Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living!

There are some days that I wish a camera would follow me around so I can see the footage of just how crazy a homeschooling SAHM's life really is.  It kind of went like this:

5:45 am - alarm goes off.  I usually get up by 6 am but didn't get up until 6:07 at which time I had a headache and just knew I couldn't get kid #5 on the bus by 6:30 am so I stay in bed until 7:24.

7:24 am - I get kid #4 up and lay his clothes out for school and head downstairs to put his breakfast in the toaster, pack his snack, and sign his homework folder.  I pour kid #5 a bowl of cereal.

7:57 am - Leave for bus which I had to drive to the end of the street to get. 

8:10 am - return home to prepare grits and bacon for myself and sit at table to think about what needs to be done for the day.  Begin to wash kid #5's hair in preparation for parent visit later that day and put beans into crockpot to cook for dinner.   I decide to make a doctor's appt for kid #5 (for some issues she is having) and check email. 

9:00 am -12 pm -  call doctor who says the office is booked.  I put on my desperation voice to which she replied that if I could come right away they would see her (kid #5).  I woke kid #1 to watch kid #6 (still sleeping) and headed out to doctor's office.  Waited in receptionist area until close to 10 am but got the prescription I needed and headed to Kohl's (kid #'5's school shoes were on their last leg). First I had to stop at Wawa to get a Caramel Latte.  I  picked up a few items at Kohls and headed to pharmacy to pick up prescription.  There were complications with the insurance so I headed back home to make phone calls and send emails to the social worker regarding the issue.


12:30 - 1 pm - Kid #1 is working diligently in her room.  Kid #2 is listening to an audio book of Jane Eyre and Kid #3 is doing only God knows what.  But they come down for lunch and receive lecture from me on what they should be accomplishing.  Kid #6 had a bomb in his diaper so I took him upstairs for bathing and dressing while Kid #5 watched Dora the Explorer.  First I had to clean the tub that 6 kids share.  After bath time, I return and Kid #5 & 6 want lunch.  I heat up leftovers and fruit.  They want a hotdog but I don't have buns or bread.  Kid #3 wants PB&J so now I have to run to the store to pick up bread and olive oil that Kid #2 needs for a science experiment. 

2 pm - Upon returning from store, I attempt to get Kid #5 & 6 ready for parent visit when social worker calls to say visit has been canceled.  I ask him about the insurance issue which he promises to get back to me on that.  I go downstairs where the dry erase board is located to go over two math problems Kid #2 didn't quite get on her work assignments.  But we couldn't start until she found her math notebook which took about 10  minutes.  I eat some of the soup I made the night before as I wait. 

3 pm - I straighten and pick up in family room and wash my dishes from the morning.  I go upstairs to do some grooming of my own and to make up my bed.  I wash out the conditioner that has been sitting in Kid #5's hair for a few hours.  I sat and groomed her hair with bows and hair band that we picked up from Kohls this morning.  

3:30 pm - We all greet Dad who just got home.  He is hungry so I fix him the rice that I put on a little earlier with smoked sausage and red beans that has been simmering in the crockpot all day with a cornbread muffin from last night's dinner.  

4 pm - Kid #2 and I walk the long way around the community to the bus stop to pick up Kid #4.  We had planned to go to the Y to work out while Kids #3-6 were visiting with their mom but since that didn't happen today we decided to walk instead.  The dog tags along.  When I return the social worker calls with details about prescription coverage and asks for the pharmacy # to get it all straightened out.

5 pm - Kid #4 & 5 are hungry so I prepare #4 the crockpot meal but #5 wants PBJ and an apple.
Then the pharmacy calls and says the prescription is ready.  I head out to get it along with a gallon of milk and some other items at the store. 

6 pm - give a Geometry test that Kid #1 says she is ready to take.  

At least at a traditional 9 to 5 there is a lunch break where you can actually leave everyone else behind and have a little time to yourself.  

Friday, November 16, 2012


One motto I learned from a college auxillary group I belonged to many years ago was "Friendship is essential to the soul"  Oh, how true this is.  I have had the privilege to share in many great friendships throughout my lifetime.  As seasons of life change some of those relationships become distant.  I have a friend who says as we get older it gets harder to find deep friendships like the ones you share when you are younger.

I've been thinking and praying a lot about relationships in the life of my kids.  Princess shared with me this need and the difficulty she faces in connecting with teens her own age.  She says they are shallow and only seem interested in things that are of no substance.  I'm sure this is true.  It is easy to feel guilty and think homeschooling is to blame but I remember her K-7 years when she was in traditional schools.  There weren't many relationships that moved beyond the playground or classroom chatter.

