Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Blog

I know, right? Because I am SOOO on top of the other two that I currently have. *sigh* I really wanted to keep a record of our little homeschool journey. I had began a home education blog maybe a year or so ago. My goal was to simply blog about the kids school adventures and how we were aiding them at home. I abandoned that blog almost immediately because I suck. I never deleted it though because I always had a nagging to go back to working with it. I love to compartmentalize my life. While I am largely disorganized in my personal life, my blogging style is another matter entirely. I don't like to get too personal on my professional blog, and I don't like to talk to much about my professional life on my personal blog, and the kids get divided up accordingly between the two. However, I love the idea of the kids being completely set off to this one side for those strictly interested in this one area of their lives…this area being stuff that pertains to them and the development of their little minds.

Now that we are homeschooling, and because I have made such a big fat hairy deal out of the fact that we are homeschooling, people have taken a specific interest. What are we doing? How are things going? What does our day to day school time look like? I am beyond thrilled by the interest taken in this because it's all very positive. I have been OVERWHELMED by love and support since we started. It's truly wonderful.

So without further rambling, you can find the link below. If you would like to follow along, please feel free. We welcome any advice, even constructive criticism since we pretty much have no clue what we are doing. Some of our methods will not always be "normal" and I am not the "typical" homeschool mommy blogger…there may very well be a lot of sarcasm, grammatical errors, and from time to time some choice words. Again, follow along if you'd like, but don't feel obligated to do so because I know I have my best blog followers support and love :-)

http://educatingtheingrams.blogspot.com

Oh, and this blog HERE stays because I need a space to vent about ridiculously childish things :-) Even if we sell our little house on the left…this blog stays!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rolling right along 2014

Oh my. 2014 is here. I just turned 29. TWENTY-F****ING-NINE. *whew* Breath* It's ok, I'm just having a bit of a hard time dealing with the fact that I am almost 30. Because I am still supposed to be 26. Why am I am not 26 anymore? Oh right, because I am 29 now. OH my GOSH!!! It's ok, you say? Martin Freeman disagree's with me turning 29.



Anyway...
Liam and I are gearing up to begin the new semester at the Georgia Cyber Academy. Whoohoo! Everything is in order. All that is left is the waiting. Liam will go back to school at Cave Spring Elementary tomorrow morning until the 12th, his last day. He is very excited. We completed a placement exam online yesterday and I felt that he did very well with minimal help from me. His math skills are very sharp, and I am perplexed as to why his current teacher has such a difficult time with reading comprehension and context clues with him. He answered nearly every question right on cue. Math became hard toward the end when we reached all of the word problems and fractions. It's simply something that he has not reached yet. We'll get there. Over all, I thought he did rather well. How well he and I will do while completing this coming semester will depend on our own diligence and perseverance.

I am thrilled to start this new adventure with Liam. We finally told the boss' family about it. I had been keeping it from his parents although Matthew and Mandi had known for some time. It was nice to finally let the cat out of the bag. I know that now I have a lot of eyes on me and that doesn't help with my anxiety about doing all of this in a proper way so that Liam doesn't fall behind. The boss' family is made up of a batch of highly educated and intelligent individuals and I am the vegetable of the family.



Sometimes, like 4 times a year, they say something that I can FINALLY weight in on and I feel like...



But then someone else starts talking before me, so I never get to actually say anything anyway (which is probably a very fortunate thing in most instances). You get my drift, I'm the Rose Nylund of my family-in-law, although they try to not make me feel that way. Thankfully, on MY side of the family, I'm the Stephen Hawking. My grandfather thinks oatmeal is good for you because it's made of whole wheat. Yeah. Good news is, I can read and follow directions and that is essentially what this program is going to be so I think I will manage. Hopefully...maybe? Eeekkk.

So, moving along...

