Sunday Journal: Two Weeks

 

My husband snapped this pic of the Mystery Machine

My husband snapped this pic of the Mystery Machine

Last weekend my mother came in for a visit. My husband had the good sense to run off with a friend to Dallas for the Texas Frightmare Weekend. His travel buddy was none other than Rik of the Hail Ming Power Hour podcast. My fella knows some interesting people. I’m just glad he has someone to go to horror conventions with because there are way too many scary clowns hanging around those places for my peace of mind. However, I must confess, during the times I was alone with my mom the clowns didn’t seem so bad…maybe.

Mom and kids playing Apples to Apples

Mom and kids playing Apples to Apples

I think the kids had a pretty good visit with mom. They played games with her pretty much non-stop. I took several walks, read on the back porch, watch a ton of Star Trek Next Generation and cleaned a bathroom or two. Mostly, I stayed out-of-the-way. Usually, I try to make meals that she likes and such and these acts of goodwill on my part end up with a scolding. Then I get mad and feel…hurt, angry, rejected. So, why bother? I made myself scarce and encouraged the kids to play every game we owned with her.

reading outside waiting for a storm

reading outside waiting for a storm

The couple of times we were alone together were cold, silent and awkward. She passed on some unsolicited parenting and marital advice because I’m such a failure in those areas…

There are brief moments when psychotic clowns seem friendly.

The kids and I spent the past week learning to felt (for a review later this week). We learned to make felt sheets, sew felt, wet felting and needle felting. We had a lot of fun together and basically crammed six weeks worth of art curriculum into one

piggy

piggy

week. I liked the needle felting and even made a piggy from Angry Birds for Littlest. I would have enjoyed it more if the wool didn’t make me feel like ripping the skin of my palms. Oh so itchy!!! I did happen to snap a priceless picture of Oldest just as he stabbed himself with the needle pen! Sweet!

Our school lessons are beginning to wrap up. Oldest has a paper to write on Columbus and he will be finished with medieval history. This academic year is quickly wrapping up. We are already starting to work on our plans for our medieval feast. Our most exciting news is that we will also wrap

Oldest painting

Oldest painting

up our year with the local co-op this Wednesday. We’ve decided to never ever try to join a co-op in the future. We’ve tried a few times and it just hasn’t worked out for us. The kids want to celebrate the end of co-op this week…I’m still thinking about how to do so.

My husband and Oldest went to work on our old house over the weekend. They painted and fixed things up the best they could in a day for an open house this next weekend. Hopefully, the family God intends to live in that house will make it their home soon.

 

 

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Cicadas and Peacock Poetry

my crew

my crew

Last weekend we worked in the yard. We’ve had some very nice springtime weather. The kids and I have slacked at school work a little bit but the hot and humid days of summer will arrive soon enough and we’ll hit the books harder at that time. My husband mulched the yard with Oldest’s help and planted new flowers and peppers. I raked off the garden bed and planted spinach and carrot seeds. The rest of the crew played in the bubbles and tended to the bunnies. All of us love to gather clover, dandelion leaves and rabbit tobacco and feed the rabbits. It just makes my day when the bunnies run to me for their goodies. Monty and Polly were supposed to be pets for the kids but I enjoy going to see them each morning and petting them (even though I seem to have a slight allergy to the little critters). I have to be careful and wash my hands after petting and holding them or my eyes get all scratchy and turn red.

Sunday was Mother’s Day. During the Prelude at church the younger children played the handbells. Littlest talked about it all week. He was ready to play his bell…or not. He was just too distracted and ended up with “the sillies”.  Once the Prelude was over I gladly hauled him back to the nursery. I’ll be so sad and so will the rest of the congregation (they just don’t know it yet!) when he is too old for the nursery. Our youth ministers also put together a lovely Mother’s Day video of our children singing and saying “Happy Mother’s Day”.  All of the children were so sweet except for Littlest (of course, right?). He is in the video saying, “I don’t want to say it!” Later, I did get a nice grilled steak and roasted vegetables for dinner from my husband.

This year is a cicada year. The past few nights our yard has filled with periodical cicada. They have laid dormant under the ground for thirteen years! They live off the sap from tree roots while underground. Wednesday night our yard was crawling with cicadas. They crawled to the oak tree  and then as high into the branches as they could get before their outer shells hardened. They broke

Littlest ready to play his bell

Littlest ready to play his bell

out of their shells a couple of hours later and were all white. Within minutes their wings unfolded and their color changed to blackish brown a little while later. We put one in the butterfly habitat to watch it change. The kids figured out how old they would be the next time the thirteen year cicadas return. There are lots of pictures in the gallery if you are interested (unit study anyone?) You can find some information here , here and here. We may not have completed a whole lot of book work this week but we totally nailed nature study! Over the weekend Sparkles found one of the early cicada shells. She hooked it onto her shirt and then ran to the boys screaming for them to help her get the bug off! They tripped over each other trying to back away from her once they saw the size of the “bug”. I wish I had the camera ready for that! Once the boys recovered and Sparkles quit laughing we looked at the shell with he computer microscope.