Princess is similar to me in the way she thinks - deeply and introspectively.  She doesn't want to talk about TV shows or stars she wants to talk about life and the future.  I understand that.  I often tell her that college will present a wider pool from which to choose like minded individuals to befriend.  With that in mind, we have to be selective in our college choices.  I pray she can hold on that long (2 years) to find those meaningful connections.

We had house guests over the last two weeks.  The children with us were formerly homeschooled but now attend public school.  Although it got very loud around here with so many kids I know my kids were having a ball.  They had built in social time and they took advantage of every moment.  I asked those kids what they liked better, homeschool or PS.  They all said homeschool.  I said what about all the new friendships you've gained and they all shrugged as if those relationships were really unimportant.  Hmmm....that was surprising to my kids but enlightening.

Our guests left last night and my kids were kind of bummed.  They really looked forward to those talks and social time each evening when they all arrived here from school.  I kind of enjoyed it too.

   friendship scraps, images, quotes graphics for orkut, myspace

Head over to weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers to see what other moms were up to this week.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grace & Truth Books Knights and FairMaidens from Grace & Truth Books is a book that chronicles the courtship of its authors, Jeff & Danielle Myers.  The Myers’ propose a solution to the Christian dilemma of opposite sex relationships – courtship.  Courtship has been a popular topic among Christian groups more recently as the answer to a successful marriage in today’s dating culture.   I believe there is a lot more to making a successful marriage than deciding to abandon dating in favor of courtship.  However, there are some good guidelines outlined in Of Knights and Fair Maidens one can follow in order to steer clear of the pitfalls of modern day dating.  The book can be purchased at the Grace & Truth website for $9.75.  It is written to teens aged 14-19.  I read this book as a parent of a teen girl as I prepare to discuss these issues fairly soon.

According to Myers, Courtship is defined as a guy/girl relationship that leads to marriage.  It focuses on three primary things: accountability, character building, and waiting to develop serious relationships until you are in a position to get married.  I think that is great advice. 

The Myers essentially spent a summer together sharing activities primarily in a group setting before deciding to court.  Initially, there were a few mountain bike rides that they shared alone but they decided to court based on the godly character of the other person, their goals, and the green lights they received from accountability partners. 

Here is some of the advice they give that should govern the courtship relationship:
  1. Accountability to parents.  Here is one quote from the book that rings true, “when you get married, you don’t just marry another person.  You marry a whole family.”  This has implications for both positive and negative outcomes.  I think getting family involved to some degree is important to the well being of the relationship.
  2. Activities.  I love the suggestions for activities that help to avoid the “masks” couples wear early in a relationship to impress one another. 
    1. Working together on a missions project helps the couple to observe each other in unusual or stressful situations. 
    2. Refinish a piece of old furniture together.
    3. Plant a garden
    4. Make a fancy dinner together
  3. Stuff to think about/Stuff to talk about.  The Myers suggest that people when people “fall in love” they stop thinking.  They give a list of items to discuss as a couple, a list for the girls and a list for the guys. Following is a just a small sample:
For the girls:
    1. How would you handle child discipline?
    2. Do you know how to plan menus, cook, and serve food?
    3. List ways you can support your husband in his goals?
    4. Interview women for ideas on how they demonstrate love for their husbands. 
For the guys:
a.       What are your expectations for marriage?
b.      Have you visited with any fathers about the responsibilities of raising children?
c.       Do you know how to budget? Save?
d.      Do you know how to fix things that break?

My thoughts:

Here is my favorite quote from the book that sums up the whole matter of courtship versus dating, “the important thing is to be tuned in to what God says in his Word.  Before you decide to get into a relationship, take time to get into the Scriptures and write down the guidelines that ought to surround the relationship.”  Good advice!  I would add to that, Pray, then pray some more. 

Of Knights and FairMaidens in my opinion offers a very idealistic view of courting within a healthy Christian environment.  However, there are many Christian couples whose families don’t have Christian backgrounds. In such cases spending time with family in the courtship process may not be an option.  Family may not offer support if relations are strained or unhealthy (i.e. drug dependence, step family tensions, etc.).  The Myers do offer advice for developing mentor relationships.  Although they say mentors should not take the place of the parental relationship, in real life this may be the only alternative. 

The Myers committed to their courtship without love being a part of the picture.  They feel as though emotions are less reliable than a character assessment.  I agree that our emotions should not rule our intentions to marry but they should be part of the equation in light of the character, goals, etc. 

They end the book by saying “Ultimately, courtship is a change of attitude toward relationships.  The courtship attitude not only alters the way you look for a spouse; it changes the way you treat members of the opposite sex.”  I agree.  This is true whether courting or dating.  Dating doesn’t have to be self-seeking, pleasure-seeking, or characterized by an attitude of emotional and physical gratification as suggested by the Myers.  I don’t agree that dating has to be that at all. 

