Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Here Is Where Our Summer Stands

So we started the school year about a month later than usual. Therefore, we are not yet finished with said school year. This is discouraging no matter how much you mentally prepare yourself. Little Bit is aiming to be though by the 4th of July, and I believe she will make it. She's almost there.

Sweetheart, however, has worked (or NOT worked) herself right out of a summer break. If she's lucky, she'll have a 4 day weekend before 11th grade starts. Sigh. We've talked all we can talk. We've punished. We've encouraged. The saying is TRUE: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it finish it's work on time unless it wants to. Well, it goes something like that.

But she is down a few subjects. At maximum, her school day should take her 5 hours. Therefore, if she gets on up like she's used to doing in the school year anyway, and starts by around 7am, she should be done by noon. Or, she can sleep in a bit and have a little to do after lunch. That's up to her. It's Wednesday of our new summer schedule and so far she was worked until nearly 4 or 5pm every day.

Horse. Water.

Anyway, in other news. OF COURSE because it's summer I had to completely rearrange the house. You know, we didn't do a thing to the house last summer when Dad was in the hospital. So some cleaning and organizing is in major order around here. S was able to help me move the big stuff around and get the bunk beds re-painted (this time for Little Bit and Bee) over Memorial Day weekend. I wouldn't have chosen to move all the stuff all at once like that, but that was the time he had to help. So, the furniture is in place, but boy the mess we made!

It's hard to feel accomplished when what you did one day was sit down with a washcloth and wipe down all the color pencils because something sticky was all over them. And then I sorted markers (throwing away those that had dried out) and pens and pencils and blah blah blah. All that work on little things doesn't make much of an impact but hopefully we'll be more organized this year!

Little Bit and I are painting the front room. In the past, this room has been a playroom (for the older girls when they were little) and a homeschool room. Now I am turning it into kind of a homeschool room for Baby Bee. You know, Baby Bee who turned 4 a few weeks ago. (!)

I guess really some other posts need to be made. Just too much to catch up on here.


We are still in school and that stinks.
We have made a huge mess in the house in the quest to get organized.

It's a good thing there is a date on this post b/c this could easily be mistaken for another previous summer. My life is nothing if not predictable.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In Which We Haven't Covered That Yet

The kids had an assignment from church last week. They all remembered when they walked in this morning. They were supposed to think of something Jesus or Paul did that they should do as well. (Coming off of Paul's words about if you have seen anything in him, imitate him....etc.) So the older girls thought of something and wrote it down. I was working with Baby Bee to think of something.

Me: Tell me some things Jesus or Paul did in the Bible.
Her: Jesus died on the cross. He rose from the grave. He walked on water. He gave a promise not to flood the earth. I don't know Paul.

:) be fair, we are still reading the Old Testament and she's only 3! We'll get there!

This week in school I have some goals. One of them is to, you know, DO school and FINISH things every day.

I know. Wow.

But the other is to keep up with Sweetheart, who was given some freedom and trust last week and decided to completely skip both Biology and Math all week! So, back to babysitting in a hard way. I surely wish we had another set up so that I could be beside all the girls at once. Need a bigger house! And not just because of homeschooling either. This floor plan just isn't working for us anymore. we are. Until the Lord makes a way for us to move, we are here.

I've been brainstorming about rearranging but haven't come up with a solution just yet. I can assure you when I do, it will be easier to just do it than talk to S about it first. Even though we are going to have some major school work going on this summer, I am still getting in the mood to rearrange, paint, and fix things up around here! We don't have any plans to go anywhere much so I should have plenty of time!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In Which the Ages are Getting to Me

I'll tell you, there are SO many blessings of having kids ranging in age from 3 to 16. BUT.....sometimes it is not so good. The 12 year old and the 3 year old have especially been grating on my nerves lately. I truly understand how mothers used to say in olden times that their nerves were rattled. When I read about mothers whose nerves were rattled in old books I always think, "what a wienie." Like women who used to have to go lie down whenever something stressful happened. Please.