Monday was our only day of school this week. I made no plans for the rest of the week because I knew my mother was coming in for a visit. She just didn’t tell us which day she was going to arrive. We just got in the basics on Monday and I graded everything that had piled up over the past week. The kids also had an art project over the days of Creation in their Bible Road Trip curriculum. I prepped a watercolor page for Littlest but he did not want to paint. He was too focused on cutting and pasting.  I was feeling stressed over my mother’s impending visit so I did the art too. I thought it would help me relax. I enjoyed thinking about the days of creation and trying to put those thoughts into art.

mini golf

mini golf

Tuesday morning we joined up with a few homeschoolers for a field trip. We played  mini-golf (I think that is the name of it?) and then walked around the animal trail. The game was fun to play with the kids. Littlest would only hit his ball once and then pick it up and run it to the hole. He would set the ball next to the hole, push it in with the club and do a little victory dance. The animal trail was really neat. The owner said he thought he owned about twenty-two peacocks including one white peacock we should look for. The peacocks were everywhere and I am not sure that I would enjoy living near them since their call is so loud. Littlest thought their song sounded like “help”. Middle Boy got all poetic with the birds. He said, “Hello Mister Peacock, you have a nice Mohawk.” He is always spouting off silly rhymes! Oldest liked talking to the ducks, he told them we were from Aflac (an insurance company with a duck mascot incase you didn’t know). I’m pretty sure he thought he was out of earshot when he engaged the ducks in conversation. I liked watching the baby goats, they are so cute. They remind me of my own kids with the constant scuffling and head banging! I also liked the covered bridge labeled London Bridge. I wondered how far away Claire from Angelicscaliwags lives from London Bridge…

My mother finally decided to show up while we were on our field trip…naturally. She was sitting on the porch when we got home. Instant tension headache…

Articles I enjoyed this week:

I’m not the only one who enjoys Beautiful Feet Books! Marci The Homeschool Scientist shares her thoughts on her blog. That is me in the background wearing the gray sweater at the convention in her picture. I’ve enjoyed her blog for years! I remember thinking that she looked so familiar…but everyone did the last day of the convention.

I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face. Then I read it to the kids until they were rolling in the floor. Best customer service ever!

The scary stuff I am facing now…from Year Round Homeschooling Why do they have to grow up?!

I’m still learning about education the Charlotte Mason way…from The Unplugged Family

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Late Edition

 

My mother stayed with us this past week so I am late getting the weekly wrap-up posted. She takes the kids shopping for toys and buys them a bunch of junk food and then spends the rest of the week sleeping on the couch or reading. She usually drives Oldest nuts with her constant praising and coddling and ignores the rest of the kids. These visits are stressful for me…for all of us.

I usually have a few nightmares during visits. Most of these dreams center around my dad kidnaping my daughter while my mother does nothing to stop him. I am always too late to save her from the raping. I’ve had these dreams for years and only when she visits. I dreaded the dream and the waking panic that would drive me out of bed in the middle of the night to check on my sleeping children…

This time it was different. I…woke up in the nightmare…knowing exactly what was going to happen. I told my daughter to stand behind me and cover her face and I waited where I could see the front door. He opened the door and I told him to leave and not enter my home. He laughed at me and said I could not stop him and stepped across the threshold. I turned him into hamburger meat with an M-14 (haven’t fired one of those since my ROTC days in college!). I couldn’t go back to sleep for a while and I’m not really sure what to think of it. I told Jesus about the dream and later my husband. But, the nightmare never returned for the duration of her stay.

I updated my cell to a smart phone last week and have joined the modern world. After transferring files to the new phone I found Christmas pictures from five years ago…when we first moved out here. My babies have grown too much!

Last weekend Sparkles went to a Frozen themed birthday party for her little cousin. A young lady was dressed up as Elsa and Sparkles couldn’t stop talking about meeting the “real Elsa”! Afterward we all went out for a late lunch. We decided to take the kids somewhere new and different (no more chicken nuggets and kid food!). We took them to a Chinese buffet. They actually enjoyed the experience and asked to go again sometime. My husband and I even talked Middle Boy into eating Oldest’s dessert when he wasn’t looking! I managed to get a blurry picture of his reaction…fun times.

Over the weekend the kids enjoyed an Easter Egg Hunt at my husband’s workplace. To our astonishment, Littlest hopped up in the Easter Bunny’s lap with hugs and enthusiasm. For some reason he wanted to give the plastic eggs back to the bunny. Littlest also got to order his very first meal at a restaurant. Usually he just eats off of my plate but he has been grumbling about it lately. He wants to have his own plate like a big boy. He ordered the smiley face chocolate chip pancake at IHOP. He was ecstatic and too excited to eat for a while. The rest of the patrons around us were rather amused.

This week we are back to school. We have some history to finish and we are beginning our weather and climate study and a geography through literature study through Beautiful Feet Books. We all missed school last week and desperately need our routine back…

Here’s a few pictures from this week and a few of the lost pictures from my old phone…

 

The Power of a Mother’s Words

I’ve never reblogged before but his broke my heart and encouraged me at the same time. I love reading to my children and will likely read an extra story with them today. Personally, as I watched this I remembered cuddling with my grandma as she read Scripture to me and cried my heart out…

A Homeschool Mom

Yesterday morning, a discreet email came addressed to my inbox. A young gentleman who was homeschooled along with his four sisters has recently completed a short film called “What She Taught Me”.

I found his film encouraging and heartfelt. It was a subtle reminder of the importance of what we do.

To explore more of Shaun Lichti’s work, please visit his website HERE

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