Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes

Jen has more Quick Takes at her place.



This week has gone so fast! I finished all the laundry last night while Superman was in class, and as soon as I get the suitcases taken down to the basement we'll be completely unpacked from the trip. Then I I have to catch up on the regular house stuff . . .


I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow and no gift- yet another thing that completely slipped my mind because of the trip . . . I think I'm going to make a few bibs tonight- maybe a few burp cloths too? Do you have a go-to last minute baby gifts that you like to make?


I'm really stuck on this Kindergarten thing. Trying to keep it simple, but also satisfy my husband's request for "real schoolwork" is tricky. I think his concern is mostly grown out of the things relatives have said to him about our decision to homeschool and having tangible things to show them concerning the boys' education would make him feel better. We're working on it.


I REALLY have to finish up Christmas gifts!!! The truth is that I need to start making in September rather than late October so I can be done earlier and not still be making until the day before Christmas Eve! I have still to finish:

An apron for my sister-in-law

Capes for the boys

A bag for Ender

An apron for Ezra

I know that list doesn't look too bad, but I still work a full week next week and I'm just too tired on most of those evenings to stay up and sew. So I'm going to work at them this weekend and try to get as much done as I can so that I can hopefully finish up on my days off the few days before Christmas!



We've been having a great time with our Advent reading list this week. I'm so thankful for the list posted at Serendipity because I was having a really difficult time sorting out good reads at our library. Our local library has holiday books marked with a sticker on the side, and some of them at first glance through looked like good books, but at a more thorough read were not what I was looking for for helping my young ones to understand this season.

We're using the books on the lists marked Stories for Preparing Little Hearts plus some of the books on the list for Fireside Tales, specifically the Jan Brett books, but also a few others.


We had our first snow on Wednesday. It was barely enough to call it a first snow (since you could still see our grass through most of it!) but it counts. It's been bitterly cold this week- so cold that we have only left the house to get to the grocery store once. We get a lot of ice here and we also had our first ice of the season, and that doesn't usually show up until January. It looks like we may be in for a LONG winter.


I'm hunting more books to read. My to-be-read stack is a little sparse for my taste. I've finished a few series in the last few months and I'm looking for more to try. Ideas? The only genres I don't read are romance and hard science fiction. I love all kinds of fantasy, YA, mysteries, historical fiction and mainstream stuff. Have a look at my book list for this year if you want to see what I've been reading recently.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What I Learned on My Vacation

Superman laughed at my title,but I thought that I surely couldn't be the only kid who had to write "summer vacation" essays the couple of years I went to regular school. The title seemed to fit, so there it is. Laugh away, Superman!
Things I Learned on Vacation:

1. I do not "relax" well. It felt so strange to have nothing that *had* to be done and it took most of the trip to get used to that. There was no cleaning of bathrooms or doing of laundry- I didn't even make the bed! While it was nice to have the break it made me realize how much I like the routines of those things and how they give structure and rhythm to my day. . . . well, I won't include doing laundry. I loathe laundry and don't think I will ever be convinced of thinking that there is some kind of peace in folding laundry.

2. I really rely on specific routines during my days. I'm so used to packing my shoulder bag with the snacks, drinks, books, favorite airplane, favorite black doggie, etc. that I didn't realized how streamlined the system had become until I had to pack my little bag for a few hours at the beach and I started looking around for the sippy cups. Packing was as easy as sunscreen, towel and a book and that felt really odd!

3. I have a serious information acquirement problem. We had no internet access and using our phones cost quite a bit per minute so we had to plan our calls accordingly. I didn't realize how often I google things! I was also surprised to discover that it actually felt wrong to not be able to look that information up right away.

I generally keep up on a collection of homeschooling blogs and a message board, sewing and knitting blogs, and a message board for mothers- I missed keeping up on it all, but the time without them made them feel less needful and I know that is for the better. I've struggled with this feeling that if I don't keep up on new ideas and activities that I will miss something that might be important for my kids to learn. What I really need to do for a time is step back, and follow up on the next point without a ton of outside influence.

4. I'm a lot more stressed out about starting "real school" with Ender next year than I thought. That was the primary topic on my mind while we were gone, and I was having a bit of a serious panic. I have a general idea of how I want kindergarten to look, but then I'm having a panic that maybe I'm not including enough, tempered by the educator in me saying- this is Kindergarten. He will be five. You don't have to do everything right now. But then my Mama heart starts worrying that I might be missing something really important- what if he really does need history or more science than I plan to provide or something like that?

The other factor in this is Superman, who has no idea what the possibilities for homeschool include and has a rosy picture of "school at home" where we all happily sit at the table for 3 hours a day doing paper after paper. So, since our ideals are slightly opposite, we're both trying to meet in the middle on this. I need to make some final decisions about whether or not to continue with Montessori math, to buy a text, to make our own plan . . . too many choices! Do we include history yet or wait until he's older? Should I include science? How much?

I'm working on it, and the time without distractions over vacation was tremendously useful, but it was only a start.

Points 3 and 4 are directly related. I just have to figure out how to balance the two parts of my brain, make a plan for Kindergarten and not second-guess it. I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Outside my window… Frost. Potential for snow. REALLY green grass in my front yard. I don't know how that happened exactly, but it's bright green.

In December.

I am thinking… about our December schedule. Fitting in our family stuff with extended family stuff, work schedules, Superman's finals this week, finding time to really be in the season . . . Hopefully this is the last year of craziness like this. Only 5 months til graduation now!

I am thankful for…  my beautiful boys. And grandparents that love them so much that they kept them for an entire week and still cried when they dropped them off at our house Sunday because they would miss them so much.

Always Learning…  We've all been taking it easy and our plan for the rest of the month is to enjoy Advent books (many from the Serendipity list) and some Christmas-y baking and crafting.

From the kitchen…  Um, my kitchen is bare! I picked up the bare necessities of milk, bread and eggs yesterday to keep us in sandwiches and breakfast for a few days til I could get my brain together to go grocery shopping.

I am wearing… Jeans, knee high Christmas socks, two camis and a long sleeve t-shirt. I'm a cold girl today!

I am creating…  a very cool sweater in a very bright blue. I saw it on Soulemama a few weeks ago, bought the yarn and took it on vacation. Superman may have rolled his eyes at me because I was knitting while sitting out by the pool, but I'm very happy with it so far.

I am going… to get groceries later, for sure! I'm just waiting to see if it really does start sleeting when they say it will. If not, we're going to make a mad dash and hope the weather holds!

I am reading… A TON. If you go look at my booklist you may be a little, um, surprised at how much reading I've done since I last daybooked on Nov. 16th. I'm going to guesstimate low at 3000 pages of fiction. Yes, that's *three* zeros. You know how I said I read Twilight in like 2 days once I actually got going on it? Yeah, turns out my sister had the set so I borrowed them and finished them all by the 3oth. Ahem.

Otherwise, current reads are Storm Front by Jim Butcher (fiction) and The Power of Play by David Elkind (nonfiction).

I am hoping… to finish up Christmas gifts this week.

I am hearing… Christmas music. Steven Curtis Chapman is my favorite voice these days.

Around the house… I'm almost done with all the post-trip laundry and I'm counting that as a giant victory.

One of my favorite things… Ezra's special kisses. He's so sweet and affectionate.

 A few plans for the rest of the week … Catching up, hanging out at home and  celebrating the season.
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