Comings and Goings

This past weekend the girls and I went to a glass class which I had arranged for DD2’s 4H group. Our group has been trying to get a class with this shop for a few years, and I volunteered to try again as my eldest has been taking classes there for the past three years. I won’t volunteer to do so again. Three of the people who had signed up never showed. That’s significant when the class was ten people. One backed out a few days prior to the class due to a school conflict, but wouldn’t you know about a cross country meet more than a few days in advance? This shop usually takes payment at the time a class is registered for, but agreed to take it at the time of the class for our group. We also got a discounted price for the project. They went out of their way for us, and those who just didn’t show up were incredibly rude.

Okay, enough ranting. The girls and I had a good time. My eldest has taken all of the smaller project classes offered by this shop. It’s time to think about the bigger classes: stained glass and glass blowing. The shop has a glory hole, which is considerably smaller than the open oven you envision when you think of glass blowing, but it’s an incredible opportunity for a small area. We’ve enjoyed glass fusing so much that I’ve actually priced some kilns, but we don’t have space for one. A small table top kiln is still around $500, so it’s also not in the budget right now. Maybe a bit down the road as DD1 works her way into her career.

Our son did not make the crew of the play his school is beginning to work on. He had signed up to be the stage manager, which he has absolutely no experience with, but I was bummed for him. I’m not bummed about missing all of the shuttling for the practices, but for this child to put himself out there like that is tough. Fortunately our church is starting work on its Christmas play, and the director is willing to let DS help with scene changes, etc. DH and DD1 are both acting, so the practices are already on our schedule.

I worry about DS at times. He gets down in the dumps so easily. I’ve tried giving him a thankfulness journal (I think he wrote one entry) and before that had him tell me one good thing about his day when I picked him up from school. These were trying to get him to think about the positives a bit more. He complains that he doesn’t fit in with the youth at church (just moved up into the junior high), but when he went on an outing with them, he didn’t talk to/hang out with any of the other kids. At the same time, he claims that going on a weekend getaway with this same crowd would help him feel more like he fits in. I think he really just wants to go to the destination, which is a cool place and the girls went on this trip a couple of years ago.

Friday I dangled a carrot in front of DD2, who is homeschooled. I told her that if she finished her work, or all but art, we could spend the afternoon in Amish country. There are three stores I visit 3-5 times a year and she loves to see the horses. My other two kids could take it or leave it. They’ve been, and well…it’s still shopping, just in Amish stores. DD2 likes slow paced things, and the others like more action. Anyway, she finished strong and off we went. It was busier than I’ve ever seen it, but that was fun too as there was more interaction. DD2 and one of the local girls got to talking so I just wandered to give them some time. Lots of puppies and rabbits were for sale, so DD2 drank in the opportunity to hold and pet.

Now I’m looking around my house and I can’t ignore how sadly in need it is. Piles of stuff have accumulated and dust is taking on a life of its own. It’s time to leave the comings and goings of the weekend behind and get back to work.

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Weekend Adventures

This past weekend our kids had Friday off of school. (I still don’t understand the purpose of these monthly days off, but I can’t change it.) DH proposed going to a neighboring state’s park for site seeing and photography, and off we went. We got off to a great start, being on the road by 4pm Thursday. DH wanted the full day Friday to explore. We were making great time until the highway ground to a halt. It took us two hours to go about 5 miles, and we ended up pulling into the hotel after midnight.

The next day at lunch we were finishing with some chocolate chip cookies, when I looked over at DH and saw a funny look on his face. A crown had come completely off. We slipped it into an empty baggy and continued with our hiking/exploring. We finished early so he could search for a dentist. Out of ten dentists in the area, only two were open on Friday and one of them had closed at two. The other could maybe see him in a week.

Saturday was my golden day as my best friend joined us and she and I spent the day catching up. We hadn’t been face to face for about a year, so our tongues went non-stop. DH took the kids off for a hike to let us have some time alone. After lunch we all went for a hike together, where I re twisted my ankle while scrambling over rocks. Fortunately, I know the exercises to do and am back at them.

Even with all of the mishaps, we had a great time and laughed over the events of the weekend. Our oldest commented on the fact that we were laughing about the bad stuff. Hopefully that unintended lesson will stick with the kids. Bad things happen here and there, but if you keep your sense of humor it doesn’t need to sour your experiences.

