Monday, August 31, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 31

For Today... August 31, 2009

Outside my window... sunny but only 68 for a high today

I am thinking... nah, I'm not really thinking today

From the learning rooms... Lesson plans for the coming year

I am thankful for... the many blessings I cannot even begin to count

From the kitchen... Oh, not much....

I am wearing... Jeans, blue tee, bare feet (but they are cold), wet hair, no makeup

I am reading... The Illustrated History of Libraries (or something like that), Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and still listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. The last thing I read was Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg (LOVED IT!).

I've been watching... Sunshine Cleaning, Perfect Strangers Season 1, The Scarlet Pimpernel (at book club)

I am hoping... that this job possibility works out for Bob, Thursday will tell

I am creating... a stack of stuff to sell at the book sales next week

I am hearing... the toilet flushing, lol

Around the house... Tents and camp mat drying out, the camper needs to be popped and dried out, lots of laundry still, and the boys room is still half-painted

One of my favorite things... playing Minorca with my friends

A few plans for the rest of the week... Soccer practices for David, Suzy, and James, finding a job for me and/or Bob, Lesson planning, and a visit with Maryann, a Park Day, and maybe a concert

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.

David was focused for several days on building card houses.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

When Will We Start?

When are you starting?

That's the question everyone's asking!

Some people have already started, even way up north here in Michigan. But not us! We're not hitting the books just yet.

A lot of my friends are beginning their lessons on the day after Labor Day - September 8th - but not us! I am going to a book sale on 9/8 and another on 9/9. Trying to make some money!

We will have our first "official" day on 9/10. Our first day is traditionally ice cream sundaes for lunch and a treasure hunt to find our new school supplies. 9/11 is our first day of our new co-op year.

So, it looks like we'll start in earnest on Monday 9/14.

Camping Photos

Camping Week was GREAT, up until the pouring rain on the day we had to pack up and go home. Here are some photos. I'll try to type up a camp week report later on.

As always, if you click on the slideshow, you can see the pix bigger or comment on them. Are those of you on dialup able to view the slideshow ok? I've been wondering.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 24

For Today... August 24, 2009

Outside my window... a familiar campground but a different part of it!

I am thinking... that I am really glad that the packing and set-up are done and that the tear-down and unpacking are a few days away yet.

From the learning rooms... A week of camping with fellow homeschoolers

I am thankful for... our pop-up camper

From the kitchen... easy easy easy camping meals. Examples? Beef stew from a CAN then heated up in the slow cooker! Sandwiches! Cereal in a box! I don't go camping so I can slave over a campfire or a camp stove.

I am wearing... Probably jeans, a tee shirt, and flipflops, probably make-up and hair done, since it is only the first day of camping. By Friday, I won't be wearing any makeup and my hair will be in a barette. lol

I am reading... The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy and The Library: An Illustrated History by Stuart Murray. Still working through Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (getting close to being done) and still listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (emotionally heart-wrenching right now!).

I've been watching... 17 Again (and the deleted scenes and special features!), Cranford (love it!)

I am hoping... that the campground isn't too crowded

I am creating... campground memories

I am hearing... Happy sounds

Around the house... the girls' room is neat and tidy, the boys' room is completely torn apart and half-painted and the majority of their belongings is in the landing. EEEK!

One of my favorite things... playing my favorite card game (Minorca) with some of my fav peeps!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Soccer practices for David and James, fun, fun fun, David's first soccer game Friday night, Book Club Saturday

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Saw five deer during my jog this morning. That's the first time I've seen any at all on my runs, even though I almost always run the same route. One doe right at the beginning, then two fawns and their mom, and then one more doe. This was between 9-10 am.

[Note - no, I didn't take this pic. I googled. lol]

I also saw two deer last night driving home. One doe was in the road, so I slowed down. Then I saw a buck (antlers!) on the shoulder and he nearly ran out in front of me. Good thing I'd slowed down!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Learning to Run

Not too much academic work has been happening at Cornerstone Home Learning during the last few weeks. The learning continues however - lots of library books all around. We are enjoying the lazy days and praying that God continues to allow the children to learn at home during the next year.

I have been learning something new this summer though. I've started jogging!

Yes, at the age of 42, I've decided life would be better if I could run a 5K. This is due in no small part to my good friend Jennifer. She also started running during the last year and has HER sights now set on running a half-marathon!

For those of you who have shown interest into my fitness venture, I've decided to write it out here. If you could care less, please feel free to skip! LOL

In December, I decided that 2009 was the year in which I would get into shape. I started working out in January and haven't missed a week of workouts since. At the time, I didn't imagine jogging as something I could do, however.

My first few weeks were focused on short aerobics workouts I'd recorded off ESPN years and years ago. I felt comfortable with The Fitness Pros, since I'd done the workouts all those years back, and they were only about 20 minutes long, easy to integrate into my life three times a week.

