Sunday Journal: Just Another Week in Paradise

Littlest and his history book.

Littlest and his history book.

I just drank a pina-colada the size of a rainstorm so this might be a bit rambly. You’ve been warned.

Well, the drink was mostly pineapple juice. Vitamin C for the day (or possibly the week)–all taken cake of. I indulged in my weekly cocktail too early tonight. Now that the massive (maybe not that massive) storm has passed I would like to go on my evening walk. But since I might be too sociable with the neighbors due to my rum infused beverage…maybe I’ll just stay in for the evening.

poetry tea time

poetry tea time

Yesterday my husband and I got to go out together for the first time alone since December. That was nice until I got sick. So that kinda sucked. Our time together was great albeit short lived. Maybe we can do that again sometime before Christmas (without the sickness this time). He did get me a totally cool bulletin board made out of rulers while we were out. I plan to use it as a vision/intuition board in the school room. A little place to post prayers and ideas and such.

birthday cake

birthday cake

Sparkles made and decorated a birthday cake for Shannon (my husband-her Daddy) this week. While she prepared the cake I made the cream cheese icing. He opened a few gifts and we had a nice little family night.

Sparkles decorating cake

Sparkles decorating cake

I’m gonna brag on Sparkles for a moment. When she first started taking her medication she complained constantly. I thought this was going to be a real battle with her. However, she completely took charge of her pill regimen. She learned which pills (10 pills daily plus a fiber powder) she needs to take and started taking care of herself. I wasn’t expecting this much independent self-care from her so soon. I still check-up with her daily just to make sure…but she took responsibility just a bit quicker than I anticipated. We will

Sparkles making cake

Sparkles making cake

all be glad once she goes off the steroids since they affect her moods and eating habits but otherwise we are very happy with her body’s response to the medication. She isn’t so miserable anymore and her pain is clearing away. We meet with her doctor again in a couple of weeks for a follow-up and I hope to get more of our questions answered about UC.

School is swimming along just perfectly. Sometimes we have

Littlest learning piano from Oldest

Littlest learning piano from Oldest

some drama filled moments but overall the year is off to a great start. We are quickly approaching our first project week and I’ll have to get the shopping done for everyone soon. I figure the project week will either be great or a total disaster…probably a combination. Our first of five terms is nearly completed. Are we “behind schedule?” You bet! Do I care? Not one bit!

dew drop on Sunday morning

dew drop on Sunday morning

On a personal note–I actually prayed this week (the Jesus Prayer with my old Rosary) and even read a passage or two from the Bible (from Job—as if I even have the grace to understand that book!!). I’m not really sure that I addressed my prayer to the Christian concept of God but I broke my stubborn silence anyway. I’m still finding my way in the murkiness but at least

little bug with my macro lens

little bug with my macro lens

the red-hot pissed-off anger has passed. My husband and I did discuss looking for a church after the Labor Day holiday. I assured him that wherever he and the kids decide is best I will follow along and promise to be polite. I want my family to be happy and the older three have all expressed to me their need to return to church in their own way. Personally, I am open to exploring other avenues of expressing spirituality. Our world and all of the cultures that exist herein are so vast and fascinating; I have the desire to explore them all.

It is amazing out there…

 

 

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Sunday Journal: Kentucky Moments and Best Gift

watching the parade from home

watching the parade from home

Kentucky’s Gubernatorial Inauguration was this week. We watched a program on state history and then viewed the parade on live television. In general politics does not interest me. This week’s event interested me for two reasons: our Lieutenant Governor is Jenean Hampton an African-American woman (a first for this state) and our governor is a homeschooler. While we watched the parade and listened to the speeches we discussed the significance of the events.

Oldest at Rupp Arena

Oldest at Rupp Arena

My husband was given a couple of tickets to go to the UK-EKU game at Rupp Arena. In case you do not know, basketball is THE SPORT in Kentucky and Rupp Arena is holy ground. Oldest went with my husband and had a marvelous time. They were high up in the stands and couldn’t see much. I’m not sure that mattered much to Oldest, he was at Rupp. Awesome-sauce for him and I’m glad it wasn’t me!

all dressed up for an evening out

all dressed up for an evening out

This weekend my husband and I attended his workplace’s Christmas party. The party was at a casino about an hour or so north. I had never been to a casino before so everything was new and fun to me! The dinner was fantastic. The crème brulee and cookies also fantastic! I enjoyed meeting several of my husband’s co-workers and their spouses. We walked around the casino and I won a few bucks on the slot machine! The night was fabulous

Littlest refused to let go

Littlest refused to let go

and to top it all off…it was also my birthday. The best gift of the evening was the gift of time. Our friend stayed the night with the kids and spoiled them silly. Without her we could not have enjoyed that time together. This was the first time in eleven years of marriage we have ever spent the night away from our children. The kids had so much fun I think they were a little disappointed to see us! Littlest begged her not to leave.

