Tuesday, September 16, 2014

bad stuff

I've got a kid who's working for another hour and a half and then has an hour long drive, and my brain is swarming with all kinds of crazy, so here I am to get some of it out.  Recently I was at something at church, a specific event for people to help each other in their Christian walk, and there was this older woman going on and on about all of the bad stuff in the world (persecution of Christians, dangerous storms...) this end of the world stuff is not common in the Catholic church.  This particular woman doesn't even go to my church, and I think she's got some senility issues (and more), but was basically on a tirade..."what are you doing about this?"  kind of thing.  It was awkward and uncomfortable.  I kind of asked myself what am I doing about that?  Praying!  That's about all I can do about A LOT of the terrible things that are going on in the world.  More recently a similar thing happened on my facebook page.  Someone more or less criticized me for not doing anything about a bad situation that has happened locally.  Like the loud woman at the church, this person clearly has her own baggage, but sheesh!  I am not a fan of confrontation.  So often confrontation just comes up out of nowhere.  In this case I was totally blindsided.  I really don't want to come across hypocritically so I really analyze these kinds of accusations even when they are completely unfounded.  How can I sleep at night when there are people being beheaded?  When there are kids being abused?  When there are wars?  When there is so much suffering? etc etc and WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT?  Well like I said, praying.  At least most of the time I'm praying, sometimes, like today it's more of a whiney fist shaking conversation with God.  Sometimes you have to put your own oxygen mask on first.  After that you have to put the masks on those loved ones who are closest to you.  Sometimes that uses up all you have and you just have to pray that the rest of the world gets their oxygen mask.  It cannot all depend on me.  Tomorrow I am going to a funeral and a dermatology appointment.  Jake and Madi  are going to hand out food at a local food pantry.  Tomorrow night I will teach religious education to 9th graders, while my three kids will be volunteering at the theatre (well one of them might be getting paid).  On Thursday I am taking a dear dear friend for cancer treatment.  On Thursday I will also be praying for my parents who are going up to CT to be with my brother (who I pray for constantly).  Am I tooting my own horn?  Maybe, but my point is, my dance card (or prayer card or service card or whatever) is a little full.  If most of my day is spent tending to things like this, I'm kind of thrown for a loop when people accuse me of not doing more.  Maybe there is more I could do.  Maybe writing this is not the absolute best use of my time.  Maybe instead of watching reruns of comedies before bed I could do something more worthy.  But maybe those comedies are helping me to function or I'd be able to do even less than I'm doing now. 

PS I've lost track of how many times I've cried today, sometimes THAT is all you can do.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Photo dump and brain drain

I drank poison (aka diet coke) twice today so I'm awake in a quiet hotel room at almost 1am.  The funny coffee story about tracking down Night of Joy tickets after they were sold out involved only finding tickets for last night.  Even though we didn't order tickets in a timely manner (the no job thing) we did reserve a hotel room for two nights (the free points thing and new job means some traveling and more points so we don't have to hoard the ones we have).  Thus tonight I find myself in a quiet hotel room where Jake and Mike are sleeping.  Madi is sleeping at home (where Grandma is also still sleeping), and Jonathan is still working crowd control at the tomorrowland galaxy stage for another 17 minutes, then should have about a 15 minute trip to his car and 25ish minute drive to this quiet free hotel room.  By the time that transpires the diet coke will hopefully have worn off and I can get some sleep.  In the meantime, I'm making use of my wakefulness by loading all my phone pics onto my computer and maybe transferring some of them to this (maybe resurrected?) blog.  In doing so I might also clear some of the thoughts from my head, we'll see.
Madi got to play a lead-ish role in the final production of Legally Blonde way back in July.  Here's a glimpse.  (Incidentally, she rocked it!!)
Then there was Aladdin (or Jafar as it may be).
and an old favorite from Jake's first Aladdin

Jonathan had some pretty fun hands on projects for two of his summer classes Weasley twin fever fudge for his Harry Potter class and the Globe Theatre for his Renaissance class.  (he got As in both) (the projects and the classes)
A little more instagramed Jafar.
A prayer shawl made for me by a special lady at church.  Also known as the before hairdo.
The current hairdo, disregard the wideness of me.

Couples at the Dolly Awards.
The Dolly girls!
Jake's world cake for week 2 of exploring countries and cultures.
A chemistry matter experiment for the first day of school.