I was using to record my calories and faithfully recorded each workout at that site as well. I highly recommend SparkPeople, a FREE website with TONS of tools for learning and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. (Thank you to Marla, for telling me about it!)

After several months, these short aerobics workouts were no longer a challenge, but the weather was rotten and I had no money to join a gym. I started doing aerobics moves in front of the television, while watching a DVD, so as not to get bored. I increased the time gradually until I was working out for 45 minutes three or four times a week.

But Jennifer's constant discussion of her running had niggled its way into my brain. I moved from aerobics in front of the TV to running in place. Then one nice day at the end of May, I stepped outside and started running for real. Wow, running for real is a LOT different than running in place, in case you ever wondered!

I found a quiet place to run and measured off a half-mile loop. At first I jogged a little and walked a little - alternating using the songs on my MP3 player as a guide. (Mostly the soundtrack from High School Musical 3. I know, I know....) I think I began with 3 loops, plus the distance back and forth to my home. After a few weeks, I was running two songs and walking for one. I kept increasing the time jogged, and alternating with walking.

Running two days in a row proved to be more stress than my muscles and joints could take, so currently I jog three days a week. Another friend told me about a local kickboxing class that only costs $1, so I've started going to that two days a week. (If you're local and interested, let me know and I'll give you the details.)

Yes, it's true - Lisa working out FIVE days a week. Who'd have thunk it?

A couple weeks ago, I marked the milestone of running an entire mile without stopping, just about two months after I first ran outside. I am amazed I can do it, thought Jennifer had told me I could! (And now she tells me that she TOLD ME SO. lol) I was logging just about 3 miles in a workout (the distance of a 5K) - alternating jogging half miles and walking quarter miles.

However, last week I realized that my hips were really feeling the strain of so much exercise increased over such a short period of time, so I took four days off to let my joints recover. They felt better after the rest, so Tuesday I did a mile of jogging/walking and today I did the kickboxing class. I'll continue to take it easy this week and next, but I have high hopes that I will be able to resume my 5K training within the next couple weeks.

My goal is to run a 5K without stopping, and once I can do that, I'll find one to run and I won't look back!

Oh, and the health benefits? Those are great - I have more energy and less desire to nosh on unhealthy foods. I've lost 27 lbs, 4 inches off my waist and off my hips, and have gone down two sizes in jeans.

Now, you may be saying, like I did, "Well, that's all fine and good, for HER. But that won't work for me. I'm too busy, too old, too fat, too big-busted, too tired, [insert excuse here]." However, I am telling you - if *I* can do this, YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Really. I had every excuse in the book for years and years. Start small and keep going. You won't be sorry!

And to pull it all together with our home learning perspective, I am hoping to get the kids into running as well. When it was a novelty, Suzy and James each took turns going with me in the mornings. When they realized it was EXERCISE, they decided not to go along. However, I plan to schedule each of them in at least once a week, and Emily too, though she is resistant to the idea. David has been jogging a couple times on his own, as training for his soccer team. So there you go - my kids are learning to have an active lifestyle and so am I!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 17

For Today... August 17, 2009

Outside my window... It's overcast. I hope it doesn't rain on my clothes hanging on the line. My neighbor has a popup camper popped in their driveway; they're going camping later this week.

I am thinking... about donating plasma. The donation center is not very close to home, though. Is the gas money and time trade-off worth the payout?

From the learning rooms... Last week of Sun and Fun. I should probably start doing some lesson plans.

I am thankful for... the nice safe pleasant neighborhood we live in

From the kitchen... Just coffee, thanks.

I am wearing... denim shorts, flowered shirt, still the red toenail polish, hair up in a clip and no makeup

I am reading... Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and still listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. (On disc 30 of 47 CD's!). I know it seems that's all I am reading, but I tend to finish a book on Sunday, so the last thing I read was Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.

I've been watching... The Time Traveler's Wife, 17 Again (and the deleted scenes!)

I am hoping... that I can get back to my regular exercise schedule this week (took a brief break due to some aches and pains)

I am creating... new soccer rosters

I am hearing... 17 Again on the TV. (That was last night. Right now I hear Bob talking to me and James turning pages. Everyone else is STILL asleep!)

Around the house... the girls' room is basically put back together and today we start to tear apart the boys' room - remove everything except furniture, repair dings in the drywall, paint it, and put it back together

One of my favorite things... Having someone ELSE cook

A few plans for the rest of the week... Soccer practices for David and James, a meeting with my homeschool group co-coordinators, maybe some time with friends, finding a job for me and/or Bob

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.
I don't know if this is clear enough, but the previous price of this angel food cake was $2.00. Big savings at Walmart. lol

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Co-op is Starting Soon!