Thank you for the gift of yourself Lady C!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: October Rain and Poetry

Oldest on a little road trip with Daddy

Oldest on a little road trip with Daddy

The rain poured the first part of the week and intermittently the rest of the week. We did find one dry-ish afternoon to wander down to the river. After two and a half solid days and nights of rain the river was swollen and raging. The roaring of the rapids was constant making it impossible for me to hear anyone unless they were right next to me. So I didn’t hear much of the family’s conversations. Littlest in his Indiana Jones hat tagged along with Oldest most of the time. Middle boy constructed a boat with an old hollowed out small log and some

Littlest at the river with his Indiana Jones hat

Littlest at the river with his Indiana Jones hat

leaves. My husband had to throw it into the water for him to get it into the rapids. Sparkles bounced about and fussed over the poison oak and Littlest getting out of sight. She worried too much. I was hoping not to pass that part of my nature onto any of the children…sigh.

I climbed out as far as I could into the river on dry rocks. Since I couldn’t hear that well I just watched the water flow. I took pictures of anything and everything. The kayakers were fun to watch in the rapids. A couple of them even went back upstream so they could rush through the rapids a second time.

Poetry Tea Time

Poetry Tea Time

On Periscope Julie Bogart hosted a Poetry Tea Time. She read poems to us and talked about teaching children to appreciate poetry. The last poem she read brought me to tears. Naturally, that was the moment my husband arrived home from work! On Tuesday the kids and I enjoyed our first Poetry Tea Time in the new house. I still haven’t unboxed my favorite books of poetry so we looked through the books on hand and read anything that looked like a poem. Oldest chose to

Julie Bogart

Julie Bogart

read Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. Sparkles and Middle Boy read from Shel Silverstein. He is one of my childhood favorites and I had to read a few of those aloud too. Littlest picked out a Dr. Seuss book and I read that one aloud too while we sipped tea (or juice). I made cinnamon scones for the occasion and they turned out pretty good. I had never made scones before and found them easy to throw together at the last-minute. I made this recipe from Serious Eats blog.

Littlest's birthday

Littlest’s birthday

Wednesday, Littlest turned five!! Where have the years gone? How can he be five already?! I baked his cake that morning and then while the kids and I were at church my husband decorated it for him. Littlest requested an Angry Bird cake with King Piggy and Bomb Bird. He couldn’t wait

happy he blew out all of his candles

happy he blew out all of his candles

to get home to see his birthday cake and told everyone at church the very same thing.

The kids and I also rearranged the school room. We didn’t like the writing board blocking the window. My husband put up the blinds but we’ll likely keep them open most of the time. I still need to get the maps on the wall, a carpet, a

new set up for the school room

new set up for the school room

storage ottoman for our art and science gear and some valances to soften the window. The room needs some color. I spend a chunk of my day in there. I need beauty and color. Maybe even a nice art print above the computer…

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Halloween was this weekend. Oldest stayed home with me this year to pass out candy. I was a bit sad that he didn’t want to go Trick or Treating. He did say he might go next year. All the kids were talking about going as Doctor Who characters this year and making their costumes. But that is a year off and I’m sure they will change their minds a dozen times before next Halloween.

coffee shop

coffee shop

This Sunday morning was lazy. I really wanted to stay in bed and just skip church. But I didn’t. Middle Boy and Littlest were out of bed way before the rest of us. They had already had breakfast and were knee-deep in Legos before I opened my eyes! Middle Boy took care of his little brother this morning and I am sooo grateful!

the roses

the roses

I took the crew to their Sunday School classes and then went for a walk. I wasn’t in the mood to be the new person in class this morning. I explored the area around church, found an open coffee shop and took lots of pictures. Other than church bells, downtown was mostly quiet. I found a few places I’d like to browse through during open hours. I think just walking around there with my husband would be an excellent date night…just need to find a sitter.

20151101_103329 (480x640)I walked back in time to collect the kids from their classes and go to Sunday service. Today was All Saints Day. The pastor handed out lovely white roses to family in remembrance of church members who had died the past year. I cried for the widows and remembered the lovely people I knew who passed away this year. I tried to hide my tears but then just wept openly when a bag-piper slowly marched through the congregation playing Amazing Grace. I cry every time I hear that song on bagpipes.

