Thursday, October 30, 2014

Frustration is...

...Getting a text from the library saying we have an overdue item and to log online to resolve it or call them.  I logged on under my card-nothing is overdue.  I logged on under Jake's card-nothing overdue. So, I take the next step.  I call and can't even get through to a live human being after working with the automated system 3 times!!! I have done both things you asked of me and nothing is resolved!!!

Not to mention the fact that I went on Facebook for about 10 minutes and as usual it has put me in a bad mood.  With out going into all the details, I just commented (to back her up) on a friends post who had posted something political and she was pretty much told she was ignorant for posting.  And the worst part of this Facebook bullying is that the person that told her she should "check her facts before posting something" (that was in fact correct by the way) used Wikipedia as a source to prove her wrong....Wikipedia?....Are you serious ignorant Facebook bully?!  You think Wikipedia is a credible source? 

And just to really keep it real:  It is 2:00 on Thursday afternoon and only about half of Jake's list for the week is done and that is not going to cut it and it will get done if he has to work until he goes to bed tonight and then again tomorrow....and I may have just yelled at him about that...which lets face it may not have helped very much.

What is this world coming to?!!!  The library should have a live person to answer their phone and people need to get a life and stop stalking their "facebook friends" to see if they are posting anything they disagree with in order to bully them.  I am learning that Conservatives/Republicans roll their eyes and scroll on through when Liberals post something they don't agree with.  Liberal/Democrats have so much time on their hands that they can leave their remarks all over the place and feel better about the fact that the only things they believe in are a women's right to murder unborn children, cops being bad people, letting illegals in-in order to create more liberal votes, and that the US needs to apologize for being awesome. 

There.  I said it. 

I realize in 10 years none of this will matter (lets face it maybe in 10 minutes it won't matter...) but at this particular moment I am frustrated and venting makes me feel a whole lot better.  Don't judge me...I already do that enough for the both of us.  Now, I need to go and apologize to my child while letting him now he better step it up and put a hustle in the bustle!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yesterday's Randomness Turns Into Things I love...

 This picture is actually from Monday but he is the one I will be discussing at the moment.  This face is precious to me...but...
 ...There are days like yesterday when I have to write my star pupil notes and stick them in his Algebra notebook.  In case you can't see it,it says "If you don't: (1.) Leave space between your problems,  (2.)  Write 2m when it is 2 meters, (3.)  Show your work and work down the paper, (4.) date it and tell me the lesson #, Then I will:  (1.)  Beat you up, and (2.)  Mark it wrong (even it it is correct) (Seriously) :) Heart-Mommy

You may think this is harsh, but this is round 2 of sticky notes in the Algebra notebook with pretty much exactly the same requests demands. 

(This was really two lessons in one.  How to get a good grade in math and a reminder about "If, Then" sentences...there are teachable moments everywhere!)

Look at this page for example.  See how it goes 6, 7, 8....and let me squeeze 11 right under and beside the work of 7 so you have to wonder what the heck is going on here.   And this is actually not that bad compared to some of his other pages! 
 Friends of ours issued a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) challenge due by Friday and we accepted.  I understand that this is above and beyond the work I have already assigned Jake for the week...Jake of course believes this should take priority and went ahead and made planes for his marshmallow and toothpick bridge....I think he has 5 plans.  None showing any marshmallows...