I will have my first photo session of 2014 on Thursday!!! A 1 year old little beauty. I have worked with her twice before and her brother twice before as well. I am stoked. I have been idle for weeks and I am tickled to get back to work :-)






Saturday, December 28, 2013

SLEEEEP

Sleep and food are my favorite parts of the day. I'm just so good at both of them. This morning I slept until 11:15am(I went to bed at 11:50pm). When I realized what time it was, I had to giggle. There was a time when I never slept past 7:00am because the kids were always up and at the time, if they were left unsupervised then they would get hurt, or make a huge mess, or set the house on the fire. But they are older now and just get up and do their own thing quietly while we sleep. It's awesome and I am a much happier mommy because of it. I am very grouchy in the morning, and I am even grouchier if I don't sleep until I wake up(ie. I hate alarm clocks). Going back to a normal routine is going to hurt but we still have a another week of freedom and I'm going to sleep late every morning that I am able :-)




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stand By Your Man

I became engaged at the tender age of 16. I was young and idealistic and completely in love with this 6'2" black headed stud who wore a leather jacket and played ice hockey and listened to ridiculously cool music. The boss was so enchanting to me at that age...I wanted to spend every hour of the rest of my life with him. He was beautiful and wonderful and so different from anyone else that I had ever known.

After we were married, the shimmer and sparkle began to wear off and I realized that, while he was still a spectacular human being, he was still just a human being. He had his flaws like the rest of us. We never went through very many "rough" patches in hindsight, but when we would go through periods of discontent, I listened to a song. And it's so incredibly silly that this simple little song always brought me right 'round to where I had always been but it did.

We haven't been married all that long. We'll celebrate 12 years of wedded life this June. By some accounts, we're still practically newlyweds. Life isn't always sunshine and roses and dancing in the kitchen. Some times it's hard.

As silly and cliche as it sounds, this song was always JUST what I needed to hear. "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynnette. Now, I always loved this song and then a few years ago Carrie Underwood sang it at the Grand Ole Opry and it just breathed new life into the song for me. Tammy was great but let's face it, when you were married as many times as she was...your signature song about loyalty to "just one man" kind of loses it's luster. Now, my Mama always hated the line from the song "'cause after all, he's just a man" because she felt like that was meant to say that all men are bound to be disloyal and will cheat and you just have to get over that. However, I feel like that line was written to mean that he is "Just a man" and will not always be perfect, he'll make mistakes, and yadda yadda(my mama also hates when people say yadda yadda).

I am going to post this song/video tonight because I think it's extremely important for us women/wives to remember that it is SO very important for us to stand by our men and support them, protect them, and love them with every fiber of our beings. It's pretty easy to say "I am so glad I married my best friend X years ago!" on your anniversary, but practicing each and every single day that love and devotion is what we are commanded to do. You certainly cannot expect your man to do it for you if you are not willing to do it for him. I feel that too many women expect much more from their husbands than they are willing to give themselves. That is not fair.

Sometimes, it's VERY hard to simply "stand by your man". Unfortunately, I know 2 women who have recently had to make that call of standing by their men, or walking away. Both of them have decided to stand by their men. What a beautiful testament to the sacrament of marriage! Seth and I have never been through anything like these two couples, so I cannot imagine the strength it took for them to do this great and wonderful thing. I can only hope that if something terrible ever did occur that we could pull through it. These couples are truly inspiring to me. Willing to work past these tough times in an effort to salvage and rebuilt their marriages. That's beautiful to me!

Anyway, here is Carrie Underwood singing a great song "Stand By Your Man" This song is just my little mantra whenever I feel cross with the boss.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas time

I have had a difficult time really getting into the holiday spirit this year. I always enjoy Christmas, but I think every few years I always have to have a "meh" kind of Christmas so that the other ones seem special? I don't know if that makes much sense. I will try to es'plain.

We're are always poor at Christmas. Always. My entire life Christmas has been a financial struggle. It's not a biggy, I mean, for MOST people it's that way. However, that pressure is always there to provide enough for our children and still have enough money to keep us afloat through the rest of the month. Yes, yes, I know...the kids don't NEED much. Why when my grandma was a kid, all she got was an apple and a candy cane for Christmas. They should just be grateful, and we spoil them, and blah blah blah. Whatever, we are poor every single freaking day of the year. Christmas is that ONE day that I don't want my kids to think about how poor we are. My parents were the same way. And I don't want to hear the "real reason for Christmas" either. Don't go there, you know good and well what I mean. Anyway, so we're poor again this year but still managed to get a pretty good Santa bag. The kids all got Nook's, toy cross bows, a few other things each, and great stocking stuffers. The boss and I never buy much for each other, but I got him a few little things and he bought me a pretty pair of silver earrings. I was happy :-) It's just that...we both kept apologizing to each other for not doing more for each other. It's one of those things. I was not unhappy with my gift, just sad that I couldn't do more for him, and I think he felt the same. Knowing that we'd done a great job on the kids though really made it even out.

