Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - October 31

Outside: A lovely fall day but COLD

Sounds: Clock ticking, furnace running, and candy calling shrilly "lisalisalisalisa"

Home: HUGE piles of candy

Projects: NaNoWriMo is all I can handle for November

Pondering: my crazy main character named Marjorie

Teaching: Writing (novel writing, to be exact)

Gratitude: To have such wonderful parents! Love you, Mommy and Daddy!

Recipes: Planning to use the slow cooker a lot. Was given a HUGE roast, so will be serving that up!

Duds: jeans, long johns, squareneck multicolored top, grey hoodie over top, slippers and no socks (and my feet are cold)

Reads: Gone with the Wind (on audio) and Ann Rule's new true crime book.

Vids: The Lake House (man, I love that movie), an episode of Blue Bloods (a fav of sis Janet and mom),

Hopes: that I can manage my time wisely over the next 30 days - write 50K, work 88 hours (or possibly up to 110), get everyone where they need to be, keep the groceries stocked and the food plentiful.

Love: getting lost in my writing

Plans: Working 4-5 hours M-F, 1 last soccer game, a homeschool meeting/write-in, another write-in, co-op Friday, a movie night with the teens, and other stuff too..... Just text me. lol

Pic: David/Ted at the Circle K

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day Off

So.... I bet you're wondering what our "day off" of lessons actually looks like.

This week, I scheduled our "day off" on Wednesday since I knew that would work best with the schedule. Usually it's a Friday though.

David was asked to do some computer networking at a small private school. A friend volunteers there because her daughter attends. This is the 3rd day David has worked on their computer lab. He is getting all the computers in the lab connected to the internet. So, that's David's day. (He reports that the computer lab is all set up now. And yes, he got paid!)

Emily had a field trip today with some other teen girls. Her "beautiful you" class at co-op had free makeovers scheduled and then lunch out! This is great for her - time out with agemates and practice with life skills (choosing food and ordering for herself in a restaurant).

James and Suzy had a lazy morning. We dropped Emily off, then they watched a Bionicle movie James had requested from Netflix. Then he was recruited to pick some butternut squash from a local farmer's field to be donated to a food bank. He was gone for several hours doing that. He was treated to a McFlurry and pizza while he was gone. He brought back a whole bunch of squash that I have been challenged (yeah, you know who you are!) to cook and eat.

That left only Suzy at home with me. That happens so rarely I was taken aback. Then we decided to have SPA DAY. She had gotten a manicure/pedicure science kit. I know - sounds weird. We had to mix up all the components for the hand soak, scrub, and lotion. V. cool. We did our hands and feet, buffed our fingernails and painted our toenail. I also curled her hair. She loved it all!

I also got 4.25 hours of work done during the day, scrubbed the stovetop and cleaned under it, scrubbed a wall, hung out 2 loads of laundry and brought them in (they dried in record time due to the wind). I read a couple chapters of Gone with the Wind. Then I got dinner ready and headed out to a book sale with a friend, picking up David on the way.

Now I'm home with my box of books, settling in to do my last 45 minutes of work for the evening.

[Oh yeah, forgot to say that I also made three phone calls that I have been procrastinating for a long time. One of them since JULY. lol]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - October 24

Outside: Was sunny earlier, but is now overcast and 68. (The day turned sunny and GORGEOUS - a jewel of an autumn afternoon.)

Sounds: Bob and David talking, Christian music playing, James and Emily doing dishes

Home: Carving pumpkins today

Projects: getting prepared for NaNoWriMo

Pondering: how to balance the needs of each family member in finding just the right church setting

Teaching: Same old, same old?

Gratitude: David wants to play soccer again next year! He had a good season!

Recipes: Fried chicken legs, ummmm.....

Duds: brown pants, brown embroidered top, brown socks, loafers, and makeup

Reads: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen (audio) and Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell (memoir on friendship)

Vids: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (at the party, talking the whole way through! LOL), most of Luther (with Joseph Fiennes, about Martin Luther), Moonlight Serenade (not worth it, despite Amy Adams), an episode of MI-5 season 7

Hopes: David and I have a plan for a how-to book.

Love: walking with a good friend on a sunny afternoon

Plans: Working 4-5 hours M-F, Soccer games for 2 of the 4, gymnastics, Emily field trip,

Pic: Will the real Ted please stand up?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Choosing Kids' Activities

Something about standing in the shower makes me think. Maybe it's the fact that I really can't multi-task in there. LOL So, the other day, I was mulling something over in the shower.

I was wondering why parents give their kids so much choice over their activities. I don't intend to offend anyone here, so please reserve your judgment.