Jake made delicious corn chowder for week 3 of exploring countries and cultures recipe from that book.  No filter my phone, camera lens is actually missing and this is as clean as I can get the nonlens part so dirt is the filter.
Jake and Joe's first bookclub discussion for this book.
Tiffany's right, that's what Thursday was.
Which brings us essentially to the present.  Jonathan has texted that he's left and should get here in give or take 20 minutes.  I did a fair job of photo dumping, but was a little weak on the brain drain.  I'm guessing the diet coke is wearing off because I'm getting a little sleepy.
Madi bought a car (not sure if I said that already).  She may or maynot have had a date-ish thing with a (Catholic) boy I haven't met yet at Starbucks.  (she also might read this)
Jake is running lights for two weeks of a mainstage show.  Everyone in charge trusts him.  He still has this terribly annoying sniffing tick that he can't seem to stop.  Before that there was the blinking tick, and before that the weird faces, not to mention the licking of his lips (and half his face) with his monstrous tongue.  I've joked (or half joked) that it's Tourette's.  He even told kids in school last year that he had Tourette's (when they asked about the tick du jour).  Our pediatrician who I trust immensely doesn't think that's what it is.  He doesn't do the sniffing in his sleep and he had it checked out at his physical (no sinus infection or anything), but eastern air tea and natural silver shield and western nasal spray have not touched it.  And my screaming about it doesn't seem to do much good either.  This is a long way of saying I'm concerned about his sniffing in the tech booth carrying down to the patrons who pay $21 to see this show.  That and he's my kid so I'm concerned in general.  (A tick like that might be spelled tic, I don't know, but it's technically tomorrow morning already so I'm not going to look into it right now.)
In a dark quiet hotel room my computer screen is exceptionally bright.  I'm not sure how to adjust it.
I think I'm out of things to talk about.  Thanks for keeping me company in my dark quiet hotel room.  Goodnight!
I "published" this at 1:30 am so it is technically Sept 7 and my godson's 13th birthday, but blogger thinks it is only 10:30 and still the 6th.  Maybe it had too much diet coke too.

Friday, September 5, 2014

7 QTs that should deserve their own post

Years ago I posted one specific week in July that felt full enough to be a Christmas letter (I've used the blog as a Christmas letter analogy many times).  These days we've found ways to cheat on a Christmas letter by writing a short poem and finding picture cards that have a little space for a short short write up.  I guess I do a lot of cheating in the blogging division as well.  Sometimes living life is so full it's hard to take time out to chronicle it.  Anyway one week in the summer years ago it felt like we had a whole Christmas letter's worth of material, first mission trip for the kids, first exchange students, new car for Mike and probably more that I am forgetting, I'm sure there was a show thrown in there somehow.  Well this week could likely be considered one of those weeks as well.  for starters..

1. Mike got a job!!  Technically he got offered two jobs this week after a very slow summer in the job availability department. 

2. We have gone to Disney's Night of Joy for the last 6 years.  We had all intentions of going this year as well, and Mike's brother from Connecticut was even going to be joining us with his new girlfriend.  They bought their tickets weeks ago.  We did not.  Between no job etc, we knew at least some of us would go but hadn't gotten around to buying tickets.  Plus Jonathan works there so there was the whole should he pick up shifts for that night?  Does he get in free?  etc...etc... anyway... he picked up support shifts which means he should be working near one of the tomorrowland stages and maybe meet some performers...cool!  We didn't attempt to buy our tickets until the 2 job offers were on the table and guess what...sold out!!!  EEnyway... we have connections (and a funny coffee story for you, Ann Marie!) and we got tickets at least for tonight.  In the meantime here's a little stroll down memory lane...
NOJ 2008
NOJ 2009
NOJ 2011
3. Why do I always blog when it's almost time to get Jake to band?  Time to speed things up a bit.
4. Rob has been doing so much better on his new treatment, but this week has been really rough, he's had a fever and had to go off the treatment for a few days.  Prayers are always appreciated.
5. We had two awesome weeks of school and then this week happened.  The first job offer (the one he is not taking) brought me and Mike to Atlanta on Monday-Tuesday which meant less school happened without mom.  Then Wednesday Jake and Madi joined other homeschooled youth from our parish for some food pantry work...better than school, but still leaves school undone.
Thursday was I don't even know what and today Madi and her coworkers took their boss out to lunch.  We won't fall behind, we won't fall behind...say it with me.
6. I have big plans of at least documenting some of our homeschool year on here, but time is running low so that won't be today.
7. "Grandma" (Mike's mother) moved down here last month (she bought a house down here two years ago), her house is getting all kinds of fixed up (tile, paint...), but we are on day 36 of her sleeping at our house... 'nuff said.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five Favorites

Would you look at this, I'm here on a non-Friday.  I just finished a week of gratefulness on facebook where I listed three things per day that I was grateful for.  I'll keep the listing going with a linkup of the five favs variety.  As a side note sometimes I think it makes more sense to list five things in the same category and other times I like to go crazy and just list five random things.  Jake has to be in the band room in under 15 minutes, so we're going to go wordless for the rest of this post...