We are used to being on a tight budget, one thing we are not used to is an empty, quiet house over the holidays :-( Our house has for years been the epicenter of fabulous gatherings of friends. We LOVE hosting, and we rock at it. For some reason, we were unable to do it all this year. When we had the time and money, no one wanted to party and when other people wanted to party, we were busy or the boss was in Atlanta. We didn't attend a single holiday party this Christmas(which is depressing as hell) and we haven't had a house full since Thanksgiving weekend. What are we? In our 30's or something? Well,  ok...THEY are, but I've got ONE YEAR left of my 20's(effective January 4th)...I don't want to spend it drinking herbal tea and going to bed at 11:00pm. You people have to understand that I missed out on a lot when became a mom at age 19. Nope, I feel no regret making up for it now.

I love living in Georgia. I really do. I am a loyal and proud southerner. I love our hot summers, I love sweet tea, Spanish moss, and the word y'all. I LOVE living in the South. But every now and again, you want a winter that feels like a damn winter. It's December and tomorrow it will be in the high 50's/low 60's. Heh? I grew up hating the song "White Christmas" because I was over here all like "Ha! Yeah right. I'm wearing flip flops on Christmas eve, ass face. If it's cold enough to wear a scarf where you live, be grateful, jerk!" So even though it's winter and today is Christmas, it's not even cold and that's kind of depressing. I want the gas logs on for ambiance  but the boss keeps coming in and turning them off saying "We have to PAY for that gas and it's NOT cold!" He's right, but that doesn't make me want to throw a shoe at his head any less.

Oh and I finished Series 2 of Sherlock and I cried for like 30 minutes and I am dead inside(in a fangirl way). I have to find a way out of these gut wrenching season finale fandoms. My nerves can't handle it.

On the BRIGHT and SPARKLY side of life...I'm planning a New Years Eve party with one of my BFF's and it's gonna be the bomb. I'm talking fancy dresses, champagne, decorations, sparklers, dainty food and sparkles...everywhere... LOTS OF SPARKLES!!!! Woot woot! I gotta turn this holiday season around pronto or I will be depressed until Summer.

Thankfully, today is merely the FIRST day of Christmas. I have 12 days to fix this crap.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Some people sweep you away

Some folks just have that effect. That hairy giant Sasquatch that I married? Yeah, he swept me away. He hasn't an ounce of romance in his bones. I will never get to sleep in on a Saturday morning, and I will always have to get the kids ready because I am absolutely certain that he would spontaneously combust and DIE a horrible firey death if he ever had to dress the children himself. He's still pretty amazing. Everyone is buggered by it, but I get I get to watch, ever day, a BRILLIANT man work his ass off to make a name for himself. He is working so hard and he is SO close. He's amazing to me, has nothing to prove to this girl. I sit back every day and witness BRILLIANCY! I don't care if he ever makes one dime from it all. He's doing something that makes him happy. All I want the rest of my life is for him to be happy. I am pretty tough, I can take care of everything else. Watching him, I'm swept away :-)



bedroom

Picture 539

Love.this.boy.

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we earned this wine, baby!

UPS dropped off our future today

"If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the people with whom their children associate . . . Much harm may result from bad company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better. "

That quote was from my patron Saint, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She's not just my patron saint. She is an inspiration to me in so many area's of my life. A mother, a wife(widowed by age 30 with 5 children), a leader, a teacher. She was absolutely amazing. 

