Saturday, January 22, 2011

What's new?

So soo much! Not the least of which is Mike and I are going on a CRUISE on Monday morning!! (and for any of you bad guy lurkers, this does not necessarily mean our house will be empty, as the kids will be staying with my parents and part of that time they'll be at our house...and you don't know where we live AND you don't even know our last name so nananananana!!)

Jake and Jonathan are in a main stage adult show at the new theatre. They needed an 8 year old who could sing a little and Jake got the part! Jonathan has a few different parts to play, not the least of which is being there to keep and eye on Jake and call or text me when they need to get picked up. Yes after holding out for what Madi for one considers to be far too long, we've now joined the millenium and have a texting plan. It is very handy. Just today for example Mike and I had a memorial service to go to (more on that later) and Madi was at the conference for middle school girls and Jake and Jonathan had rehersal for the better part of the day. They were going to have a break for a couple hours, but with the timing of the memorial service, they were on their own to hang out around town, possibly at the park or getting pizza until it was time to go back to the theatre. Turns out they ended up getting treated to dinner and chocolate cake by the director of the show. This isn't our regular director either, this is the artistic director of the whole theatre! I'm a little concerned about this whole major production depending on Jake to perform on demand, but mostly I'm really excited for it! (in light of keeping the aformentioned bad guy lurkers in the dark, I'm avoiding saying the name of the show at least until after I get back from the cruise).

A really nice man passed away this week. Actually, I'm sure a lot of really nice men passed away, but only one that we knew. He was a loving husband and father to four kids. The memorial service was packed. The theme of the service was basically that if they only talked about the man, that would only be half of the story, the day was also about celebrating God. The family seems to be holding up pretty well and I know it's their faith that is getting them through this, but to even think about what they are going through makes me ill.

Almost a month later, it seems pretty clear that the most useful Christmas present of the year (aside from the cruise and maybe Jonathan's ipod) is the donut maker Madi got. They are sooo good! If you are local expect to be invited over for a breakfast of donuts in the near future (but not this week, did I mention we are going on a cruise?!). The donuts (made with freshly ground wheat-read healthy-) go really good with coffee from the Keurig coffee maker (another very useful item!).

Madi is cantoring (singing the responsorial psalm) at church tomorrow. This is the second time she's done this.

Jake's now had two basketball games. He's a pretty good ball handler. He was more or less the point guard today, as much as there is a point guard in a game of 2nd and 3rd graders. He's a good passer and had a few good assists.

School is really good this year. Every year until now, we've had many of those typical homeschool days where the mom screams, "go get your shoes, I'm bringing you to school right now!" This hasn't even happened once this year, not even with Jake! I think after all these years we've really found our groove. We hardly even took time off during Christmas, this is in contrast to every other year when we essentially did no "schoolwork" between Thanksgiving (or maybe Veteran's Day) and New Years (or maybe Valentine's Day). Part of the commitment for this year has come from the older two and their virtual school classes. There's something about a teacher that is not mom that brings out a different level of commitment in kids. This is not to say that teachers other than mom are better for kids because I definitely don't think that, I just like what we are doing now. I also like that our laizee faire approach in the early years has really served us well. Everytime I mention to anyone with kids younger than Madi that my kids need to be doing school (as in we need to leave Chick fil a now to get some school done) I'm always quick to point out that they don't need to, not all the time. LIFE is school in the early years! It's also school in the later years, but will all the life experiences my kids had in the early years they are able to now handle their middle school and high school classes really well. They know that these classes (especially high school) are a stepping stone to college and the future not just for what they are learning, though they are learning, but because they are "credits" that they will need for graduation on college. I still think they are learning a lot more in their real life with theatre, church, theme parks, and conversations with people of all ages, but they can play the school game pretty well too.

Tonight Mike and I went to a ministry appreciation dinner at church. This is because I teach fifith grade religious ed. I've been meaning to say here that I got three presents for Christmas from my students and a couple of cards too. I've wanted to point that out because last year I complained that no one in my class gave me a present except for my own daughter. My complaint wasn't in the materialistic I want something sense as much as it was in the all my parenting life, I've always scrambled to give every teacher, coach, director, etc something for Christmas and the end of the year and it was a little disheartening to know other parents didn't feel the same way (especially about volunteer teachers!). So my faith in people was renewed this year! The yummy, free, catered Italian dinner tonight helped too!

Gotta finish packing, I'm not sure if I told you, but we're going on a cruise!

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 quick takes

1. I can't seem to get myself in gear as far as a creative blog post is concerned, so how about seven quick takes? There, one down!