I didn’t realize how full our week was until I went through the pictures.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday Journal: In Between

the empty school room...I cried

the empty school room…I cried

I am so very glad the moving away part of this adventure is now in the past. The week was hard for me…for all of us. Sparkles cried nearly every day. Several times Littlest was curled up on the floor clutching his Doggy and sucking his thumb. He took his anger out on the movers a couple of times! Fortunately the three men that spent nearly four days packing our things were kind and understanding.

Everyday this past week friends visited, brought us lunch, or invited us over for dinner. I am richly blessed with beautiful friends. Lovely people who accept me just as I am with all of my flaws. I missed them before I ever left their presence…

the movers arrive

the movers arrive

As the movers packed everything away I watched my home turn into an empty house. That hurt. I’ve always been happy to move in the past. New adventures, places and faces. I thought this house would be my forever home on this earth…at least until the children were grown and gone. I grew so much in my faith…and as a woman. I became stronger and more vulnerable. I found a best friend…a unique love I have never experienced before. I grew here and dared to spread roots for the first time in my life…so no wonder leaving is painful.

I would not change these experiences for the world.

Last night I left my home and followed my husband’s Mustang to Lexington…to our lovely “home between home”. At one point he lost me on the trip. I got caught up in traffic and mini-vans do not hug curves like Mustangs. I totally freaked out and cried…and cried. I knew the way to

We love you Suzann

We love you Suzann

the apartment but freaked out anyway. He didn’t leave me behind and slowed down until I could catch-up. He is amazing and puts up with my insecurities with loving patience. I just adore him.

This week I finally get to see the new house! I am looking forward to walking through the door. I haven’t been inside of it since I was sure I wouldn’t choose to live there!! My husband has sent pictures all month of the progress. This week the house should be done! I hope to see the movers again before the week is out…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Caroling and Forty-Two

company Christmas party

company Christmas party

I think I will go on strike if next December is as busy as this one…

Last Friday was my birthday…forty-two years. Our older three went to a program at church that evening leaving just Littlest with us. I almost had my husband to myself! He took Littlest and me out to a hibachi restaurant for dinner. Littlest was very entertained by all of the fire and theatrics of our chef!!! I enjoyed my birthday dinner out very much.

Littlest and one of his big girls

Littlest and one of his big girls

The weekend was busy and went by in a blur. On Saturday my husband took Oldest to observe a Lego Robotics competition with the technology club. They will be involved in the Lego Robotics League and competitions beginning in the spring. As soon as they returned home we headed to my husband’s workplace for a Christmas party for the kids. Mrs. Clause told Sparkles that Santa would prefer we leave out my homemade applesauce in place of cookies on Christmas Eve. Sparkles couldn’t believe she knew all about our vanilla applesauce. I get the feeling we’ll be doing this every year now. I also happen to know that Mrs. Clause makes some really tasty jams and jellies!  On Sunday we enjoyed the Christmas Cantata

best fried chicken ever!!!!

best fried chicken ever!!!!

at church and then I went to lunch with the ladies group. I was nervous going out with the group because I am not very good at small talk. I do not mind listening but participating is sometimes tiring. I admire people who have the skill to converse. Eventually someone asked about homeschooling and then I talked too much…because my kids are my passion. I love homeschooling them! (I’m also passionate about my husband, my faith, and green smoothies…that’s about it these days.) I try not to talk about homeschooling in-depth because I know most people are only superficially interested. Hopefully, I didn’t bore the ladies too much. I got home just in time for my husband to start making dinner. This week he finally perfected his fried chicken recipe. I thought he had accomplished it the previous week…but no.

my birthday dinner

my birthday dinner

We went caroling with our church family on Wednesday night (after I had fasted for most of the day for a doctor’s appointment). I really wasn’t in the mood to go at first but the older three really wanted (begged with sweet smiles and I just could not disappoint them) to participate. I’m glad we went. All that Christmas cheer dissipated my grumpiness. The last time I went caroling was twenty years ago at a hospital in Alton. We sang Silent Night in German…my ability to pronounce German is far worse than my singing voice. That is saying something y’all!!!

Littlest's preschool class with Santa Clause

Littlest’s preschool class with Santa Clause. He is in the white vest.

