Thursday, August 26, 2010

From the Road

We are in Atlanta this week. Business for Mike and schoolwork by the pool for the rest of us. Jonathan and I are in the hotel business center and while he's doing some virtual school work, I found a little time to catch up on blogs. I figured it wouldn't hurt to update mine as well.

We've gotten a few "homeschool comments" on this trip so far. Yesterday Jonathan was wearing his unsocialized homeschooler T-shirt, and a man at the Coca Cola Factory asked him about it. He was impressed that Jonathan was homeschooled and said that it was the best way to go. Then he went on to say that he and his wife would homeschool if they had the patience. Clearly, he hadn't been keeping too close of an eye on us or he'd have seen that we don't have an extraordinary amount of patience. Sometimes I think I no longer have even an ordinary amount of patience. Today at breakfast a hotel workier asked if they went to school. When I said that we homeschooled, she asked if they were in middle school (they were all sitting nearby). I told her one is in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school her reply was, "Oh you must be really smart". {that's definitely debatable!}

Tomorrow we head to NC. Next week we'll be at our timeshare. We have a lot of plans to see old friends and my parents are coming up for part of the time, so like most weeks lately, I'm sure the time will fly! Time is flying too much lately! In those early years of parenting I remember looking so foward to the end of the day when Mike would get home. Now, I'm still happy when it is time for Mike to get home, but generally speaking, I'm no where near ready for the day to end. Likewise, in those days I looked forward to when the kids would be a little older so we could enjoy different things etc... Now they are old enough, and getting closer everyday to "too old". I want time to slow down!

Jonathan is on a card trick kick. He's finished his schoolwork for the day and is now learning new card tricks via youtube. Jake came into the business center a little while ago with a Junie B Jones book and a deck of cards. He sat down and read for about 3 minutes, then said "done" and "a dios" and headed to the front desk to borrow the basketball so he could go shoot hoops. Do you think we're a little comfotable in hotels? They may not ever have been in a classroom, but they can certainly tell you the ins and outs of a hotel breakfast, know all about opening doors with card keys, and are at ease asking the front desk workers for more towels, soap, or basketballs. Now Jake is back with UNO and Madi has been in here inquiring about how to use the hotel shower (yes, we have been here since Sunday, but she's been in the pool everyday). We've really set up shop around here. I just realized that they have a pencil sharpener in here, so now I'm going to send Jake to get some of our pencils that need to be sharpened.

Jake got his braces and palate expander last week and is doing fantastic with it! I think he's grown up in the past 7 days! (this is the good kind of grown up, not the one that I want to slow down) He looks so cute too! I'll put pictures on here eventually, but in the meantime, you can see some on facebook.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying to slow down

It is show week once again. That means concessions. Last night after baking one batch of cupcakes, one batch of lemon bars (because the lemon bar baker extrodinaire is out of town), and two batches of brownies, I had much more left to check off my mental list...read to Jake, finish my own book so I could start my next one, fold and put away all the clean laundry that was on my bed, etc...etc... The problem was it was already 10pm. I'm starting to realize that there is no way to get more time in my day, so I guess the only reasonable way to handle this is to lower my expections. I have high expectations. High expectations of others, higher expectations of my kids, and astronomically high expectations for myself. It is no secret that some of the things that I strive to accomplish for myself each day (especially this summer) include a lot of reading, working out, daily Mass at least a few times a week, and currently making a dent in the 1000 piece puzzle that is on our front room table. This doesn't include computer and telephone time, never mind the in person chatting with the various friends that I might run into during the course of the day. Then there's all of the house stuff: laundry, dishes, the constant cleaning out, throwing away and donating that has been my summer. Then there's the driving to and from the kids activity du jour. I haven't even gotten to the time actually spent with my family. We are a game playing family. Games take time too. Some how I've seemed to get off on a tangent here and while I'm considering deleting the whole thing, I think I'll just attempt to steer myself back in the right direction. The thing is in the midst of all of this stuff, my main focus is on preparing for our schoolyear. If our house is clean and decluttered, we can focus better, if I've had time to recharge my batteries with reading and quite time, I'll focus better. This year I actually bought the unrealistic homeschooling mother's schedule book that I've borrowed for the last several years. Grand ideas are my enemy. I'm thinking too much. Last night I had a dream that I had to return library books to a library in Rhode Island, I even know what town, Exeter. They weren't even our library books, they belonged to a family that we know from a distance, Jake played baseball with the little boy a year and a half ago. My brain is too full. It is so full of clutter that I've been stuck for 2 days on a level 1 sodoku from the newspaper. I've been decluttering the house, but I really need to declutter my brain. I guess that's what I'm hoping to accomplish by dumping it all here. The thing is since hardly anyone is reading blogs anymore, I don't have to try to be articulate or anything. What this post was supposed to be about was how I've been hit over the head a couple times this evening, right here from the comfort of my computer chair, with stories about simplifying. One by a friend I know in person here. and also from a whole bunch of people that I don't know here.

