a great Sunday.  I am off church and then I am going to come home and memorize some scriptures so that I can be ready next time those over whelming feelings come.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sometimes I can't sleep....

I was sleeping, but now I can't.  I worry and it makes it hard to sleep.  I went to bed early-ish tonight and then just woke up.  You know when you wake up and your brain won't stop?  One thing after another keeps popping into your head and no matter what, you aren't going to be able to go back to sleep unless you just let all the thought.  I won't go into all the worries I worry...but I know if I don't declutter some of the nonsense in my head I will be up all night long.

Some people wake up with inspiration!  I wake up with overwhelming feelings of...well worry...Why do I do this?  I am blessed beyond what I deserve.  I know I am...But the worries always seem to bubble up....I keep back spacing!!! Why am I doing that?!?  This is my blog I can be pitiful and depressing if it makes me momentarily feel better.  So, if you don't want to hear my random worries and stresses, this may be a post you just want to skip.  In the grand scheme of life and eternity, none of these things matter.  But it is 1:20 am they will not leave my mind and I really want to sleep so I am going to just type and set them all free into the blog world and not worry about people shaking their heads and saying: "What is her problem?  There are starving children in Africa and she is complaining about (fill in the blank from the list I will provide below)?!", and yes that is a run on sentence...and I don't really care.  Judge me if you will.  This is my blog and I really want to sleep so tomorrow I won't feel even worse about myself because I am too tired to accomplish anything.

*I worry about a question Jake asked me the other day.  He asked me: "Do you love Nana?"  OF COURSE I LOVE NANA! I was shocked.  I told him I did and asked why he asked me that.  His answer? "I don't know." Ummm...That is it?  More information is needed please.  So, I asked him if he loved Nana.  To which he said: "Mommy OF COURSE I LOVE NANA!"  I know he does-she is amazing.  Then I worried...A LOT.  Why does he not know that I love Nana?  Am I a horrible person or what?  I have not showed my son that I love the mother of my amazing husband.  The women who raised 4 amazing human beings and adores her 7 1/2 grand children (we are going to have a new nephew in the the Spring!).  What kind of monster am I that Jake does not know automatically that I love Nana.  It makes me want to puck just thinking about it.  Nana just in case you don't know: I LOVE YOU!!!!!

*I worry about the fact that Aaron works 3rd shift 40 hours a week, goes to school full time during the day, sleeps a few hours, gets up and runs 3 miles, does homework...and then has to search through the laundry to find socks because I haven't made time in my being home ALL DAY LONG to put them a way...or to even have washed them in the first place. 

*I worry that I stink at homeschooling.  It is especially depressing when I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing and it seems like I...can't.  Does one good day in 5 constitute an education?  I have blogged about the happy moments and fun ideas we have enjoyed.  I think this week I will do a post about one of the really bad days.  I hope Jake will hold still and let me take a picture of him when I am threatening to send him back to public school if he doesn't JUST DO...what ever it is he is supposed to be doing at the moment....It isn't like if he went back to public school the world would come to an end and a certain death would fall upon us all...But he may think that since I use it as a threat...See, I am just not very good at this whole thing.

*I worry that I maybe crazier than I think I am.  I think poor Aaron has glimpses that make him worry about leaving me unattended...I don't think that actually: I know that since he told me that in a moment of a nervous breakdown I had when I was feeling all depressed about being sick and not being able to breath, function, or accomplish any task placed before me..Yep.  I like to add stress to my poor husband who has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  I really am crazy.  But don't worry Aaron: I am not as crazy as you think.  The house will still be standing when you get off work in the morning at 6am.

*I worry about the fact that Jake asked me: "What makes you an aunt or uncle again, I forgot?"  To this I said: "when your siblings have children you become their uncle." I  was saying it in a general term: "you" meaning everybody.   I didn't think anything of it until he said: "Oh, so I won't ever be an uncle then."  I had an inward moment of depression.  I didn't take the time to think about the fact that he will be an uncle to his wives siblings children. I just shut down.  Aaron said something to him...Maybe said his cousins would let their children call him uncle.  I just died a little inside and went along and tried not to think about it again....Until now.  And it makes me really sad.