2. The kids are going to Theatre in a few minutes. Auditions for Beauty and the Beast are next Tuesday. Jake wants to be Chip. Madi wants Belle or Mrs. Potts. I'm not sure what Jonathan wants, I don't think he's sure either.

3. The bad news is the yummy and inexpensive ice cream place that is right next to the "new theatre" just went out of business! The worse news is that we just got a $40 gift certificate from there for Christmas! The better news is, the lady gave me $40 in cash when I went in there to dispute the whole thing.

4. Mike's brother is here for the weekend. After Jake's basketball game tomorrow, we are heading to Universal Studios and Harry Potter World.

5. My word of the year (HOME) seems to be working out pretty well for me so far. We're having a fairly lazy month. Actually we are on our second out of state visitor and the kids are doing well with chores and schoolwork, so compared to a lot of families that may not be considered lazy. We are however sleeping later than normal (or even socially acceptable) a lot of mornings and we are far far more laid back than our "December run around like chickens with our heads cut off selves".

6. Jonathan got his Learner's Permit on Tuesday! I can't believe it either!! I have no idea where the time is going. For some reason his first 15 years have gone by about 10 times faster than my first 15 years did! This is why we are attempting to slow time down by slowing ourselves down.

7. The car just pulled up that will take my three kids to theatre and leave me with a cute baby to play with for a few hours so I better run!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Daybook for January 8th (my mother's birthday)

Outside my window~ blue skies and cool temperatures.

I am listening to~ not much and it sounds great!

I am wearing~ white silky jammies, getting ready to put on sweats and go to the gym momentarily.

I am grateful for~ my self proclaimed word of the year HOME!!!

I am pondering~ this thought from Deacon Paul yesterday, "we can't solve the problems of the world, but we can make a dent"

I am reading~ blogs.

I am creating~ helpful kids with our new chore routine.

From the learning room~ I had this realization yesterday, we do school all over the place. The loft is supposed to be the "schoolroom" and it is the computer (ie virtual school) room. But I finally realized how to be sure to include the history that we all do together and that is to do it in the kitchen during breakfast or lunch). Jake likes to pick the place to do his work, sometimes his room, sometimes the family room, often the front room (my new favorite room in the house), sometimes outside, almost never the loft. Madi got her much desired "lap desk" for Christmas and she is a mobile schooling unit as well, often choosing a different couch. I'm still not happy with the look and set up of the loft and I'm enjoying the other, prettier rooms much more.

To live the liturgy~ I'm mourning the end of the Christmas season.

Around the house~ the kids have done great with their chores. We are using a month long "zone plan" this month Jonathan is zone 1- kitchen. Now I'm not only not loading and unloading the dishwasher, I'm also not picking out kids at random to do it. He knows it's his job, I know it's his job, we're all loving it! Jonathan even said even though it's a lot of work, he likes it because he knows what to expect! Madi is zone 2- front room and family room vacuuming, dusting etc, also looking good. Jake is zone 3- feed Mickey, downstairs bathroom, and laundry. He's got Mickey covered just fine, but he's "in training" on the other jobs. On the first day he so helpfully threw down all of the dirty laundry and inadvertantly dumped down the stairs two huge baskets of clean laundry as well. After lots of yelling and tears (from me) and lots and lots of appologizing (also from me), we got it all sorted and worked out. We just got a new washer, so I'm enjoying laundry and not ready for anyone to touch the new machine. By the end of the month, I'll be ready to pass the torch, I think Madi is up next for laundry.

From the kitchen~ in addition to cleaning the kitchen, Jonathan and I are in the planning phase of a 1/2 credit "cooking/ home ec" course for him. The fun thing about homeschooling high school is all the real life learning stuff that homeschoolers do naturally with their kids finally "counts" for something. I've been googling different home ec course descriptions, but basically we really are running a home here, so we don't need to duplicate what they do in school which is TRY to duplicate what people do at home. Anyway, by the spring Jonathan will know how to bake the bread and make tons of meals and baked goods all on his own.

From Netfilx this week~ Nativity Story...very good and It's Complicated...very funny!

On my ipod~ a year later, I am still loving this thing, from all my music on shuffle at the gym (each song is a fun surprise!) to the audio-rosary when I'm driving to quick email checks... this thing is the best!

Theatre~ starts this week. They are doing Beauty and the Beast auditions are the

One of my favorite things~ homeschooling. This week there were a lot of facebook posts about "yeah, it's back to school for the kids", I'm so glad that's not us!

A few plans~ going to Outback tomorrow night to celebrate my mother's birthday. getting Universal passes next week when Mike's brother comes for a visit. Harry Potter World here we come! Basketball practice started for Jake this week, his first game is next Saturday.

Choosing HOME whenever we can!