 ...Really he just doodled some plans for cool looking bridges.  I know this because when I sat down with him and asked how exactly he would build (and he wants to build several) his arched bridge design (not pictured...I think that was design #4 or #5) with toothpicks and marshmallows, he said he hadn't thought of that yet.  I love this kid!  He gets excited with the idea in general before really making a plan.
I have no idea where he gets that.  Okay. Fine.  He gets it from me.  The "leap before looking" mentality.  We will have to work on that.  The two sheets in the out of focus photo are a result of trying something new.  We do this a lot to "perfect" our homeschooling experience.  Jake wanted me to give him his assignments for the week and he would decide which assignments he was going to do when.  With the understanding that you have to do math everyday and you can't write a whole paper due on Friday...on Friday (or read a whole chapter of science, do the study guide, and take a test all on one day.  Or practice spelling and take a test all get it.  Jake does theory.  We shall see..).  And if you want to do one of the things that we do together, I have to agree it is a good time to do it.  So far, so good.  The weekly assignment sheet hangs on a clipboard by the door...since it has already been momentarily misplaced and I just gave it to him yesterday.  The plan is to give it to him Sunday night-if not during the week prior.  I couldn't print it until Tuesday morning and Jake is already complaining about missing a day he could have worked on it...even though we didn't get home on Monday from co-op and the library until 4:00 and I KNOW he would not have done any thing on Monday anyway.
On a completely unrelated topic, I found this cheap ($7.99 compared to Annie Sloan's $36) chalk paint I am going to try out.  I need to get back to painting.  I have several pieces that are just waiting to be painted and sold, but I haven't had much motivation lately.  Plus I am afraid to go into the little "studio" glorified crawl space (it is more than a crawl space but at the moment I harbor ill feelings toward it...when those fade I will come up with a new name...I still need to take pictures of it...Soon...Maybe.) under the house because when I was taking Mr. Rooter (we thought we had a plumbing problem but after being told it would be a $675, I  fixed it with a huge bottle of Drain-O) in to look at a pipe and there on the light switch box, that I was about to turn on, sat a snake.  I had to push Mr. Rooter out of the way because apparently frantically yelling "SNAKE!" and trying to run out didn't give him the clue to get out of my way.  Any way.  I won't be painting in there any time soon.  But I will be painting soon!
 Back to yesterday.  Do you ever have those moments when you pass through a room and see a snap shot of your life at that exact moment?  I do.  All the time. And then I take a picture of it to remember.  This is a photo of one of those moments.  Jake's drawing paper that he had been designing his bridges in (that I really do love),  Ender's Game that he is a couple pages from finishing (we started it last year together but I just couldn't get into it because it is a total "boy book" in my estimation..but he decided to restart it when he got it for free at the library, at a homeschooling event-which is good because he still wants to see the movie and in our house you have to read the book before you can see the movie...but I am not going to read it and I will watch the movie with him), my plants that I need to pot because they have taken root, on my table that I painted, with my chairs that I need to add another coat of spray paint to, our book cases filled with our beloved books, in our blue dining room, with Aaron's guitars (that he plays in the evening after dinner and is teaching Jake to play) leaning against the wall, right next to the simple white curtains that are my favorite,  and Jake's Darth Vader cup that he has taken upon himself to hand wash so it will last longer, my wide mouth Mason Jar of water that I sip on every time I pass through the room and has been there a while because the ice is all melted, and of course the huge bowl of marshmallows (3 bags to be exact....I didn't know he was going to open all of them..that have since been transferred to a cook sheet) that we are hoping will get stale/hard and be better bridge building material....See what I mean? All this went through my head as I walked through the room.  A snapshot that captures a moment of our lives...I love it.  And yes that was most likely one of the longest run on sentences I have every typed...which is saying a lot because...well it's me and that is what I do!

I did a lot of laundry yesterday.  It was a perfect laundry on the line kind of day.  Let me tell you, I would pay millions (if I had it) if someone could bottle the smell of our favorite laundry detergent,  our favorite fabric softener, and true Southern Autumn breeze...All the "clean linen" sprays/candles I have smelt, smell pretty good. But NOTHING can even compare to the sweet smell of our fresh, clean laundry when I take it off the line.  I wish that scent could last!  I hang the clothes up really quickly, hoping that the scent will attach itself to our other clothes.  But it doesn't.  They clothes still smell amazing, but nothing like that fresh of the line smell.  I love it.

Sadie love the water hose.  I was just trying to fill up her bowl but she just can't resist playing in it even for just a second.  Pretty soon it will be too chilly to play in-even for a dog!  Sadie is so shiny.  I love this crazy dog.

And literally seconds later a leaf fell into her bowl and she did not want to disturb it so she drank from the side.  I love Fall

I mean seriously...Can you ever really take enough pictures of laundry on the line?  That is my favorite table clothe.  I love it so much that I  bought another one, from Walmart, before they don't have it any more.
 I am pretty sure I am going to hang up pictures of our laundry, on our line, in our laundry room.  That is a lot of ours.