But as I'm typing this, the very energetic 3 year old who never stops ever not even for a nap is pelting me with wads of stuffing. They are "snowballs". About the 5th one that hit me in the face started me to twitching. Oh she rattles my nerves some days. She just has so much energy and needs so much attention and we just can't. The big girls are doing school. I'm doing school with them. Or I have to pay a bill. Or I'm trying to switch the laundry. Or I'm trying to load the dishwasher. I mean, I have played with her today. She will need more of that because she doesn't have a sibling close in age. I wish sometimes she did! I know I will need to play with her more but it's never enough. She never wants me to stop. So I have guilt about her needs.
Little Bee in the dentist chair yesterday.
And the 12 year old has issues. I mean, some things truly bother her. Today Bee was putting her hand on Little Bit's jeans. And it was making her crazy because she said Bee's fingernails were kind of scratching her jeans and it was giving her goosebumps. See? Issues. Those kind of things she cannot overlook and get over. So there is a constant balance between asking Little Bit to put up with something (I mean, Bee was leaning over on her while she fixed her show--she wasn't exactly doing anything wrong) and getting onto Bee because I know Little Bit has reached her breaking point. It's a hard balance.
Bee, Me, and Little Bit. So pretty.
And Little Bit needs things perfect. And just so. And Bee is anything but "just so." She is like a tiny Tasmanian Devil. A whirl of words and motion and movement and constant doing things. And Little Bit wants to direct her and tell her no. And tell her to watch out. And tell her to stop. And it's going to be the death of me. Of course Bee reacts to bossy sister by doing the annoying thing more.

Sigh. Hard balance.

Good news? Sweetheart got her learner's permit today! Which means I did the paperwork right! It was a huge job gathering every little thing and I'm so thankful they accepted what I had brought. Facebook friends were very helpful with the advice.

When we left the DPS office I handed the keys to Sweetheart and told her to act like she was driving home. We did it just to watch Little Bit's face. She panicked. She doesn't want to ride with Sweetheart "until she's a professional." Her words. Can't blame her. I sure wish my van had a brake on the passenger's side.

As we were at story time today before the DPS office, I was watching a mom with a newborn and a little 3 year old boy. How different her world than the one where you have a 3 year old and a driver.


Love them all three.

Even when Mama's nerves are rattled.

Monday, March 28, 2016

In Which I Have a Revelation

You know, there are 8 years between Little Bit and Baby Bee. And I knew from the get-go that I would NOT be saving hand-me-downs for Bee from Little Bit's closet. Please! Eight years is too long. Too much to store. It would be too out of style or old or with dry rotted elastic or whatever by the time Bee got to fitting it.

(There is one exception and that's clothes that my mom sewed. We keep those.)

But this morning I realized that I have kept nearly every single homeschool item we have ever owned. Why? Things I used with Sweetheart that I am not using with Little Bit--and who knows if I will use them with Bee--but I am keeping them because....because....why? I MIGHT want to use them? They MIGHT be a good fit for Bee when she gets into 6th grade? Do you know how far away that is?

The girls dressed up for Go Western day at co-op recently.

Just as I don't have the space to store 8 years of clothes, I certainly do not need to be keeping 8+ years of homeschool curriculum!

  • But you will just have to re-buy it. What a waste of money!
  • But you will regret it one day!
  • What if it goes out of print and you can't find a copy anymore?
  • Books don't take up THAT much room.
The thing is, S and I were reliving our first year of marriage last night with the girls at supper. We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. S said, "I would give anything to go back to that kind of simplicity!" Now I know he didn't mean get rid of the children. :) I remember when we moved in before the wedding. S moved everything he owned from his bedroom at home and started staying at the apartment. I was living at Mom and Dad's house but moved all my worldly possessions over one afternoon. 

It in no way filled up that apartment. Even when we added the wedding gifts! 