*I worry about the fact that none of these things should worry me...but they do.  I know that Heavenly Father loves me.  I know that my little stresses are nothing compared to the chaos and inhumanity that so many people live in.  I am sheltered.  I am provided for.  I yet I wake up at night worried.  The only reason I have to worry is that I am not doing all I can to be better and do better.  I guess that really comes down to it.  I know I am not doing all I can.  I know I need to be better, and do better.  I will try again tomorrow to not be so pitiful.  I have a quote hanging above the computer that I need to remember....

"Latter Day Saint women who recognize that their strength comes from the Lord's Atonement do not give up during difficult and discouraging times."  -Julie B. Beck.

I think I need to recognize that a little more....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What we are up to....

Broken record time...Homeschooling is hard. :)  It is a good hard though, because we can see what doesn't really work and change it. Or vice versa.  We decided in our scheduling of the school year that we are taking the week of Thanksgiving off and we have a plan to follow until then.  Back to the basics is the plan. Read. Write. Math.  Throw in a little science (weather experiments) with Papa and we are calling it good.

 I am still on steroids for my breathing so we are taking it easy and that has gone right along with our plan.  We made up some writing notebooks (I am slightly addicted to composition notebooks...)  that ALL of our writing will go into.  If we are reading a book and don't know what a word means we write it down in our book and define it.  If Jake is reading his Black Beard book (he is doing a project on Blackbeard that he has until 12/16-the last day before Christmas break starts) he jots down his notes in the writing journal.  No more wondering what happened to that piece of paper....

    Our first writing exercise to get our brains working in our writing journal was pretty fun. I found this cool head on Pinterest and printed it off.  The assignment was easy: finish this picture of yourself (funny neither of us included our glasses...I just noticed that. :) ) and fill in any words that come to mind about yourself.  What do you like to do?  Eat? Family
members...Anything.  Just write what makes you tick.  It was fun and they came out pretty cute.  AND it did the trick our brains were ready to WRITE!  We also printed off lots of other fun writing tips I found on Pinterest that you can find here.  We taped them in our journals if we ever needed inspiration.  Next we piled up a load of poetry books and our writing journals and got all propped up on pillows on Jake's bed and got to our poetry.  I found this amazing book at our local library and we love it.  It tells you about different styles of poems, how you write them, and then you push play on the CD player and listen as a poem written in that style is read out loud. Then we wrote our own poem.  Some of them we hadn't heard of so we took notes.  Others we knew all about so we didn't need to.  After we listened we wrote our own poem in that style.  One time we gave our selves 5 minutes to write a certain style and we realized we are pretty good poets!  It was so fun and we are excited to do it again.  We are going to pick up in that book where left off and see what we can come up with.  On Wednesday we are going to enjoy a day of Shel Silverstein.  We found a CD of "Where that Sidewalk Ends at the library and are going to read, listen, and write.

This may be boring for you so I don't mind if you stop reading.  I decided that my blog would be a good place to remind myself what we have done, what we need to do more of, and what we can just call it good and move on with as far as homeschooling goes.  Days cuddled in bed reading and writing is definitely a keeper.  Khan Academy is also a keeper.  I am not a math champion, but I am learning to like it through this website.  The other day as Jake was working independently I was on it for over an hour.  That is big for me.  Jake is loving it too.  So, until Thanksgiving we are going to close up our math book and see just how far Khan Academy can take us.

I just had to stick this picture in of this sweet puppy...Sadie is going to be 1 year old the end of December.  I pick on her a lot about being goofy but she really is an amazing dog.  I just loved this picture and decided to stick  it in here...I could put it in a less random spot in this post but this works too.

(The picture below popped up in the wrong place and I am being lazy and not moving it...Sadie and Pooha enjoying the dog beds in the sun room together...)