Although we have a school room/office, school happens every where.  Jake decided to read his science (while chewing on a straw I gave him- for that purpose after he had to throw away a pen he had chewed up) on the trampoline yesterday.  He is out there right now doing his math.  I love that we can do school on the trampoline.  I love that we can go from me threatening to beat him up (which may or may not have been a joke...) if he doesn't leave space on his math sheet, to "ohhhhh.  Look at my Jake doing school on the trampoline!"  all in one day!
This is getting to be a familiar shot...I just really love this spot in my house.  I do my make up a lot sitting in this chair.  I don't know why I don't sit in my regular spot (across from this one, where my view is our lovely books on their shelves) to put on my make up...I just like to change up my views I guess.  I am ready to decorate the buffet for Christmas already, thanks in part to a trip to Dollar Tree Yesterday.  It is going to be so pretty and cheap! 
 Jake brought out his Millenniam (sp?) Falcon to show the missionaries at dinner yesterday.  Elder Crossin (the guy giving the thumbs up) is being transferred to another area today and we were the lucky ones to share his last meal in Spartanburg with.  He had a lot in common with Jake (books, both want to be engineers,  Lego's, Star Wars) and is a great missionary.

Aaron has a busy week going on.  He is trying to finish 4 houses and last night when he finally got home (to stay-he came home and had to turn right back around and head to a meeting a church) at 8ish, said it just might happen.  Yesterday I washed one of his hats, that he hasn't worn in a while because it was pretty dirty and it came out looking like new.  I sent him a text to show him how awesome it looked because that is how we roll around here.

Jake just finished his Algebra and no problems are crowding together which means I don't have to beat him  :)  I guess that means we did better than yesterday and that is all that really matters. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Art Class So Far...

I haven't taken that many pictures in art class because I am the one who is teaching it!  I did find a few that show some of the fun we have been having.   We covered  3 of the 5 elements for art and have done a project for each.  We have learned about lines, shapes & forms, space, texture and we will learn about color theory and value next semester.  Throw in a couple of "free art" days and we are almost to the end of our first semester.  The first class we created collages to have to cover our art portfolio's.
We learned that art can be frustrating and that is just part of the process.  I read them a true story about a girl who had and accident and lost the use of her arms.  She learned to draw with her mouth. We tried it and it was hard---and I even let them hold the paper in place with their hands!

There was a lot of giggling going on and they actually all did amazingly well!  One project they really had fun with was when I gave them a sheet of paper that part of a picture cut out from a magazine and they had to finish the picture.  They were free to draw it as realistic or as abstract as they wanted.  They have incredible imaginations! 

I have no idea what they are drawing in these pictures.  We have done a lot of drawing to learn the basics and I thought they had to be getting sick of it but even on free art days, when they are offered other supplies, they all love to draw and color.
  We painted self portraits on bowling pins to enter in the Fair.  No one won but they all got ribbons for participating.  They did a great job for only having a crash course in painting and only having about 45 minutes to do it.

They had to paint themselves in the clothes they were wearing that day and they all came out really great.  I took pictures of all of them with theirs so they could have it to remember just how well they came out.
  We also did some printing using Styrofoam plates and it was really fun.  All the while we were incorporating our elements

We have learned about lines and how just drawing them above a pot lets you know it is hot.  We have learned that when you add shading you turn shapes into forms. 
I have big plans for next semester when we have learned all the basics of why you do what you do (like using the whole space to make your picture more visually attractive) and are ready to conquer the tougher drawing faces!  Eek!  I am not good at that.  I need to map out a schedule for next year because it is going to fly by whether I am ready or not!
I should have taken pictures of some of their drawings because they really are great artists.  I will keep that in mind as the year goes on!

I Can't Fall Asleep...

...because my brain keeps talking to me.  I have said it before and I will say it again: I do my best thinking in bed when I can't fall asleep.  So tonight, instead of just laying there thinking good thoughts I wouldn't remember to write down the next day, I decided to get up and write some of it down.  Here are some of the things I have decided:

*I am not going to be a Grinch this year!  I love Christmas but for the past few years I haven't been as excited about the decorations, preparations...any of the stuff that makes a lot of extra things to dust or clean up know what I mean. I was being Grinchy. I am over that phase and ready to decorate for Christmas!!!  I don't mean tomorrow or anything.  But I am going to have everything ready to go for the day after Thanksgiving.  I am excited!!!!  So excited that I am skipping my Fall painting and going right to Christmas.  Why paint something when it won't even be up for a month?! 

*We are going to have a "Christmas craft that you can use for gifts" day in our art class at co-op and I am excited about that too!!!  Jake and I will be doing some testing to prep for that this week.  First a trip to the Dollar Tree....

*We have 4 Mondays left of co-op for this semester (it is seriously going by way too fast...) and we are doing and awesome class project that I will post about later, a Christmas craft day, a free art (finish up the gifts, class project, and just be creative while listening to Christmas music!  Oh and the last day we are having an Art Christmas Party which while consist of us decorating desserts for our Christmas luncheon that day.  I haven't really posted much of what we have been doing in art because I have been so slack with blogging lately.  If my brain hasn't shut off after I am done with this I will see what photos I have to post.