Following Michele's lead, I thought I'd post what my kids will be taking at co-op this coming year. Co-op has four hours this year, instead of five.

David - age 14
1 - World War II
2 - Physical Education
3 - Career Explorations
4 - Star Wars & Philosophy

Emily - age 12
1 - Written and Illustrated
2 - Scrapbooking
3 - Microsoft Apps
4 - Choir

James - age 9 (turning 10)
1 - Odyssey of the Mind
2 - Intro to Lego Robotics
3 - Night at the Museum
4 - Physical Education

Suzy - age 7
1 - Physical Education
2 - All About Me (Human Body)
3 - Hero Classics (famous people)
4 - Project Mania

I'm not teaching at co-op this year since my own career is up in the air at this point, but I do hope to take a Crochet class at co-op. Also, I am in charge of the absences, which is a time-consuming job in which I must make certain that every class has a teacher and enough assistants despite absences.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 11

For Today... August 11, 2009

Outside my window... it's DARK outside, but the LIGHTS ARE ON IN MY HOUSE!!!

I am thinking... that we certainly take our usually uninterrupted electric service for granted. Be thankful!

From the learning rooms... co-op registration!

I am thankful for... the generosity of Bob's brother, who lent us a generator while our power was out

From the kitchen... a lot of spoiled food - time to clean out and start over!

I am wearing... tan capris, red tank top, hair in a clip, red toenail polish (first time I've EVER worn red polish)

I am reading... Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and still listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. (Almost done with PART ONE - it's 47 CD's, people!)

I've been watching... What Not to Wear on DVD, Paul Blart Mall Cop (I did not like it much)

I am hoping... that the scale will show a loss of at least a pound on Thursday to break my plateau

I am creating... a spreadsheet of the class choices of the co-op kids and work assignments of the co-op moms

I am hearing... What Not to Wear on the TV, insects outside

Around the house... the power was off for almost 3 full days and that was VERY VERY disrupting, and now? It's odd to see lights on. lol Oh yeah, and 23 boxes full of soccer uniforms were delivered on Monday right in the middle of the power outage. They are mostly delivered now.

One of my favorite things... Speaking in front of people, sharing things that are important to me

A few plans for the rest of the week... We had co-op registration today, thinking about driving to Lake Huron, baby shower and wedding shower (2 different guests of honor), seeing Time Traveler's Wife?, kickboxing, movie in the park?

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.

That's not a lake.

That's a ROAD.

Yep, that's what the rain caused around here on Saturday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Invented Spelling Grocery List

I dictated a shopping list to James in the car the other night on the way to soccer camp. I dropped him off and headed to the grocery store.

When I looked at the list, this is what I saw.

towelt paper
Diet Croke
Dads water
dish saop

Would you have known what to buy?

The funny thing is: he IS quite good at spelling. Evidently the summer break has been slightly too long! LOL

So, here's what I needed: ICE, water, napkins, toilet paper, Diet Coke, Dad's water (distilled), Kashi, yogurt, taco seasoning, dish soap.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 3

For Today... August 3, 2009

Outside my window... James's bike, the meter reader guy walking across the neighbor's lawn and that neighbor watering his shrubs, our empty recycle bin and trash cans

I am thinking... about the dangers our children face as they get older.

From the learning rooms...Pretty much at a standstill. Maybe I'll offer an incentive this week for Sun and Fun.

I am thankful for... my parents!

From the kitchen... nothing special.

I am wearing... JEANS (can you believe it? Aug 3! Jeans!) and my 'soccer mom' navy blue tee, bare feet with hot pink toenail polish, wet hair that I just cut myself, no makeup yet

I am reading... Everybody's Normal Until You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg and Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (I keep wondering what's so groundbreaking about his stuff; it seems pretty straightforward to me) and still listening to Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. (It's long long long and I don't get too much time for audio.)

I've been watching... King Arthur, Perfect Strangers Season 1, Knowing, Flash of Genius, John Adams Disk 1

I am hoping... that David's missions trip is LIFE-CHANGING in a positive way.

I am creating... an organizational system for the girls' room

I am hearing... an audiobook (Double Fudge?) playing upstairs in James' room, Bob talking and walking back into the kitchen, Emily and Suzy fussing at each other.

Around the house... it's quiet since David is gone on his trip.

One of my favorite things... hearing the leaves rustle in the breeze

A few plans for the rest of the week... James has soccer camp Mon-Fri evenings (Suzy declined to sign up), I plan to take EVERYTHING except furniture out of the girls' room and clean and organize it. If we get a really nice day, maybe we will drive over to Lake Huron or visit the waterpark. Other than that, it's WRITING work this week. And helping Bob with job apps.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.
I decided to look at my cell phone pix and found these I'd forgotten about. At our Family Camp week, friends of ours cooked a turkey like this and invited a bunch to come and share dinner. It was TASTY!