Papa G. took Jake to an airshow on Saturday (where he got this cool face painting) and they had a great time.  So good that Jake was still tired Monday morning and wanted to take the day off. (He stays up until Aaron goes to work on the weekends to so that made him even more tired.)  He said it was for me to relax since taking steroids make sleeping next to impossible...but really he needed a break. 
It turns out we worked harder than we thought we would by taking the day off.  We moved some furniture.  We dirtied some rags (Jake gets $0.50 for every rag he dirties by cleaning with it.  I had to tell him to switch rags yesterday his was getting so dirty!), doesn't that sound more fun than cleaning baseboards?  We used some of our fancy chore magnets today and it was AWESOME!  I owe Jake $3 and it is WELL worth it.  He is thrilled.  I am thrilled.  The dust bunnies are cleared out in 2 rooms and there is room to breath in the two living spaces in a home that is serving 2 families.  Here are a couple pictures for you to check out Mom.  After moving the couch from the Sun Room to the Living Room the question of the Christmas tree was raised...We will figure out a place for it. It feels like an awesome hang out space with room for everyone in the living room now. The Sun room still has piles of things to put away (as you can see from picture) and the dog beds aren't staying where they are (we are dog sitting for Nana so we have to make our doggie guests Penny and Pooha feel extra special by having a grand view of the backyard from the dog beds. :) ), but I wanted to get a shot of it for you to see.
The sun room is kind of the study/dinning room now.  We may have to rearrange later but we figured this will work to get us through Aaron's graduation and what will happen then.  We were pretty excited to have created a little reading area in the Sun Room too.  Jake was very excited about the furniture moving since it was all his idea.  Aaron was not so thrilled to see that we did it with out him, since I should not be moving furniture...Darn medicine that fools you into thinking you are all better.  It was so worth it for the breathing space though. :)  And Jake will be happy to know  I am not counting it as a day off.  Education isn't just books-it is labor and service too. Hard work can teach you more about yourself than just about anything!  Jake was so proud of himself for all that he accomplished. And so was I!  He came up with the idea to pull the couch on a slippery blanket so we weren't breaking the rules of taking it easy and we were keeping the floors scratch free at the same time.  Now we just have to hit all of the little piles that we didn't get too in the Sun Room and our task will be complete.  I may go bankrupt and wish we just gave Jake an allowance at this rate. :)

Jake's favorite books at the moment are a series called Far World  and he has been telling me to read it for ever.  (I usually read what ever he is reading to make sure it is okay-unless it is a book that a trusted friend suggests...or in this case is by an LDS author and I got the book at Deseret Books).  So, I put Tom Sawyer on hold and started reading the first book in the series and I LOVE IT!  It is seriously good.  Jake has been making little Lego people and scenes that go along with the 2nd book he is reading and has decided to make a movie with them.  He is a pretty creative dude so I can't wait to see how it comes out. 

Life is good, this year is flying by, and I need to get off the computer and do something!!!  This counts as my homeschooling though right?  :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Remember two things...

That is a little Dave Matthews reference for any other fans out there. Did anyone catch it?  I will be really impressed if you did.  Really it is just a catchy title to say I have 2 things I want to say and to remember.  Because sometimes I forget...

*We have old cars.  I am glad because when you have an amazing husband like I do, you don't have to pay tons of money to repair said cars.  New cars require being hooked up to a computer so it's microchips (or whatever) can tell the mechanic what it wrong with it.  Our cars are too old to be so fancy.  Aaron saved us $400 (which may as well been a million since we are poor college students) by being manly enough to fix the alternator on the Jeep.  He is pretty darn awesome...And cute too if I do say so myself.

*I went to the doctor today for my follow up on the whole not being able to breath thing. (Asthma does that to you sometimes.)  She said I sound much better (and I feel much better) and was pleased.  I admitted that I dusted, vacuumed, did laundry, took Jake to his book club, and then his b-ball evaluation for Upward...and that I felt it's effects last night with a long coughing attack.  My inhaler did work to stop it and I could breath again. To this she said: "I am glad your inhaler worked but you must take it easy."  Oh right I forgot...So, I learned for the 2nd time this week that I need to let my lungs recover.  I just couldn't stop myself.  I had to vacuum Jake's room because he has allergies (and he is a sad vacuumer-he gets that from his dad.)...and after that I just couldn't stop!  Why do we do this as women?  Any way-I am officially resting until my 10 days of steroids are done...I hope I don't go insane by then.  I am on day 4 of 10...One major bummer of the steroids...guess what one of the side effects is?  Not being able to sleep!!!  I didn't read the little sheet that tells you what the side effects are but I asked my doc today and she said "oh yeah, I meant to warn you about that."  I didn't go to sleep until 3 am last night...The other nights I only slept slightly better.  What a bummer that I am supposed to be relaxing and taking it easy and I can't even sleep!!!!  It is going to be a long 6 more days...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Reluctant Pumpkin on Halloween?