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Down, But Not Out

I’ve been on a bit of a journey through doctor’s offices, and am now recovering. Three gall stones decided they were too crowded and looked for a way out, then a week after they were removed, the whole gall bladder was taken. I still need to have a stent removed, but that will be a cake walk. Everyone who’s had this done reassured me that recovery was fairly fast, and I’m finding them to be correct. The surgery was Thursday, and today I went grocery shopping. There’s no school today, so I took my oldest with me. She did the lifting and could’ve driven home if needed (it’s only two miles and she has a permit).

I have to say that the kids are more sick of my recovery than I am. They’re tired of taking care of the dishwasher, lugging the laundry baskets, and taking loads of things here and there around the house for me. It’s doing them a world of good to see how much work goes into the house, and I am not even a Martha Stewart with everything perfect. There are dust bunnies rolling around right now, and I’m happy to ignore them for a bit. I worked to get the bathrooms and kitchen cleaned, and have the laundry and ironing up to date before the surgery, along with some last minute errands such as filling the fridge with milk. I only had two day’s notice, so I think I did pretty well. I could’ve pushed harder, but my oldest has a cold, and I was taking time to rest to avoid catching it and potentially delaying surgery.

My youngest has been the only one to voice his protests so far. The girls show it in their faces, but are clearly trying not to be whiny. Dinners have been a bit piece-meal, but that’s okay too. Tonight I had the bright idea to pull out a ham (I buy a boneless and cut it into six sections then freeze), and we’ll have rice and some Pillsbury crescent rolls. The rolls are a rare thing in this house, so the kids will be happy.

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A Great Start

It’s a day of firsts in our household. The first day of school for all three kids, the first day of high school for my middle (home schooled), and the first day of middle school for my youngest. It’s also the first day of the school year with a call home.

“Mom, you know that mosquito bite I got this weekend? It’s red, has heat, is swollen, and has streaks.”
“Can the office staff see the streaks?”
“Yup.”
“Are you calling to come home, or for me to make the appointment?”
“Make the appointment. Bye.”

He called during the doctor office’s lunch break. Near the beginning of the hour and a half lunch break. They might be able to fit him in this afternoon, or we may be spending a couple of hours at Urgent Care. Once the streaks show up, you need to get the antibiotics going.

I told him to wash the bites, but that doesn’t always hold off infection. That’s all I had the energy to do as I was in bed with a flu type bug. I spent about 18 hours out of a 24 hour period sleeping – on Labor Day weekend. I guess I should have seen that the tone was being set for the start of school.

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When Does it End?

I was talking with my sister yesterday when she brought up something that struck a nerve. My mom is going to take my sister’s youngest son for the week next week because she’s been missing her grandkids.

Why would that upset me? Because we live 3 hours away from Mom, invited her to come visit in July and were turned down, then invited her to come to the fair with us and were turned down. Several times when my nephews were young I heard Mom comment on how she couldn’t wait for the kids to be old enough to take to the fair. She actually has a grandchild in 4H with projects on display to go see, and now she’s not interested.

Driving can’t be the issue, because she’s driving further to meet my nephew than she would to come see us, and she’ll do it twice within the same week.

I’m so glad that my kids don’t know how many times the other grandchildren have had visits, let alone with grandparents staying one or two nights (for us it’s always here and gone the same day) and having the grandkids come stay at the hotel with them and go swimming. (The last time Mom came here was Thanksgiving last year.) Or about the back-to-school shopping trips, or all of the school programs that couldn’t be missed. They made it to one of our kid’s programs – we’re three hours away, my sister is nine hours away.

Now my sister and Mom want us all to meet at a State Park for a long weekend next summer and share a cabin. When I was growing up, my dad took us to this park every summer. Mom always stayed home. She hated this part of the state. She’s not an outdoor gal. Now she apparently can’t get enough of this part of the state and wants us all to vacation together.

For us, this would be very stressful. My sister has raised her kids very differently from our family. She pictures her oldest two boys and my girls sharing a pop-up camper. My girls have been raised to hold modesty as a virtue and are very uncomfortable with that idea. We won’t let that happen. When sis goes anywhere, it immediately looks as if the suitcases exploded. We’re quite a bit more contained than that. My sister and her husband swear like sailors. They reign it in a bit for us, but there are words they don’t consider swearing which we do. This park is also only an hour drive for my sister while it is five or six hours for us.

After this latest new item, I’m inclined to just let them have their trip together and not get in the way. It’s not as if we’re looking forward to it anyway. I was only going to go along with it because it seemed to be something that was important to Mom.