The past couple of months have been taxing on our nerves. With Liam doing poorly in school and adversely influenced by the negative energy that his instructors have cast on him, we've found ourselves making a very big decision regarding his education. As you all know, that big decision was to school him at home, rather than in a traditional classroom setting. It's still public school, but his curriculum was never the issue. It was always the environment and his instructors inability to connect with him. Liam's current teacher is a great, Godly woman. A mother herself, wife of a pastor, experienced educator, and blessed with a passive, patient disposition, she worked wonders with Liam's big brother Simon last year. Simon was no more prepared for school than Liam was this August. However, the teacher was able to work with Simon last year, communicate with me, and willing to work hard to get him on the right track. We were certain that we wanted her to be Liam's teacher this year. However, I don't think she was quite prepared for Liam's....uniqueness. He's a strange bird. Wait, he's not a bird at all. Normal children with quirky personalities are strange birds. Liam is more like a unicorn. A system that teaches it's educators to instruct birds, common or rare, cannot prepare a teacher to educate a unicorn. It's not their fault. It's not the child's fault. It's just the way things are. We knew what we needed to do. We didn't have to do it. There were other options. We could have insisted that Liam be moved from his teachers class and put into the other Kindergarten class at the school. We could have just worked with him as best as we could and hope for the best. Worst case scenario would be that we would hold him back another year and have him repeat Kindergarten. That "worst case scenario" was exactly what everyone we talked to suggested that we do. Everyone knows someone who did that, and everything worked out just fine. their child was simply one year behind. It definitely would not have been the end of the world. Liam's future most likely would not have been forever altered by holding him back one year. We certainly wouldn't have been embarrassed by doing something that was in the best interest of our kid. However, none of that mattered. Liam is smart. He's really really smart. People often don't realize how smart he is, even those closest to him, because of this "unicorn-ness". I know how smart he is. His Papa knows how smart he is. His 10 year old sister knows how smart he is. And his 6 year old brother just thinks he's a jerk. That's not important, I just didn't want to leave Simon out. My point is that as a family, we know that Liam isn't stupid, or delayed, or "challenged". He's brilliant. Yes, yes, that is his Mommy talking. You may be thinking "Every Mama thinks that her children are the best". I know all three of my kids are amazing. They each have their special talents, skills, abilities, and strengths. When I say that Liam is brilliant, I'm not throwing that term around lightly. He probably won't become the next Stephen Hawking...I know that. He's smart and with the right foundation, he's going to find a way to make the world a more beautiful place. In reference to the quote at the beginning of this page, I want to take great care of the influences in Liam's life. Though he has always been surrounded by wonderful family and friends, I have to consider the influence that his current school environment has on him and I am sad to say that it's been of a negative nature. 

I am terrified at the thought of being his instructor but from where I am standing right now, I have no other option if I want this brilliant, beautiful, spirited, and special little unicorn to blossom into the man that he is supposed to be. He has a thirst for knowledge and creativity that is stifled at school. The light that burns so brightly in him is being snuffed out. I simply can't have that happen to my kid. At this very moment, he is pouring over his new material that was delivered today. Although I am not any one's idea of a successful teacher,  I feel as though I have an advantage because he loves to learn. His well meaning teacher gave up on him months ago. She felt that there was no way in which he could meet state requirements by the end of the year to be able to progress to 1st grade. --I'm going to go all "how April really blogs" here for a moment, forgive me.-- I can't, won't, refuse to allow my CHILD to be left behind and given up on because he doesn't learn the way that other children learn and because his teacher has so many kids dumped on her that she couldn't possibly give them all the time and effort that they deserve and desperately need. I am not claiming that I am a better teacher than Liam's current teacher, I am just saying that I KNOW him better and I CAN devote that time and energy that he needs from his teacher. So, why not do this?

Liam's curriculum arrived today in many large and heavy boxes. He was thrilled. We spent a large portion of our afternoon looking over every book and item in those boxes. His semester will begin on January 13th and we will officially withdraw him from our beloved Cave Spring Elementary on January 12th. He's excited and I am as well. It's going to be a crazy, frustrating, and wonderful time. Rest assured, we've never had any misconceptions about the level of difficulty of this move.  It's going to be a struggle and we've never expecting anything less than that. 

Here we go. 

"I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone"

"I should think so, in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!"

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This is our newest adventure. Since I have a hundred and 2 friends who homeschool, it's nothing special or extraordinary. To us, it might be the most influential decision that we've ever made for our little unicorn. Or it could be another set back. Let's go with "huge and influential" for now! 

And at some point, we're going to have to tell the boss' parents. This might get unpretty, real quick. Not looking forward to it. We have some time, right? 





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