Thursday, July 24, 2014

Popping in...

I guess I'm sorta like one of those friends who you don't hear from for a long time and then they pop in from out of the blue to talk your ear off.  I'm constantly fluctuating between "I don't blog any more" and "I'd like to become a more popular blogger"  apparently not blogging is no way to become more popular.  A lot of the blogs that I read (as in the ones I consider popular) have much younger kids than I do and assuming those same people are the blog readers, I figure maybe I could be a voice of reason for them that "this too shall pass" without being all "enjoy it now it only gets worse".  Anyway a fun way to get back on the blogwagon might be to do what Tiffany did the other day and link to some posts from this month is history.  So here we go...

7 years ago August 2007 first blog post ever, really lame and I hadn't decided if I was going to use real names.

6 years ago July 2008 homeschooly thoughts, I spelled awful wrong!  Was that before spell check?  Interestingly, I had 322 blog posts in 2008.

5 years ago July 2009 Daybook post, I have no idea whose 27th birthday party I was going to. (actually just figured it out)

4 years ago July 2010 Ah Charlie Brown...loved that show!!

3 years ago July 2011 busy week, Christmas letter style.

2 years ago July 2012, I couldn't decide between a picture post or a wordy one for late July 2012, I went with wordy...sorry!

1 year ago to the day.  Same sentiments different year.  Now I have two kids driving and my freak out sensor is on all the time.  The relief that come with a text that says I'm here, is very enjoyable!

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 QTs a little bit of homeschool

1. 2 days in a row, can ya believe it??

2. I am getting very excited to homeschool Jake again next year.  He had a really good 5th grade public school experience, made a really good friend who he will do middle school band with,
had two neighborhood buddies in his class including boy next door who continues to ring our doorbell no less than 3 times a day,
  and had a nice homeschool-friendly teacher.
To say nothing of all the girls who fell for him and started the infamous "I love Jake club."  Some are pictured here.
But he and I are both happy to close that chapter and look towards homeschooling again.  We are planning on doing Exploring Countries and Cultures, adding a lot of Catholic-y saint stuff to it, and spending an excessive amount of time at EPCOT.  He will do Teaching Textbooks 7th grade (he's in 6th, but TT is a little behind) for math, and probably do Language Arts on Florida Virtual School.  For Science he is leaning toward flvs also, but I'm thinking of a middle school Chemistry to do alongside Madi and her high school Chemistry.  Jake will get the best of both worlds by participating in band at the public middle school.
3. Madi passed the PERT test to be accepted at Lake Sumter State College for dual enrollment.  In the fall she can take 2 classes and in the spring she can take 3.  Her plan is to take English there as well as two semesters of American History.   That leaves her two more classes to decide on at a later date.  She is planning on going back to plain ole homeschooling with Apologia Chemistry and will do Algebra 2 on flvs. 
4.  This year is ALMOST in the books for Madi.  She finished English last week and finished Geometry yesterday.  She is still plugging along on World History.  Four academic honors classes on flvs is a little heavy (she also had Biology which she finished about a month ago) for a girl who works outside the home (emphasis on outside the home), and is super active in theatre and youth group. 
5.  No longer a homeschooler, Jonathan's summer classes start on Monday.  He is taking a Humanities class, a Harry Potter (how cool is that?) class, and a film class. 
6. I am reading two good books right now, and I'm a little bit accountable for both of them.  The first is the Anne of Green Gables series .  A friend and I are both reading them all at the urging of another friend, and Tiffany has promised to buy us coffee when we finish all 8 books.  I'm on the second one right now and really enjoying Anne.  I am also reading The Little Oratory and listening to weekly podcasts about it in a sort of online bookclub.  I am also loving this.  It is about setting up a prayer space in the home, and actually goes along really well with homeschooling.   Actually Jake and I are also in the middle of two different books on CD, Divergent and Lions of Little Rock.
7. I started this a few hours ago, but was interrupted by our VBS pizza party.  Sadly pizza party is sort of a misnomer because there was some kind of disconnect between people who rsvped and people who actually showed up, but the entertainment more than made up for it.   My role at VBS this year was to get Jake there and spend the mornings with my sweet little Godson. 
Can you believe my own baby has now grown to helper status?  He was a helper with music and had a good time with it.  Here's the only picture I have of that.
This week's quick takes are not at Jen's, but are here, go check them out.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Worldly stuff

Mike lost his job last week.  He had worked for the same company for 15 1/2 years, but they had gone through different owners and numerous management plans.  I think he's had something like 13 supervisors in 15 1/2 years.  He got an ok severance, and that combined with our emergency fund a la Dave Ramsey means for now we are kind of good with this whole thing.  Almost all of Mike's stress has been eliminated with one fell swoop.  The mantra is, if unemployment continues through September that will be bad, but for now we are enjoying it.  I think a point of view about what's really important helps in this case too.  My brother, Rob, is still terribly sick.  His treatment is working pretty well, but he has lost tons of weight and is in almost constant pain.  This makes it hard for him to be upbeat and upbeat is pretty helpful when you are fighting cancer.  Please keep him in your prayers.  So when compared to fighting for your life, the summer off is really a minor event and a pretty good deal. 