Friday, August 22, 2014

7 QTs first week of school

1. We had a great first day with two eager homeschoolers.  Madi managed to finish the never ending world history class last week and is already ahead in Algebra 2 on FLVS!  We've had a great week with Notgrass American History and we'll survive Chemistry.
2. Jake and I are contemplating dropping his FLVS Language Arts class.  There are pros and cons of each option.  He doesn't need to take it for any reason, my very well spoken teenagers didn't even "do language arts" in middle school, the material so far seems arbitrary, with questions that aren't really a part of the lesson, I know it has something to do with the whole common core issue that I refuse to engage in debate over, we could spend the time that the class would take actually reading (silently, aloud, and audiobooks) really good literature, facebook is filled with grammatical errors and everyday I could have him correct some of those for practice, etc...etc... Those are all reason to drop it.  Reasons to stick with it include: the teacher is really nice, and it doesn't matter what his grade is anyway (it is middle school) and it's not really going to hurt him to have more work to do. 
3. Speaking of great books...Jake and I are finally reading the third Michael Vey book aloud and we are listening to The Giver (Jake's first time).  The Giver is seriously my favorite book of all time!  I'm nervous about seeing the movie because I think I'll be disappointed.  I have lots of thoughts percolating about The Giver and life in general, but for now they will have to stay swimming around in my head.
4. My first take and picture have been sitting up on my blog for the better part of the day, somehow it posted earlier when I hit enter, I was vaguely aware of it, and I continued on with takes 2-4, then it was time to take Jake to band (and what is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day) the carline.  I'm not even being sarcastic here, I like the carline.  Basically people begin getting in the line one hour before school gets out.  Since Jake is only at school for one hour I generally drop him off and get in line to pick him up.  The carline is a good place for quiet time, daily readings,  regular reading, and a little Catholic Channel on satellite radio.  If I were to not get in the line then I could potentially go home and get in line much much later, but I'd wait until most kids were picked up because waiting in a stagnant line is peaceful waiting in a long moving line is borderline torture.  I can't wait that long on theatre days anyway, so for now I am enjoying the carline. (I've made carline one word in the same way that I believe homeschooling and breastfeeding are one word).  Eventually we will probably carpool with theatre people on theatre days and neighborhood people on other days, but I'm not ready to figure all that out yet.  In the meantime if you're looking for me between 3:00-4:00, I'll be in the middle school parking lot.
5. I'm getting pretty good at commenting on the local homeschool group facebook page.  Remember a couple weeks ago I discussed sharing the wisdom I have gleaned from years of homeschooling with those just starting out.  Today there was a question about how homeschoolers handle birthdays and socialization, and I didn't know where to start with that one so I didn't respond.  I can only do so much.
6. Jonathan has worked until o'darkhundred four nights in a row, getting home between 1am and 2am each night.  It is killing me.  I can doze when he is at work and on his way home, but cannot sleep soundly until I know he's tucked in his bed.  Tonight he is not working and I plan to be asleep before 10.
7. My mother-in-law is still staying with us (I've said that before right?), she bought a house 10 minutes away two years ago and moved down from Connecticut last month to live in it.  She's not ready to sleep there yet so for now Jake is once again misplaced, as she is sleeping in his room.  Twice she's bought bags of Hershey's nuggets and left them on our kitchen table...I cannot stop eating them!!  After the first bag I apologized and said we'd buy another one because the kids and I ate so many of them, but she said no that it was for us and the next day there was another bag.  If you're looking for me and I'm not in the middle school carline or in bed fretfully waiting for Jonathan to get home, then I'll be in my kitchen with my hand in a bag of Hershey's nuggets.
For what are sure to be more interesting quick takes, go here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

7 QT Friday school's starting soon

1. "School" starts on Monday.  I'm so happy to have two kids really homeschooling and my college boy sleeping at home at least part of every night.

2. To explain, last year Jake went to public school fulltime.  It was a great experience, but I'm excited to be back to our normal (if there is such a thing for us homeschooling is it).  Jake will go to the middle school everyday for last period for band where he will perfect his trombone skillz, but otherwise he's a homeschooler.  At middle school orientation yesterday (we went because of band), he was given a full schedule.  As the namesake of his elementary school's 'I love Jake club', he had a few moments of considering just sticking with that schedule.  I know he'd do fine with it, but I'm so glad that as of today, we are both onboard with homeschooling.  I have no idea if Jake will always homeschool, but for now I am ready to jump right in on Monday and I think he is too.  Because the middle school starts late and ends late, Jake will not need to be in the bandroom until 3:13 ( 2:23 on Wednesdays), this is so late, it'll feel more like an after school thing as opposed to part of the school day thing.  This means while Disney passes are still good (only about 6 weeks more) we can go there for the schoolday (EPCOT schooling) and still get back for band (and theatre).

3. Jake will do FLVS Language Arts, Teaching Textbooks 7 (he's a 6th grader, but it's a little behind and he's a little ahead), and what I am most excited for Exploring Countries and Cultures!  He'll do something for science too, but we're playing that one by ear right now.  He'll also do band, theatre, CCD,  church choir, maybe homeschool PE, and lots of reading.