I believe the big picture is how we govern ourselves in relationships with others.  We should have boundaries that are scripturally based and Holy Spirit led.  There isn’t a one size fits all approach in this area of relationships.  This book offers a lot of great advice that one can incorporate in their approach to relationships no matter what you call it.

See what my other "crew mates" thought of Grace & Truth Books here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Growing Up Wild

When I received the Growing Up Wild DVDs in the mail, I immediately opened the package and the whole family watched both videos in one sitting.  My girls often make fun of my turning every moment into a learning moment.  One pretended that she would rather do dishes than sit and watch a “school” video but when I looked toward the kitchen sink she was all eyes on the TV.  By the end of the video, she said “I like these.” 

It is very fitting that our history focus this year is on Countries and Cultures.   There is a huge slant toward missionaries in our studies.  We are actually reading one missionary biography now.  Reviewing these videos was such a wonderful addition to our studies. are 5 volumes in the Growing Up Wild series featuring the Wild missionary family who minister to the Wanu people in Indonesia.   We received Volumes 1 and 4 to review.  Each video includes 3 – 15 minute segments for a total viewing time of 45 minutes for each Volume.  Volume 1  includes segments on the Wild family home, their water and power supply, and how they receive provisions in the remote area in which they live. 4 includes segments on the animal species that live in the jungle, the Wano Culture, and the missionary work done there.  I really wish something like this existed for more areas where missionary families serve.  It really gives you a first hand look at the day to day lives of missionary families.  Each segment ends with a scripture focus and a challenge for every Christian to consider how they live their lives and to make sure what we do counts for Christ.  Love that!You can purchase all 5 videos for $80.95 or each volume for $18.95.  Activity Guides are included with the DVDs.  They include activities to “go deeper” and really learn the ways of the missionary lifestyle.  There are also simple activities to help remind us to appreciate all of God’s blessings including nature and science.  One such activity included keeping track of all the food your family eats including the price of that food.  Then plan how much you will need to buy for a 3 month supply much like the Wild family does. 

A few thoughts:
I would advise parents with young children to view the videos first before showing them to their kids.  In many third world countries wearing little to no clothing is common.  There were a few shots that caught me off guard but nothing close to vulgar.  It is definitely within the context of living in the jungle.  One should just know that it is there – brief bare bottoms in adults and bare fronts in young male children. 

Also one scene left all of our mouths hung open as I was caught off guard watching a common house cat eat a nice sized mouse.  I have all girls so it may go over differently in a home with all boys.  My husband definitely got a kick out of that footage.

I really like the packaging of these videos.  It is very professionally packaged.  That may not be very important to many but I like it.  I would suggest to the Wild family to have their videos included with a packaged curriculum provider that has a cultural study especially one that focuses on missions. 

See what my other "crew mates" thought of Growing Up Wild here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Home School High

I am so proud of my 10th grader Princess.  She has an incredible work ethic and she is so responsible.  I am also excited about her future.  While she works diligently on her studies, I am constantly researching ways to make sure she is prepared for every future opportunity.  

We visited our first college fair this week at the local community college.  She was really impressed with one admissions representative we spoke to.  The rep spoke very enthusiastically about her school and made us like it.  But it is a small school with a population of 745.  Too small for my tastes but it made me realize how influential a rep can be for a school.  We also got a chance to speak with an academic advisor for the community college since Princess will take a few classes next year through dual enrollment.  We peaked into a few classes that were in session and it left us feeling pretty excited about next year. 

Another exciting thing this week was getting Princess' first Literature paper graded by a community college ENG 101 professor.  I'd been looking into resources for having outside grading done for papers this year when I stumbled across a college professor who frequents TWTM forums.  She was willing to grade Princess' papers at the agreed upon rate we discussed.  She sent me her resume and a copy of her college faculty ID as verification of her qualifications.  I sent her a copy of the first paper by email and by snail mail along with a check for the fee.  Her written evaluation of Princess' paper was worth her fee (which is inexpensive to begin with) 10X over.  It was chocked full of detail on ways to improve the paper and kudos for the things she did well.  She used her classroom rubric and scored the paper a 89%.   Princess was very excited with the feedback.  So was I.  I am so pleased with this arrangement and with having "outside" evaluation of her writing skills.

What else is working well?

Weekly lesson sheets - my diligence in giving the girls these sheets every Monday morning is working wonders for keeping us all on track. - I did a review of this product a few weeks back.  Princess looks at a video segment each week.  She does the online quiz, and crossword puzzle and I encourage her to use the new words in literature papers in conversation.  I am also learning new words.  Quite often I comment on how assiduous Princess has been with her studies. :)

I pray that all of this diligence will pay off at PSAT and SAT time!

This is the first time I am linking up with theDaisyHead and Home School High.  




Related Posts with Thumbnails