Bee was the only girl at library story time a while back. She doesn't mind. She plays great with boys!
I remember getting up on Saturday morning and cleaning--I mean really scrubbing--every inch of that apartment. It took less than an hour. 

Maybe we are just being nostalgic. But then I see pictures of this certain house online. I was going to post a link and in searching I happened upon a whole website devoted to complaining about this family. So....maybe there are some issues involved there and that's why their house looks so perfect. 

OK I love my family. Not trying to be some other family. But goodness. I had a friend recently put her house on the market and it sold. All this happened within about a month. From her first talking about doing it to selling it. We might could do that within six months IF we suspended all schooling and life for those 6 months. 

We aren't exactly in prime shape around here. And I have excuses reasons! 

  1. We had a baby. We still haven't recovered.
  2. We started going somewhere on spring break every year where I used to stay home and clean closets and paint, etc.
  3. My dad was in the hospital all summer so NOTHING happened at our house. Which means it's been well over a year since I did any really good cleaning out around here. 
But I think it's OK to start cleaning off those homeschool shelves. We don't have a homeschool room anymore anyway. We just store things on those shelves. Why am I storing so many things we won't need for 8+ more years?

When Mama says, "No, you cannot have that today, but let me take a picture of it in case I decide to get it another day." And you are not happy with her response.

Tell me it's OK to get rid of homeschool stuff. Someone? Anyone? 

And if anyone gets high off of decluttering, you're invited over, OK?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

In Which Spring Break is the Middle (for some)

Well, since we got such a late start on our school year (Dad in the hospital most all summer, his funeral, recovery from that) and started after Labor Day, we are JUST NOW half-way through with the school year. Well, Little Bit is anyway. She would be a little further but we accomplished exactly one week of school before her tics reared their ugly head.

We went to a psychologist for the first time for her a few weeks ago. She's seen a neurologist twice, but the neurologist heard she had been dealing with anxiety and said the psychologist could help with that as well as the Tourette Syndrome. I was very unimpressed with the clinic, but the doctor herself was great. She said she would give grief at least a year before she would worry about treating the anxiety (which has since gone away) so that was reassuring.

Climbing on the rhino that sticks out of the building at the zoo.

The other good news is Little Bit will being doing some training this summer to learn a method which the name escapes me right now but basically it is learning to re-train the brain to ignore the tics. She said we will have to go to about 6 sessions, with homework and then we should be good. That is good news as well.

While we were at the psychologist's office, we got into a brief discussion about Sweetheart and her ADD. We had tried meds last year but they didn't work. I was telling the doctor how the doc who prescribed the meds wouldn't put her on a stimulant due to her sister having TS. She said that was ridiculous and she absolutely could have stimulants. medicate or not to medicate?

OK, maybe Sweetheart can help Little Bit.

Well, earlier this week Sweetheart was going to make mac-n-cheese to go with our supper. She messed up and put the milk, butter, and noodles all in the boiling water. OK. Read the directions, slow down and think about what you are doing. Certainly not her first time to make mac-n-cheese! Then she messed it up again! That's two boxes of food down the drain if you are keeping count. The next day she messed up something else she was cooking. I made it for her the next time. That's five boxes of food we went through for 2 side dishes. She's 16 and she's pretty comfortable in the kitchen. She can make a lot of things. This really concerned me. For goodness sake one day this child may need to feed herself! If she can't even concentrate long enough to make something as simple as noodles, that's a problem! Not to mention how behind in school she is or how long it takes her to get something done. Not to mention her room.

SERIOUSLY I'm not going to mention those things!!!!!

They aren't good for my blood pressure.

Hang on, Bee. You seem to be backwards.

For now I shall concentrate on the fact that my 6th grader is half-way through with school. And I will rejoice in that.
We're gonna give "year round school" a whole new meaning this year, that's for sure.

Whew. There were about 25 other pictures in this series. They crack me up.