The thing is we have grand plans to simplify this year. The problem is the grand plans part I think. How do you balance accomplishing enough and not running around like a chicken with your head cut off? That is my eternal question. This year my "accomplishing enough" must include guiding a high school student. I have many many more questions, but right now there's a game of CLUE set up with my name on it and it's not even 9pm yet, I just might get Jake read to, my book finished, and the rest of that laundry off my bed. Thankfully tonight Madi made the brownies!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dancing through the Decades 50's

One of Madi's Kids' College classes was Dancing through the Decades. In 7 1 1/2 hour classes kids that never danced together and mostly didn't know each other or the teacher learned all of these dances. I say this as a disclaimer because while I think the dances are good, and Madi had a great time, they are not necessarily up to par with the kids' theatre. Madi is pretty much front and center every time. Fortunately, as a homeschooler, Madi is very familiar with these decades. You know, Leave it to Beaver, Wonder Years, Brady Bunch, Cosby Show...
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the 60s

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the 70s

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the 80s

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the 90s

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2000s

The decade that just passed doesn't really have a name does it?!
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Happiness is...

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Charlie Brown could be the bench manager!

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A book report on Peter Rabbit

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Blogging slump

I'm just not "feeling it" lately. I don't seem to "think in blog" nearly as much as I used to. I've spent a lot of this summer organizing, purging, and preparing for the schoolyear. Combine that with my quick ability to check facebook and email on my ipod, and I just haven't been sitting at the computer that much. This must be a good thing. I do plan to get a ton of summer pics and videos on here...maybe in the next few minutes and maybe in the next few days or weeks, I'm not sure yet. In the meantime, I'll work on a picture-free update.

It is show week at Theatre once again! They are doing Schoolhouse Rock! Madi is George, but doesn't have to play a boy. She sings "3s a Magic Number" and "I'm just a Bill". Jake is in the ensamble, and Jonathan does a little of everything behind the scenes. They are also doing a WACO Roadshow Cabaret where Madi has a few solos and Jake sings solo in part of Food Glorious Food. Kind of fitting since it seems like he eats more that Jonathan, I'm not sure where he puts it. Speaking of Jake, anyone who knows him knows he has a "chops" problem. His "chops" are around his mouth (you know as in "licking his chops"). Well, you also should know he has the longest tongue around. This has generally been a problem for him in the winter when he gets "chapped chops" (winter being anytime there is low humidy and a high temp under 70). Well, it is hot as blazes here and very humid, but for the last few weeks his chops have been really bad. We're trying to hit it hard with some goldenseal salve in the hope that he doesn't have to go on stage looking like Ronald McDonald.

Jonathan finished his Algebra!! At the end he was doing 2 or more lessons a day in addition to Theatre rehersals etc. He finished just after he started two on-line high school classes. So much for summer break for him! He is taking English and Spanish and especially liking Spanish. His Geometry is ordered and on its way, so he will start that ASAP as well. He didn't start Algebra until October last year which is why it had to go into summer (that and some longer than appropriate breaks in betweem).

Our real, at home, fist day of school will be Sept 7th, but in addition to Jonathan's classes that I already mentioned, we will start Ancient History (all three kids) as well as math for the other two, in about a week. We are going out of town for about 2 weeks coming up, a week of business for Mike and then a week at our timeshare. I'm thinking no schoolwork at the timeshare, but definitely some on the business part of the trip.

For the first time ever, Madi is having to sit out of the first session of regular fall Theatre. Between the trip I mentioned, and a lot of Disney, we are not going to be around for a lot of rehersals. This is a little frustrating for her (and Jake isn't so thrilled either even though he's opted out of some shows in the past anyway). Madi may end up in a few songs, but mostly she's sitting out. Sitting out is not one of her strong suits. Remember Footloose when Sarah Jessica Parker was at the bar and wanted to dance, but her date Wilard didn't know how? Remember how she just couldn't keep her feet still? That was Madi last month at the first session summer show that she was not in. At least two of the nights she got to go on for one Charlie Brown song, so that eased her restless legs a little bit. The show she's missing is The Wizard of Oz, it was planned that way, since she was already Dorothy two years ago.

Madi is having some friends from Theatre sleepover tonight. Well, one definitely and one maybe. The thing is we have a revolving door of friends all the time. However, generally they are kids that are like family to us. We know what to expect and they no what to expect. This seems like a little more pressure. Also I'm not sure yet if both at the same time is a good idea. We are so used to our own "commuinity" of friends where everyone is like family, this is like uncharted waters for us. We'll see how it goes.

My nephew Zachary got to be a ball boy for a UCONN basketball charity game on Saturday.
Zachary is the little one with dark hair in the front. This player is Stanley Robinson who was just drafted by the Orlando Magic. This picture was in the paper in CT.