Today, we went to Littlest’s preschool Christmas party. He must be a bit of a cut-up in class. He made silly faces for all of the pictures and his teacher said she would not be surprised if he ended up on Saturday Night Live. We were also told he likes to hang upside down while watching programs. Nice…

In school this week we wrapped up our studies for break. We are not schooling much the next couple of weeks. The crew will be working on some art and writing projects. I will be evaluating the first half of the school year and planning out our year-long nature study of the back yard. I also decided to give Littlest a Kindergarten readiness exam. He thought the test was fun and wanted to do another. He scored an 82 (out of

Littlest

Littlest

100) and only needed 58 points to be considered ready for Kindergarten. I called the homeschool department at Christian Light Education to talk to an advisor. She asked me several questions about his abilities and discussed the readiness test results with me. She thought it best that he start Kindergarten right away instead of waiting until preschool let out. I was prepared to order their entire Kindergarten program but she said he didn’t need all the books based on what he already knows. Every time I talk to representatives of this company my respect grows. They were more concerned with providing what we needed than making a sale.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Autumn’s Arrival

finally enjoying some birthday cake

finally enjoying some birthday cake

We had a very busy and highly anticipated weekend. On Friday we only put in a half day of school. We then spent the rest of the time cleaning…well the kids cleaned. I worked in the kitchen making cake and icing for Littlest’s birthday. After tucking the kids in for the night I went off to slay a dragon or two (this mom plays the occasional video game) while my amazing husband spent a few hours in the kitchen creating cake art…Littlest’s Olaf birthday cake. Every year his cake designs impress us and every year he tells me how

my husband painting the snowman arms

my husband painting the snowman arms

much he dislikes working in the medium I provide for him…buttercream frosting. I think a celebration cake should not only be beautiful to the eyes but delicious as well. Maybe there exists another icing as yummy as buttercream…but I have serious doubts on the matter. Littlest couldn’t wait to eat his cake and couldn’t really understand why he had to wait for company to arrive before indulging. It was his cake!

Middle Boy. Sparkles and Littlest in the children's choir

Middle Boy. Sparkles and Littlest in the children’s choir

On Sunday all of the children participated in Children’s Sabbath. I anticipated this day most of all. Sparkles helped lead an opening prayer, Littlest played the handbells (ok…I may have mentioned this a few too many times by now!), and everyone sang in the choir. Well, everyone sang except for Littlest. Most of the time he just stared at the congregation. Sometimes he amused himself by jumping off the steps or trying to play with his sisters dress. Sparkles managed to keep her composure throughout the ordeal without missing a beat and keeping the color of her undergarments a secret. Sunday night we returned to church for a Fall Harvest (or whatever it was called) for supper, costume parade and “truth and treating”.

Sparkles assisting with opening prayers

Sparkles assisting with opening prayers

I was a bit overwhelmed by all that socializing over the weekend so we only worked on math and a double lesson in geography. I then handed the kids a See the Light art DVD and let them go through all of the lessons in one go! They begged me the rest of the week to repeat the same schedule but I opted to be a responsible parent. I got very little sleep Monday night due to illness. I ended up sleeping in the recliner so my husband could get some undisturbed sleep. Whatever I had (or

Autumn's Arrival

Autumn’s Arrival

maybe ate?) cleared up quickly enough and I decided to continue on with schooling anyway despite being really tired and queasy. I could hardly believe the view outside my window once the sun rose on Tuesday morning. The trees in our back yard that were green the day before were in their full autumn glory!  Perhaps there was a tint of color to them before but I failed to notice through business. I never want to be so engrossed in my own affairs I neglect the beauty of God’s creative expression in the changing of the seasons.

Today the boys collected branches for the Jesse tree along with pinecones and acorns for Thanksgiving projects. The crew also received their Christmas songs from their music teacher. Pretty soon Advent will arrive and we will be reading about the prophecies of the Suffering Servant and the birth of the Christ Child. Our Bible lessons are currently leading up to the Crucifixion. We have spent this week and will spent the next two weeks on the events of Holy Week. We will then spend the next three weeks learning about Christ’s death and resurrection. I thought about pausing our Bible studies until January. I won’t. I think they will understand more about their faith if we continue.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Birthday Boy

blowing out candles

blowing out candles

Today Littlest is four years old. We celebrated his birthday over the weekend with family. He also participated in Children’s Sabbath at church where he played the handbells. He spent his time jumping instead of singing during choir. I am sure his teachers are thrilled to know that he sings the songs they taught him very well…at home. Littlest especially liked dressing up as Batman for the fall harvest celebration.

Happy Birthday Littlest!