My DH patiently lets me get it all out to him. I don’t have the guts to have it out with Mom. If the kids ever catch on and get hurt by all this, I’ll have to.

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Finishing

Today I finished lesson planning for biology! We will get through all 39 chapters if my daughter stays on top of it. That’s with a supplemental book and co-op’s biology class to boot. It feels good to have the planning done. Now it just needs to go on the assignment pages and into the grade book.

Today was also the day to pick up the fair projects, so that’s over for a year. My middle has already completed a project for next year’s fair, and we have a crochet project picked out and ready to start. I want her to start early as it may take some prodding to get it completed, even with a year to do it. It’s a wrap style sweater, and she likes the yarn I had purchased on sale earlier to make a sweater for her so she’s going to use it to make her own. I love it when things work out that way.

My son’s scrap afghan is going in spurts. A lady at church asked me to teach her to crochet and that has been prodding me to work on the squares. My oldest daughter’s skirt (sewing) is on hold. I became frustrated with it and am not ready to pick it back up just yet. I also need to get her back on the machine. She wants to learn how to sew, and right now is planning to make her own wedding dress when the day comes (she’s only a high school sophomore). There’s time for her to get up to that level if I don’t drop the ball. Of course, she has a voice and can ask for sewing lessons as well.

I’m still not where I want to be in getting things accomplished, but a summer cold didn’t help, and frankly I wouldn’t be where I wanted to be without the cold. I suppose it’s better to aim high and only get half way there than to not aim at all.

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Exhausted

I feel like I’ve been eating and sleeping history, but I finished lesson plans for the entire history book, with extra articles pulled from the web. I also had to type up quizzes and tests from the teacher edition, but it’s done. My mom kind of scoffed at me for wanting to get all of this planning done now, but she doesn’t realize how much it saves me during the school year. The more I can get finished now, the better the school year will run. English is fully planned, and history is planned through Spring Break. Science is set until mid-October. German, oceanography, art, and half of vet studies are finished. The other half of vet studies is medical terminology, for which I need to retype a med term. workbook that my MIL used for a class. I do have it planned, at least. I may end up needing to plan Geometry as well since the co-op class may not be offered as was originally planned. Fortunately, I have a text book that my dad gave me. I also need to polish up the plans for the writing class I’m teaching at co-op. I have a sketch of what I’m covering, and assignments and handouts I want to use; I just need to get it ready for fall.

My middle, who is my home-schooled child, asked two weeks ago if we could start home school. I honestly told her I wasn’t ready. We’ll see if her tune changes when she actually has school work. I increase the pace/load a bit each year and she starts high school this fall. I’m hitting biology extra heavy (she’s been fore-warned) because science is her strong point and she wants to be a vet. The text has 39 chapters, and she knows that I plan to cover all of it. We’ll see how it goes.

My youngest still isn’t thrilled by the prospect of middle school. I’m going to watch the language arts fairly closely as that’s his weakest area. I know he’d like to be home schooled as well, and I’m torn. DH is only on board with home schooling the middle because of what the teacher did to her. I worry about my youngest, but in some ways he does quite well. He relates much easier to adults than to his peers, but that won’t be an issue forever.

My oldest got excited today as we talked about her and her sister learning how to make chain mail jewelry. She doesn’t often get excited about anything but glass classes, so she and I went to Michael’s and got a few supplies after downloading a few patterns off of the internet. DH made a chain mail shirt a few years ago, so he’s willing to show her how to make the rings. He had talked about making the girls some hand flowers a couple of years ago, but he really doesn’t have time.

My oldest just got back from a five day youth conference with our church. I woke her just shy of 11 am this morning. She had accepted a job taking care of the neighbors cats and needed to get over there to feed them. I hadn’t realized that activities would run until midnight every night. My kids have to turn the light out at 9:30, and they can still have a hard time getting up the next day. I don’t know if five days of sleep deprivation is worth it, but next year she knows we expect her to get a job, so it won’t be an issue.

There is so much on my to-do list that it feels as if I’ll never get through it. Once the lesson plans are ready, school will begin and I’ll need to grade, help the others with homework, and adjust plans. Once I finish sewing project a, b, and c, there will be projects d, e, and f to stare at me. Cleaning is never ending, and never caught up with. I suppose that four years from now, home school will be finished, unless the youngest joins my school. Four years from now, the girls won’t need many things made for them, and the youngest probably won’t want pjs anymore. There will come a time when I have more time to breathe and to get out in the garden again.

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