True story...This is our attempt to put Sadie in a Halloween costume my sister made for Daisy (our 1st dog-a sweet and crazy basset hound...That I miss dearly...).  After bribing her with what to be half a box of treats and struggling to get her in it, this is the best shot I got of her...Stinker.  Sadie is definitely a reluctant pumpkin.  Daisy LOVED her costume.  She would get excited when we got out the Halloween rubber maid box and pulled it out! This is the best picture I could find of her in it-I guess we hadn't put the hat on yet.  I went back as far as I could on my computer digitally.  I actually have years I didn't take a picture of her in it!!!!  What was I thinking?  Don't let her pitiful Basset Hound face fool you-she was having a ball!  The only time she got more excited was Christmas.  You think I am joking?  She knew which stocking was hers (and she didn't even begrudge Emily too much when she had to share it with her.  Emily was our second sweet dog, a black lab who was arguably the most obedient dog to walk the earth,  we had to put to sleep at the age of 5 1/2 because she had cancer.)  Dogs are so much smarter than people give them credit...Or at least that is what I thought until we got Sadie...JUST KIDDING! sort of...She is only 10 months old so she has time to grow up and make us proud. 

 Here we are dressed up for our Halloween Family Home Evening Party.  Jake didn't want to wear his Renaissance costume so he dug in the Halloween box and wore his Harry Potter robe backwards with my old "Spider Queen" cape (every year I say I am not dressing up and at the last minute Jake talks me into it.  I found the cape for $3 at Walmart on year and we have used it over and over again!) and large spider he put on his walking stick.  He was a Spider Wizard or something like that.  Aaron took the picture because his "costume" was too warm so he had to change out of it.                                     
 He had on one (yes he has more than one...WAY more than one) Star Wars t-shirts on and his flannel Star Wars PJ pants (that wast he part that was too warm). He was "dressed up" as a Star Wars fan.  And he didn't want to let down his title of our resident PTPP, so he wouldn't pose for any pictures.  He claimed he did this so that I could be in the pictures since I never am.  I am the official picture taker-he should know this by now...
Dad dressed up as a Pilot.  He had on his old flight suit and Jacket from when he did airshows in his Pitts Special plane.  You didn't know my dad was a famous stunt pilot on the side of being a corporate pilot did you?  I will save that for another post and sadly it was well before the days of You Tube so you can't go look him up or anything.  I will fill you all in later, I promise....Along with the post about what I carry in my big purses that I carry that Melissa asked me to blog about over a year ago...I will add it to the list...I am a slacker I know.
 I kind of love this picture.  I stole that camera from Aaron because he just wasn't getting the shots I was looking for...I am picky about my memories, so sue me!  I was doing the classic one handed shot of Jake and I when Aaron crept up behind us to recreate one of our all time favorite pictures....That I will have to add to my list of posts to do in the future because I cant' find the picture at the moment.  I have too many pictures to figure out where it could possibly be.  I will have to hunt for it because it cracks me up!!! 
Since we missed the Ward Trunk-or-Treat and even though our lights were out the doorbell was still ringing (it wasn't quit dark enough for lights out to ward people off yet) we went out side to unload some of our candy before it got dark and so Jake could run across the street and next door to our neighbors that would miss him if he didn't stop by.  He was happy with the ring pop and chocolate and we headed inside for our party. 
Aaron frosted the cupcakes so I knew he couldn't protest or put his hand up to stop me.  Have you ever heard of the new Betty Crocker cupcake mix called "Fun-da-middles"?  They were on sale and I had a coupon that doubled so I got the box for around $0.50.  We decided that Halloween was a good excuse to try them, especially since this was our first year without a big bag of candy to dig through. 
I admit that carving a pumpkin on Halloween may be a little late but come on it is still fun, right?  None of the party poopers in my house wanted to do it so the tradition is now 2 years in the past...We have decorated cupcakes the past 2 years so I guess that is our new tradition...I really wanted to carve this pumpkin and I even go the pumpkins to do it.  I think I will just do this instead.  And then make some of this.  I am not going to tell you what it is because I have already told you about my friends awesome new blog and I want you to go check it out...If you are interested enough to see what I am going to do you will have to go see her blog. :)  Aren't I tricky?  You will love the idea I promise!  It will be worth your 5 minutes to check it out!!!  Don't you love the spider cape?  Jake was working hard on his pumpkin cupcake in this picture. :)  (I am a chronic "linker"...I know it's sad...)