Mike's laptop came from work, so no more work means no more laptop.  Combine that with a virus on Madi's computer and I'm often third in line to get on my own computer.  I've been mulling over a blog post for a few days.  It involves "worldliness" and guarding what you are exposed to.  I come from the northeast.  For the majority of my life "worldly" has been a compliment.  As in your kids know so much about so many different topics, they are very worldly.  In the southeast (both in Catholic and Protestant circles) worldly is often a negative term.  "She dresses so worldly." (as in immodestly), or "We only listen to Christian music, not worldly music."  Like we should be in the world and not of the world.  This idea leads me to a conversation I had recently.  Two adult women were talking about being mindful of what kind of TV shows they expose themselves to.  As in not watching shows that glorify sin so as to not compromise their principles.  This was kind of a kick in the face for me as my 11 year old is now the one to often turn on the DVRed episodes of Friends.  Yikes!  There's all kinds of inappropriateness on Friends !  I did tell Jake that watching too much of that was not a good idea, and while I wasn't going to send him out of the room when someone else was watching it, from now on he should pick something else to watch on his own.  I am a big fan of teaching by pointing out what other people are doing wrong, so we will not be eliminating trashy-ish stuff all together anytime soon.  I remember too many conversations with parents who didn't read Curious George to their kids in fear that their kids might turn into bad little monkeys, and all kinds of people banned Junie B.  Not that I'm comparing Junie B's antics to Ross and Rachel's, but so far I'm pretty good with the way my kids are turning out so I'm not ready for any drastic changes.  Here's the thing.  I think sometimes banning less appropriate stuff turns into a whole holier than thou kind of thing.  Ross and Rachel aren't bad people, they are making bad choices, just like George did (the curious one I mean, but George Costanza also made his share of bad choices... and Jake knows all about those too).  I'm not looking for anyone to agree with me on this, what I'm saying is we all have to draw our own lines in the sand regarding appropriate and inappropriate.  I have to say that it's fairly comfy sitting here having raised one child to the ripe old age of 18.  I certainly don't want to come off a smug or all 'you should parent like I do'-ish (those are my least favorite people after all), I'm just saying teaching right doesn't always have to mean never being exposed to any wrong.  Jonathan and Chloe just spent the morning looking at their Disney pins and deciding which ones they want to trade tomorrow,  then they picked up Jake from VBS and drove him to Kids' College.  I think we are doing ok.  Our kids do live in the world.  They are going to continue to be exposed to all kinds of people who make all kinds of bad choices.  I think it's easier to reach out to those people in love and charity when we already know that we still love Elaine even though she cleaned out the whole west side of Today sponges. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


So as I have mentioned Jake will homeschool next year, but will join the band at the middle school.  Yesterday afternoon there was an open house in the band room to match up kids with instruments etc.  It was from 4:30-6:30.  The plan was Mike would call me when he was close and we'd meet at the school.  I had somewhere else to be at 5:30 anyway, so I was hoping for the earlier side.  Of course by the time Mike was five minutes away, I still had some running around to do inside the house to get ready and then try to find Jake.  I had driven the neighborhood crew home from school and heard some mention of a dirt pile, but also Josh from next door had said something to Jake about wiffleball.  So when I was ready to leave, I listened for Jake in the neighbor's wiffleball sounds.  I knocked on the answer.  I call Madi who is babysitting down the street at the house with said dirt pile...also no answer.  I finally start driving toward that house with the intention of picking Jake up and heading right to the school, where Mike had now been sitting in the parking lot for 15 minutes.  Madi was walking back home, so I motioned for her to go back and get Jake.  I didn't have the wherewithal to snap a picture when Jake came walking toward me, but these were the shorts he was wearing...
Needless to say it was another 15 minutes before we were able to meet Mike in the band room.
Jake is going to play the trombone.

