Monday, August 29, 2011

Random blathering about time. Or the lack thereof.

I feel like there is no time. No time for anything lately. School has completely overwhelmed me the past two weeks. I feel like I have no time to go to the store. No time to take a shower. (don't worry, i find the time ;-) ) No time to fold laundry or sweep the floor. No time to work. No time to play. No time to relax.
Not to worry. I'm not going to quit homeschooling or anything. I just haven't quite found my balance yet. It takes time. I wasn't as prepared this year as I was last. And then some changes in our curriculum have made it harder to find a good groove.
The thing with the school from my last post: It's not really anything. I'm not going to quit the charter school. The thought has crossed my mind only because sometimes the reasons behind me wanting to homeschool, but yet still going through a 'public school', sort of clash. I want my kids to have a love of learning and sometimes the school would rather focus on spitting out mindless information on a standardized test. Those two things in my mind clash.
Anyway it turns out I was right, and our school is being audited because they are trying to get an accreditation from some national school accreditation thingy. Don't ask me LOL! But basically, they're wanting to improve standardized testing scores across the board. So we've had to do a little adjusting in our curriculum to meet their needs. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Its actually good. We're getting some more support (as parents/teachers) in order to meet these goals. So I've been talking a lot with our teacher, ordering new materials, and trying to find a balance in our daily schedules to make sure we get this stuff all in.
Last week I only left the house once. I'm not kidding. Used to we could get our schooling done within a couple hours and then be able to go on a field trip, or to the grocery store or the library in the afternoon. This year so far,with all the extra stuff I've been doing, and the extra curriculum load with two students, I just haven't found the 'smooth' yet. We haven't been finishing school work until about 2:30 and then Pete is home by 3. When he gets home all I want is a break! But yet there's still laundry to fold, dishes to wash, dinner to make...... .....
I also took on the task of a paid photo shoot last week. It was so fun. But now I need to find the time to process the images and get them to the client. I've done 15 so far. I promised her at least 30-40 good images. I guess I'm half done.
Anyway, I did find the time to sit here and write this random post about having no time. In the meantime, my dryer just buzzed, and the kids are ready for their math lessons. I must be off. I'm promising myself that by this time next week I will have a more smoothness to our day-to-day schedule. And maybe I'll start posting pics with my posts again. ;-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 on Tuesday.

1. I made marinated tomato salad to go with dinner tonight. The tomatoes are fresh from our garden. They're tiny and smell like sunshine.
2. I'm the only one in the family who actually likes tomatoes. Funny...we have at least 564 tomato plants in our garden. Huh.
3. We got three new chickens in our coop. They lay green eggs! Would you eat a green egg?
4. I got some shocking news yesterday. Ok I guess it wasn't that shocking. It wasn't necessarily bad news either. Just annoying. Anyway, now I've got to change some things up, homeschooling wise. hmmm.
5. Homeschooling through a charter sometimes feels like being employed by a giant national or statewide corporation. Only.....I don't even get paid.
6. Ditching the charter school all together has seriously crossed my mind.
7. Thursday I have my very first paid photo shoot. I'm totally nervous. And kinda freaking out about it. I really hope it's not foggy.
8. I kinda miss the whole "first day of school" thing. The excitement, the newness, the tears. (from me dropping my baby off at Kindergarten) I guess I only get that experience once.
9. My little Meggsy Beggsy turns 5 on Sunday. Where did this baby go?

10. Who is this big girl?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week one. Done.

We started school this week. I'm not gonna wasn't all giggles and smiles. After a really busy, really fun summer, and coming right off of surgery + recovery, jumping right into school Monday morning wasn't the easiest thing. Jake was the most reluctant and rightly so, I suppose. Monday was his birthday, after all. (don't worry, I didn't make him do too much, plus I decorated our school room and made him a cake! Not to mention the Harry Potter DSi game he got)

But even I forgot how much it work it was for me. I was seriously exhausted by the end of the day, Monday. Poor Megan....I forget this is Kindergarten for her, and she's still little. And though she participated a lot last year, she wasn't really expected to do a whole lot. So by about 3:30 (even though we'd been done for hours by then) she was SO ready for a nap! I can always tell when she just starts cryin' for no reason!