 The Fun-da-middles got a thumbs up from all of us.  I am sure you could easily make this with a regular cake mix and pudding but you couldn't have gotten both of those for $0.50! I love a good deal.  I am not a huge chocolate fan but I liked them.  We all so go the vanilla cream filled ones.  We will have to try to those next because those would be right up my alley! 

Papa decided to decorate his to give to Jake.  Jake didnt' mind that at all!
After that we played a fun game.  We all wrote down what we thought would be a good Halloween costume.  Then you stick a paper on your forehead without being able to see who you are.  You then ask yes or no questions to figure out who you are.  I probably didn't have to go through that whole explanation because you have probably heard about it before...At least in 20 years we will be able to remember what the heck we were doing. :)

 Aaron was thrilled to play this game you can tell. :)  Poor guy.  We are all counting down the days until working 3rd shift is OVER!!!!  He is such a good sport to play a silly game when all he really wanted to do was relax and go to bed early on one of his 2 nights at home.  You rock Aaron!  Even with puffy, tired eyes you are adorable. 

  I know I could have retaken this so his eyes would have been open but I kind of love this picture.  Jake was so excited to play this game and see who he was.  It took him a long time to figure out he was himself.  Gotta love the leftover cupcake on this face.  

 Jake and I had the same idea as you can see.  Only I didn't spell Vader right...Not sure what I was thinking.  I guess I am just not
 the Star Wars fan that the guys in my house are.
 ***Temporary subject change:  Can I just tell you after starting to blog in 2008 (...I know that doesn't show up on my blog anymore...Long story...) and I just now figured out how to get the pictures and words to go together and not take up so much space.  I am computer illiterate.  I'm okay with that.  The real problem is that it is probably a fluke that I will never be able to accomplish again...I will keep my fingers crossed.***

Jake did my good idea for a costume tag.  I finally figured it out when he told me that I had been it before...Since it is a made up character it was very helpful to get that information.  :)
All in all our first Halloween without trick-or-treating was pretty darn fun!  I did realize as we were playing our game and laughing...that I was really getting tired of having to take my inhaler after just laughing.  I have been having to take it 3 to 5 times a day for the past few weeks even though I am taking the miracle drug for asthmatics: Advair.  I bit the bullet and headed to the doctor the next day and had my first breathing treatment (double dose...) in something like 17 years.  It turns out that although the antibiotics did get rid of my walking pneumonia, I didn't do what my doctor said and take it easy...I ended up weakening my lungs and my fall allergies kicked in before my lungs were ready for it.  I am on some heavy duty steroids (not that muscle building illegal ones don't worry. :) ) and I have to go back to see her on Friday. I can't tell you how awesome it is to be able to breath again.  I am taking it easy this time because I don't want to get permanent damage and I was threatened that I must do so all the way from the Ukraine, by my I am being good.  Papa has been a life saver with Aaron's crazy schedule and took Jake to the Kid's Advisory Board he is apart of at the Library and to cub scouts tonight.  Thanks Dad!

I take it all back about figuring out how to line the picture and text up to take up less space.  It worked for the first half...not so much for the second half.  I jinxed myself yet again.  Maybe next time!