4. After last year where all of Madi's academics were on virtual school, she is going to do two whole academic classes the plain ole homeschool way, and I'm very happy about that!  Homeschool reading aloud and discussions are among my favorite things in the world, and I'll get a lot of that this year with Madi and Apologia Chemistry and Notgrass American History.  (I could put links there, but nope.)  She will also do College Prep genius SAT/PSAT prep, Algebra 2 on virtual school, and is dual enrolled for Sociology and Freehand Drawing for fall.  In the spring she'll take three more dual enrollment classes including English (ENC 1101).

5. My college boy still lives at home...yay!  As I see stuff on facebook and blogs about kids going away to college, I appreciate his "homeness" more and more all the time.  In take one I specified he sleeps here PART of every night because late nights at Disney...ugh!  They are killers for an old mom like me.  Last night Jonathan was scheduled to work until 11:30, I dozed from about 11:15-12, when I woke up at 12, it was with mild concern that he hadn't texted that he'd left yet.  By 12:20 with no response to my text and no answer to my calls, I'd worked myself into a real panic.  Poor boy was working hard taking rockets off of the space mountain track and couldn't stop to look at the phone vibrating frantically in his pocket.  His shift had gotten extended an hour (the Disney magic sometimes gets extended randomly), and the text he had sent to inform me of this had never gone through.  I really need to relax and I think I get a little better about this whole thing everyday (with two teenage drivers I get lots of opportunity to practice). 

6. In addition to Disney, Jonathan will take 5 classes at Lake Sumter State College.  They've changed a couple of times already, but right now I think he's got Astronomy, Economics, two computer classes, and a theatre/stagecraft class.  He'll be around for a fair amount of homeschooly discussions as well.

7. As I've mentioned today and many times in the past, I am a huge fan of read aloud/ discussion schooling.  There's a great podcast about this which I haven't even finished listening to yet, but if I were more articulate, more popular, more whatever I could have recorded this myself.  Since I am not those things and can in no way word it the way these two people did, I'm just going to share the link here so you can go see (hear) for yourself.  There are some experts out there expressing stuff I've professed for a long time.  Go listen...


And for more quick takes go this way.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

7 quick takes another day late

1. A little over a week ago my brother, Rob, got the news that the trial he was on to treat his melanoma wasn't working as well as they'd hoped, and it was time to switch treatments.  On last Thursday he started a new kind of immunotherapy (pills), and he has been a new man ever since.  He is not in pain for the first time since well before his diagnosis, and this is with taking far fewer pain pills than he was taking before.  He stood at their kitchen sink two days ago and did their dishes, and went out socially last night for the first time since his diagnosis in March.  Keep the prayers coming, we might be witnessing a miracle.

2. Mike's mother moved to Florida last week.  She has been staying with us while getting her house habitable (or is it inhabitable?).  She's had painters all week, exterminators, plumbers, and more.  The movers came with her stuff today.  She seems to be adjusting to the huge move quite well.  This might be another miracle.

3. Mike is still in the market for a job.  We're still "fine" for a while, but while we're getting miracles, this one would be nice.

4. Speaking of no job, Jake and I took full advantage of two "back to school bash" charity gigs this morning where we came away with school supplies (including a backpack), a tooth brush and tooth paste, lunch, and a haircut for him all for free!

5. Jonathan's summer classes have ended to the tune of three more "A"s!!!  He now has enough credits to be considered a college sophomore and is sporting a 4.0!!

6. Speaking of sophomore, Madi  has registered for dual enrollment for the fall.  She is a full school year ahead of when Jonathan started, so theoretically she can hit college sophomore status even earlier than her brother.  In the meantime, while she will be a high school junior next week, she is still a high school sophomore in the sense that it is taking her literally FOR! EV! ER! to complete her virtual school world history class.  She should be able to finish without a problem this week, but there goes her "summer break".  Don't let her fool you though, she had plenty of "break" including participation in a mainstage performance, working about 30 hours a week for the local rec department summer camp, a mission trip, and tons of time with friends driving them all all over town.

7. Tonight is the theatre's big awards night.  Always a fun time!  As soon as that ends Mike and Madi will head to an all night youth group lock-in.  They should get home at around 6:30 in the morning, right around the time that Jonathan will be heading to work at Disney.  Tomorrow afternoon we will head to Fort Wilderness for the closest thing to a family vacation that we're going to get all summer.  Monday-Wednesday are the first three days in a row all summer that we've all be available for some rest and relaxation Disney camping style.  In the meantime, I need to go get ready for Mass, so all of these things can go off without a hitch, so my family can be ready to hurry up and relax!!

For more quick takes, most of which were not a day late, go here.