There may have even been an instance one day this week when I threatened: "I WILL SEND YOU BACK TO PUBLIC SCHOOL SO FAST...!!!" I think all homeschooling parents threaten with that at least once a year. :) Even though public school wasn't all that bad for Jake when he went. But unless we move to a better school district, I could never follow through with that threat! Anyway, it took a day or two to get into a groove, but we ended on a high note. I think we're all more prepared for the weeks to come.

We ended the week today with mostly games and projects. I liked that. The kids, of course liked it too. It brought everything we worked on during the week together. The project above was something I got from here.
I haven't received our science curriculum yet, so for now I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants. I'm really looking forward to NOT having to do that anymore! However, I did want to share these fantastic books I got at Costco yesterday. I'm a HUGE fan of the kids book section at Costco. Especially this time of year (when they start getting the Christmas stuff out O_o ) they usually have some great finds. If you look at the top picture, on the right, I've got those 10 tall skinny books. That's what I picked up yesterday. I think they were 5 books for $12--something. They're all science related, from space, to the human body, inventions etc.. The 2nd set is the animal kingdoms. Each book has 100 facts + quizzes and activities about the subject. Each set also came with a huge, ginormous, too big to fit in my tiny room, but still awesome anyway posters. One of the human body and one of the animal kingdoms. So, if you have a Costco near you, go look and see what you can find. Honestly, if I didn't have a lot of money for science curriculum, I would use these books as a base and then supplement. The pictures are great and really catch the attention of the kids. My two sat down with these yesterday and just poured over them. These books are excellent additions to any science curriculum or kids home library! They are well worth the $12 and some change for a set. In fact, there was one more set I didn't get and I'm going to go back for it!
P.S. Several of the other books in the picture were also Costco finds. I just can't resist a good kids book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This may look like some ordinary sandwich. And I suppose it mostly is. I had some left over bacon (i know...who has leftover bacon??!) and decided the perfect lunch today would be a BLTT. That would be bacon, lettuce, tomato, and turkey. Oh and red onion. Because I love red onion on sandwiches.
Anyway as I stood there gathering my ingredients and waiting for the toaster to pop, I pulled a butter knife out of the drawer for the mayo and all of a sudden I had an instant rush of memory.
My dad loved sandwiches. He took his sandwiches seriously. It was never just PB&J or turkey and cheese. The bread was always toasted. Always Miracle Whip, not mayo. One side of the bread was always mixed: Miracle Whip + yellow mustard. It was always over the top: turkey, cheese, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese....and what ever else sounded good. He even had a special spatula thingy for the spread: a butter knife would never do.
I always told dad he made the best sandwiches. We would joke that he should quit his job and open a sandwich shop in town.
So today as I stood there and spread my own Miracle Whip on my toasted bread and added all my toppings, I couldn't think of anything else but dad. I imagined him making it for me. And I remembered how many times we stood over the little island in the kitchen and made sandwiches together. Funny how such a mundane task can do that to you.
I sat down with my BLTT and enjoyed every bite. Today it wasn't just an ordinary sandwich.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to reality.

Weekend Random.

*On Monday it will be 2 weeks since my surgery. I'm feeling 99% of normal. Every day I feel just a bit better. If I could just bend over without discomfort I'd be 100%

*I never want to have surgery again. I'm fine. It went fine. But anesthesia is just not my thing. Nor is pain. It was a little more than I had expected.

*Monday is also Jake's birthday. He'll be 8. I love him. He's just a really, really good kid. Sometimes I think we expect too much out of him. But he handles it. He's such a help around here.

*Monday is also our first official day of school. I'm ready. I spent all week lesson planning and I'm ready. And excited.

*Just because I totally dig this pic. And cuz she's cute.

*We went to the farmers market this morning. I'm totally loving the one on Grand Ave in Oakland. I actually convinced Pete to come with me...and he loved it! I bought 5 avocados. I can't wait to eat them. Guacamole.

*Oh! AND! My camera...I got a new one. Most of you already know. Canon 60D. So far I'm loving it. Weird, but it's easier to operate than my old Rebel? True story. And full manual is so not as hard as I thought it'd be.

*Looking forward to getting back into a more even schedule with life and blogging and all that.

*Happy weekend!