Friday, January 16, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

Make sure you check out the other Quick Takes over at Jen’s Conversion Diary.


–  1 –

This week stinks- I have very limited internet, can't load pictures, and don't have access to many of my files. And the worst news after that is that I won't have a new computer for at least another week, probably more like 10 days- 2 weeks. It's been ordered, it's just not supposed to arrive for that long, which upsets me a bit. (Though it upsets me only because this whole "my computer died" thing has been highly emotional for me for some reason, not because the company is doing something wrong!)

Work has not been great this week for me or for Superman and weather has been bitterly cold so there has been no outside time- I was hoping for some today even if it was just to get to the store, but it has been snowing for awhile, school is canceled and Superman called a bit ago to tell me not to go anywhere because of how bad the roads are. Bleh. I haven't been out of the house in awhile- that's what stinks about working at home, you know?


– 2 –

I'm putting the binding on Reed's Quilt this afternoon during naptime (and maybe into this evening depending on how quickly I'm able to work this afternoon. Pictures to come as soon as I have a computer to load them on.


– 3 –

I was given a  few books that have been on my home education wish list for ages-  Keeping a Nature Journal, The Read-Aloud Handbook and Drawing with Children. I just started into them last night- I'm so excited! Just glancing through the pictures of the Nature Journal book and the Drawing book have been inspirational, but a little scary. I can barely draw a stick figure. I remember my mom using the Drawing book with me one year- maybe second or third grade? I entered school in fourth grade and art there was a lot of clay modeling in 20 minute segments twice a week. I want to at least attempt an art education for my kids, though it's hard to do since I'm no artist when it comes to drawing or painting.  


– 4 –

I caved and had a giant Dr. Pepper with vanilla (no ice, thanks) from Sonic last night. It was the best tasting soda I've ever had! You have to understand- I haven't had soda since something like December 28, and for someone who typically drinks soda and coffee every day I'm counting it a victory moderate success. Back to water today- I'm already tired from last night's little indulgence- part of why I cut caffeine is that it was contributing to my sleep problems, and I've noticed a big change in my sleep habits. I had a cup of coffee last week in the morning and I noticed that even by bedtime that night I felt a little more hyped up and couldn't get to sleep as well.


– 5 –

We've done nothing that would count as formal education this week. Big Kid has been running a low grade fever on and off all week with no other symptoms except that he's unusually tired and listless. He's spent his days playing for 5 or 10 minutes and then resting on the couch with something quiet for a little bit. He's napped every day so far, and he usually only naps about once a week. We did read our first bigger chapter book together- My Father's Dragon. We loved this book! We finished it and started The Mouse and the Motorcycle last night.


– 6 –

I've been keeping up on my decluttering project- 15 items a day for 30 days. I've been through the laundry room cabinets, the book cases and our closets. I'm way above my goal- by today I was supposed to have 120 items, and I have 138, mostly clothes. I've finally given up on jeans I had from before Big Kid was born- I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my hips are permanently a little wider, and I'm just a different shape now than I was in my early/mid twenties. So I'm giving up those clothes. I also got rid of several of my heels and things I used to wear when I worked at a school. I don't need as many of those kinds of clothes anymore, so I kept my favorites and let go of the rest. I even got Superman in on the deal- he collects t-shirts like crazy, so It was time to ask him to decide between some- he hasn't had enough room in his drawer for all of them for awhile, so he had a pile of about 10 folded t-shirts on top of his dresser at any given time. He got rid of a lot more than I thought he would, and even went through his side of the closet and got rid of some things!


– 7 –

This has actually been a good week. No internet has meant more time taking care of the smaller cleaning jobs that I tend to avoid, and my house has generally just stayed cleaner. I've been reading more, knitting more (finished my first sock and I'm about 2 inches into the next one!), and getting to bed a bit earlier. I've been able to check in on things online in short amounts of time, but it's been a good break.



I do realize the name of this post is SEVEN quick takes, but since I haven't been able to post this week I have something extra to say. A few years ago before I had kids one of our local teacher associations asked me to write a few handbooks about teaching for the association. They were between 24-36 pages and just on paper stapled together- nothing fancy, but I was paid for my work. I've been asked to write something on composing with young kids and about teaching young children music- I work with children as young as two in my studio while most teachers will not begin a student until they are either 7 years old or in first grade. I like to have them as early as possible. I've been thinking about adapting this information for the homeschooler, and possibly an additional source that would present it in a Montessori fashion. Anyone interested? Leave a note in comments, so I'll know to get it up sooner rather than later! The project isn't due for my association until May, so I'm not planning to work on it until April, but if you would like a copy I'll get it done earlier and posted here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beyond Homemaking Daybook

Weather: The weather has been strange here the last few days- very cold to start and end the days, but warm enough to go without a jacket for a few hours each afternoon. Today is certainly starting cold, so we're bundled up tight.


This Week: Superman and I have our usual work weeks and Superman is back at school. Big Kid has piano lessons later this morning, Little Bit has a well child doctor's visit tomorrow, and the boys are having their pictures taken this weekend for their 3 year old and 18 month pictures.


Current Fiction Read: Still Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey. 


Current Non-Fiction Read: Keeping House by Margaret Kim Peterson.


Craftiness: Still working on Reed’s quilt top, but finishing very soon!


Learning at home:  Big Kid is still fascinated with those mazes he started working on last week. I thought he would like them, but I didn't know he would like them this much! We started reading My Father's Dragon a few days ago, and Big Kid really likes it, although he isn't used to a longer format yet and wants to know why we can't just read the whole thing in one sitting.

We also have a big cardboard box that a family member passed on to us. We cut a door in it, and it's the most exciting toy in the house right now!


New work: This isn't really new as of this week, but I keep forgetting it! We made a calendar out of regular paper and an old 3 ring binder. Each morning we write the date at the top of the page, then the day of the week. At the end of the day we talk about what happened that day and Big Kid dictates to me what he'd like to write on the page. It's been really interesting because he chooses what is important to him to include. I make notes on the back of the page about school type things we did that day (books we read, mazes, pages, coloring, etc. that he did, which montessori work he chose that day, etc)


In Other News . . .  My computer is fried. I spent most of the weekend trying to recover photos, work documents and other documents. I was able to save my pictures and work stuff, but a lot of my other things are lost. My brother works on computers and he's coming into town next weekend- he promises to try and recover some of my files, but there are no guarantees. The computer will barely start up now, and even then it's only into safe mode with very limited function. So if I'm not on much you'll know why! Superman takes his computer with him for work and school, so I'm without a computer most of the day, and then we'll be sharing it in the evenings to do the things we usually do. There will be no pictures for a little bit until I'm able to either use a different computer (Superman's is ridiculously old and won't allow me to open my photo editor for some reason) or until my new computer comes in.
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