My kids don't get much choice over their extracurricular activities, nor over their curriculum - at least not in cases where I have a strong opinion. I know many families handle this differently, but for us? I feel that we as parents have the better perspective, including the wisdom to look back over our own choices and see where we might have chosen better. We also understand our schedules, our wallets, and our willingness (or non-willingness, as the case may be) to drive all over the county (or even the state!).

I don't have the sort of kids who want to sign up for everything. In fact, if I didn't sign them up for sports, art class, field trips, camp, etc..., then probably they'd just sit home. That's not acceptable to me. I want them to have cultural experiences, to be active, to make friends, to learn about the world.

As an example, probably only one, maybe two, of my kids would choose to play soccer if left to their own devices. But all 4 are playing this year. All have played soccer most years since they were five or six. The years they did not play, we ended up regretting the choice. Soccer works well for us, but it might not be the best choice for your family. My point is not to go sign your kids up for soccer, but find what works for your family and insist upon it.

This fall I've signed three of my kids up for gymnastics without even asking them. I want them to do something active over the winter since they won't have soccer to keep them moving and our climate is not conducive to a lot of outdoor activities from December through February (or more!). Other things we've tried over the winter haven't worked well for us, but I have high hopes for this. Anyway, my point is - I made the choice. They were not consulted.

At some point, kids must learn to manage their own time, desires, and money. I offer my older children a little more autonomy, as long as acceptable alternatives are explored. For instance, David chose not to do our monthly art class anymore. I required him to continue to explore artistic concepts on his own and he has. However, he also requested not to play soccer several years ago, so I gave him an alternative - be sure to include physical activity in your schedule two or three times a week in good weather. Just like soccer would require, you know? Did he do this? No, he did not. So he ended up back in soccer.

Some of you may be thinking - that wouldn't work for us. The kids wouldn't do it. Well, mine aren't usually happy about the idea either. Oh well. An opportunity for attitude adjustments.

They'll thank me later. Right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sketch Tuesday Report

Harmony Art Mom's blog presents a weekly Sketch Tuesday challenge that we are participating in this year as a component of our art curriculum.

Two weeks ago, participants were to sketch something you drink. All the kids completed this one quickly. Here is the Flickr collection of all the submitted drawings from that challenge.Suzy's drawing is the "cover" illustration! Here are the other kids' submissions: DAVID, EMILY, JAMES.

Last week, participants were asked to sketch something you would see in an art museum. Here is the slideshow and links to each of our drawings: EMILY, JAMES, SUZY. (David did a sketch but it was not done in time to submit. His was a nice sketch of medieval armor and weaponry.)

Want to participate? Go HERE for this week's challenge. Then send your drawings to her in email and she'll include them in the slideshow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soccer Pictures 2010

David - Faith Falcons Homeschool Boys Fall Soccer
Emily - AYSO U14 Girls Travel Soccer - Renegades
James- AYSO U12 Co-ed Soccer - Dryden Team 1
Suzy - AYSO U10 Co-ed Soccer - Dryden Team 1

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - October 17

Outside: Going to be 60 today and SUNNY!

Sounds: old praise and worship audio cassette

Home: Replaced one large computer desk in the living room with a small table since Bob got us a couple flat screen monitors. No more huge computer monitors for us!

Projects: Costumes! Still!

Pondering: a NaNoWriMo idea - something different?

Teaching: James has a nature field day scheduled this week.

Gratitude: thankful for a lovely lunch with two college friends this week.

Recipes: Cake truffles - yummmmmmmmmy!

Duds: Jeans, pink long sleeved tee, socks, wet hair

Reads: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen (audio) and The Exile by Diana Gabaldon.

Vids: Iron Man 2 (second viewing, with Donna), Gone with the Wind (1st half at book club), Babies (loved it! But there was a lot of breastfeeding-type nudity, so be forewarned.)

Hopes: that Bob can find a car he likes within our budget

Love: going to be a broken record and again say - LOVE MY BOOK CLUB! Love my Rollickers!

Plans: Working 4-5 hours M-F, Soccer practices and games for 3 of the 4, co-op, Bill & Ted party

Pic: I would put a pic here of David and the change he's made in his appearance but he's asked me to wait! So, imagine what might be different about him. LOL

Monday, October 11, 2010

Project RED

Project RED is offered by the local Farm Bureau for local 3rd graders every fall. Suzy is my last 3rd grader, so last Tuesday I hopped in the van with her, picked up a friend's son, and headed to the fairgrounds. There were around ten presentations by local farmers and educators covering everything from sheep shearing to the importance of growing corn. They got a goodie bag to take home, as well as some popcorn and an ice cream sandwich to eat there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - October 10

Outside: Going to be almost 80 today and SUNNY!