*Next Monday our co-op is having a meeting (the 1st Monday of the month we get pizza and have cupcakes to celebrate the birthdays for that month) along with our pizza day and we are going to be discussing plans for next school year.  I have found that if I wait until the Spring to plan the next year I am spending more on books that I could have bought 2nd hand through out the year.  For example: we are doing Physical Science this year and apparently everyone else is too because there was not a used copy to be found in the surrounding area (I got lucky and got to borrow one).  If we have a general plan we know what to expect and can keep our eyes peeled for bargains.  If I wait until Spring I make split second decisions (because I am kind of ready for a break!) that I later regret...I mentioned this to a couple of friends in co-op and they felt the same way.  I mentioned it to our amazing director and she agreed it would be a good idea to start discussing it and see what people's wish list for classes would be...and then she asked me to run the meeting.  Which is no big deal-we are all friends and just means I am on a fact gathering mission to map out how many kids we have in what grades-"ish". I say "ish" because when you are homeschooling the grade level lines are a little blurred.  Jake is in the 8th grade but according to public school all his classes this year are 9th grade level and will earn him high school credits.  So we say his is 8th/9th grade. But any way-back to the subject!  I need to figure out what classes the "official high schoolers" are doing and have done the past couple of years so we can see what is needed...That type of thing.  So that was on my mind...but other more fun things have replaced it.  I will probably stay awake tomorrow night wondering about that...

*I have been thinking of the Christmas gifts I have already gotten-the nieces (we have 7) are all bought for and I have several gifts for Aaron.  I have one for Jake and others in mind.  I have a plan for the family gifts and Grandparent gifts....I even have a plan for the wrapping paper...

*I tend to over estimate my skills (and funds) while I think at night about projects I want to do.  For example, I think it would be fun to have holiday pillows...but then I remember I don't myself.  I sew when my mom is there to tell me exactly what to do.  I can't remember how to put the thread in the sewing machine for two reasons: 1.)  I don't own one  2.)  When I do use my mom's it is at her house and she knows how to do it so well that it seems like a better idea to let her do it.  She shows me every time but when you only do it every year (at the most...) or so you don't really retain the information.  And since my mom is getting ready to go to Bolivia for about 3 weeks there isn't a whole lot of time to make the pillows....especially when there are PJ pants to be made...(maybe...)

Okay...This was supposed to be a list of the plans I needed to do and it just turned into a list of things I was thinking about-not the plan.  I am not sure how helpful this was....but maybe it cleared my mind enough to sleep!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


 That is how they said "hooray" during the Renaissance period and we said it a few times on October 16th.  We spent the day at the Renaissance Festival with some friends of ours and we had a blast.  Nee has been using her amazing sewing skills to make Jake a Renaissance/Halloween costume (we don't trick-or-treat any more Jake decided a few years ago he didn't like to see all the gruesome costumes-but we do have a fall festival at church).  Jake really likes the character Link from the Legend of Zelda video games and Nee helped make him a cool costume for dual purposes.

You would never guess that Jake is 13 and Ethan is 12 1/2 would you?

The Falconry is always my favorite.
  And I finally have a camera (that is my phone) to capture the birds in flight thanks to "burst shots".

This is a picture of some one taking a picture of Jake.  People stopped him all the time to comment on his awesome Link costume (which really does fit the period too).  One guy even came up and hugged him.  It was pretty funny.

  This Raven was trained to take money and put it in the box.  A great trick to raise money because who can resist giving a bird money and watching him stuff it in a box?!

A goofy smile and a "giant turkey leg" as Jake kept calling it.

The queens parade to the jousting arena is always very cool.

The tree man was so cool but too crowded to get close up.  We were good with a shot from the distance.

It was pretty crowded.

You know your favorite video game character must have come from the Renaissance period when they have his shield.

One last sword fight to end the day.  Papa G this is the rock that Jake jumped off into your arms so many years ago.

And back to the real world where you have to bring in the trash can while watching your dog about to chase a squirrel that is running up the tree in your front yard. :)  Have I mentioned that homeschooling rocks?
  And random things to come:  Aaron and Jake trying to make a "rocket fire".  Mormons: Prepping before prepping was cool.  Joking aside we have been feeling the need to get a little more prepared and rocket fires may just come in handy.

And the Fair.  I really need to catch up on my blog!