Friday, May 30, 2014

7 quick takes about things that I might someday blog about

1. I've been blogging for almost 7 years and it's probably a stretch to say I have about 7 followers.  With Jonathan's homeschool high school graduation this past Sunday, I've been told by a couple people that I should share some of the wisdom that I have gained through this endeavor.  Mike in particular told me that I needed to write.  My response that I've been writing for a long time to an almost nonexistent audience didn't seem to deter him.  So ideally there will someday be a whole blog post about this seriously overwhelming event, and maybe even some words of wisdom. 

2. Jake's public school experience is coming to an end (at least for a while).  It has been a good year.  The culmination of his reading of the 15 sunshine state books is this afternoon when he gets to go bowling.  He's been waiting all year for this, the kid gets to go to Disney on a regular basis, but this reward of bowling during school hours for reading these books has been a huge dangling carrot for him all year.  Anyone who read at least 10 of the 15 books also had a special party on Wednesday where they got special lunch and played a trivia game, answering questions from the books.  Jake's team won, and of course he assured me, without his teammates he still would have won.
3. Jake will homeschool next year, but he will also tryout the public middle school band.  We will visit the band room and meet the director next week and Jake is signed up for bandcamp the first week after school gets out.  Maybe he'll follow in this guy's footsteps.
(the one in the sheet)
4. Speaking of that guy, could this girl be anymore beautiful?
5. A huge tent is currently being set up in our back yard for graduation celebration part dos.
6. Jonathan was awarded a scholarship from the women's guild at our church.  This is a big honor, and we couldn't be more grateful, but twice I've gotten phone calls from women about this and they are pretty confused.  One of them was certain Jonathan's essay was about wanting to be a railroad engineer (umm no!), and today someone called to find out how to send the money to Lake Sumter, it is looking like that is where he will continue next year before finishing his degree at UCF, but all his paperwork says UCF so there is some mixing of applications going on over there.  I'm fairly certain Jonathan is indeed the rightful recipient of this, and a generous parishioner has matched the amount for another deserving senior, but I will breathe easier when the money is officially in the correct account.
7. out of time...  Visit Jen for more qts and be sure to scroll down to see a pic of my dear friend Kirsten reading Jen's awesome book to her cows.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

One hot mess on a Saturday morning

I sometimes feel like I'm turning into one of those grandmotherly emptynesters who really has no place blogging.  This may be because, aside from people I actually know, pretty much all the blogs I read are written by young, Catholic moms with lots of cute little kids.  If I had it to do all over again, Mike and I would have made some different choices and we'd have had a housefull too.  Well we still have a housefull, but in a different way (there are currently three Chinese teenage girls sleeping upstairs).  Anyway, this isn't about that.  It's really (I think) going to be about how I really continue to have good intentions about blogging even though I'm really not living up to those intentions.  I'm thinking about becoming a regular on some of these popular (and not as popular) linkups that are out there in the little world that is the Catholic mom blogosphere.  I no longer have toddlers (except for the two that sometimes come here to hang out once every two weeks or so, I had them for seven hours on Tuesday and there are still some lingering reminders of their visit...but none of the mess that I'm going to show you can be attributed to them) or anything close to that young, but our house still often looks like I do.

These are just the messes that I can see from my current spot on the couch.  This and the fact that I am still losing sleep because of my offspring (Jonathan will be working at Disney until 1am tonight and then will have the hour ride home, I will have one eye on the clock and will be expecting him to pull in the driveway promptly at 2:07.) means even without toddlers, my life is still ONE HOT MESS.  So trying to get in the swing of things I am linking up with Blythe and friends to share some of my story.  Maybe some toddler moms will even stop by here and see what life is like for us "old ladies".  Without being one of those women who says enjoy every minute when your four kids are screaming in the grocery store, I can still illustrate that it does go way faster than you think, and suddenly you find yourself two weeks away from having a highschool homeschool graduate, with two kids that drive (and work outside the home {emphasis on outside the home}), and an 11 year old who will be taller than you before you know it. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

10 second update

I really will blog again someday.  I have so much to say, so many thoughts swirling around in my head, but as usual, now is not the time for them.  In the meantime...

I spend last Tuesday-Saturday in CT with Rob and his family.  He is in pretty bad shape, but there is still reason to be hopeful, and prayers are very much appreciated.

Madi got her license last Monday and with me gone and my car here, she had the opportunity to drive all over creation.

Jonathan had his last dual enrollment exam today.  He is essentially read to graduate.

He also got his dream job at the happiest place on earth where is works on space mountain.

Jake is winding down his school year and breezed through the FCAT.

Happy Easter!!