Sounds: Absolute quiet. How'd THAT happen?

Home: I put down some grass seed last weekend, but it doesn't seem to have taken. Shouldn't it be sprouting already?

Projects: Costumes!

Pondering: Choosing a church. It's hard. And I am not even feeling like I want to attempt it.

Teaching: A field trip this week to the state capitol and the state historical museum.

Gratitude: Thankful for such GORGEOUS indian summer weather!

Recipes: Marshmallows roasted to golden brown.

Duds: Jeans, burgundy tee, blue sweater, polka dot socks, wet hair

Reads: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Vids: Iron Man 2 (FINALLY! Now I need to watch it again. It was GOOD!) & Temple Grandin (EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT! You should watch it too. I think Claire Danes is my new favorite actress.)

Hopes: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

Love: Pita chips!

Plans: Working 4-5 hours M-F, Soccer practices and games for all, field trip to state capitol, ROLLICKING READERS BOOK CLUB (can't wait! the highlight of my month!)

Pic: This is Suzy playing against some of Emily's teammates during some downtime at the tournament yesterday. The one nearest her said she was "scared" of Suzy. LOL

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Please take the time to read this article on bullying and then share some or all of it with your children. Even if they are educated at home, they need to hear this. They have friends and neighbors and cousins that can be affected. Or they may be affected themselves in some area of their own lives.

Thank you to Single Dad Laughing for sharing his story.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sketch Tuesday

I found Harmony Art Mom's blog sometime in the summer and decided that we would participate in her Sketch Tuesday challenge.

Last week the assignment was to sketch something that starts with the letter R. Only James and Suzy actually finished the assignment. (David and Emily thought it was babyish, I think, though the finished drawings submitted to the challenge surely do not fit that description.)

Here is the Flickr collection of all the submitted drawings.

James drew a rocket. The photo of it does not show all the shading he did using the technique he learned from Don West.

Suzy drew a scene with rain and ripples in the water.

Want to participate? Go HERE for this week's challenge. Then send your drawings to her in email and she'll include them in the slideshow. My kids already did their drawings for this week - yes, all 4 of them. You'll have to wait until next week to see them though!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - October 3

Outside: 54 and cloudy. We turned the furnace on last night. Made it to October without it - YAY!

Sounds: movie previews on TV from the Letters to Juliet DVD

Home: Gave James Suzy's twin bed. Sorted through the coats and jackets and sweatshirts. Bob put together a small desk we had in storage that we will use for a computer the kids need for lessons. Still hanging laundry on the line.

Projects: Working on the SOF directory and labels for the picture day coming up.

Pondering: what to write this year for NaNoWriMo. The rules say to write an entirely new story (and I'm thinking of doing that, but what?), but I've been asked to expand my Ancient Egyptian novella and maybe I should do that instead. Have YOU signed up yet?

Teaching: Same stuff as before. Oh wait, we are doing Sketch Tuesday this year.

Gratitude: thankful that my Austen class for teens is going well. It seems that the girls (9 of them) are enjoying the books and movies thus far!

Recipes: Going to make quiche this week. Maybe some chili.

Duds: Black yoga pants, grey long sleeved tee, black hoodie, white socks, no makeup

Reads: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Vids: Hackers (movie from the 90's with Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie), Northanger Abbey (with my Austentatious teens), Calvin Marshall (baseball movie with Steve Zahn), Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (in preparation for a party we've been invited to), Letters to Juliet (just sort of watching; saw it in the theater and it wasn't my fav. Not sure why I bothered a second time.)

Hopes: that the soccer tournament Emily's team is in will be a good experience for her.

Love: kickboxing class - if you live near me, you should come join us on Wednesday mornings. It's only $1!

Plans: Working 4-5 hours M-F, Soccer practices and games for all & a tournament for Emily, co-op, a Big Ten Party (10-10-10)

Pic: James made this burger from Bendaroos. Pretty awesome-looking, eh? If you want to see all its parts, click HERE.

Fortune cookies

For my birthday, we went out to our nearby Chinese buffet restaurant. Thought I'd share our fortunes with you. (Of course, they are only for fun. I don't put any stock in what they say, especially after reading MINE. Considering I was in one of the worst moods of the month, if you know what I mean.)

Lisa - Today, your charm will have them singing like birds. (ROFL)
Bob - Chill while you can, big project is coming your way. (Hope it's a new job.)
David - Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.
Emily - To have peace is to increase fortune and longevity.
James - Truth is what stands the test of experience. (What does that even MEAN?)
Suzy - What you will do matters. All you need is to do it. (Sounds like Galadriel's words to Frodo, eh?)