This past week I used a free photo book coupon to make a “year book” for my home schooled daughter who is graduating this year. Last year she took a veterinary science class and the instructors took tons of pictures and made them available to the parents to download. That’s probably 75 percent of the book, but there are also pictures from the butterfly house, which has been an annual visit. I take a book and park myself on one of the two benches and she gets about an hour before I’m ready to leave. She’d stay longer if I’d let her. Also in the book are several of her senior pictures.
We have a good photographer in our church who works free-lance. It’s great because the kids know her just enough to relax a little bit, and both of the girls did their pictures at a local garden. It’s also where the butterfly house is, and our photographer knows the park well. We just walk and take pictures where it strikes her or the girls. The results are great and we got at least 24 shots from each girl’s session on a CD, so we can print as many different poses as we want. I love how digital photography has made good portraits financially accessible. Studios around here want $300 for the shoot, plus a minimum purchase on top of that. This photographer has only charged $80 for each session.
The last page of the photo book has pictures of DD2 with her special classmates who have now passed. The first cat to join her at the table liked an afghan draped over the folding chair. (The chair also needed to be pulled beside DD2’s.) After the first cat died, the second cat quickly moved into the spot, but didn’t want the afghan. They all developed a very special relationship with which her siblings were sometimes disgruntled.
Sickness has kept the sewing stack at a stand still, but before it took me down too hard I got a bolt of navy flannel and washed it to be ready to go. It was 60% off and I decided it was best to go ahead and fully finish each blanket rather than leave them half done. Getting things finished is the goal, so that’s what I need to keep working on.
DD2 is working on her loom knit hat as I sit here typing. This is one of those moments when I think about how right her decision to quit 4H was. She brings her knitting downstairs so many evenings now. She is also working on a (regular) knit scarf with a butterfly pattern that she drew and patterned out. Last year she just had no urge to craft, even though she enjoys it. I recently ran in to our 4H cooking leader, and she was letting me know how disappointed she had been to find out DD2 wasn’t coming back, but she had pushed her own child to stick with it to the end of high school, and she still hears about it twenty years later.
DD2 was in 4H for six years and learned a lot, both in crafting and in parliamentary procedure. 4H taught her how to knit, and she in turn taught her siblings. While she doesn’t currently enjoy sewing clothing, she’s done it and can go back to it down the road if she chooses. That puts her far ahead of me at her age. I made my first article of clothing for DD1 when she was six. It was a positive experience for her, but I’m glad I didn’t push her to finish out this last year.
My son is studying for his first round of semester exams. I don’t think he fully realized their impact before DH and I spoke with him yesterday. I’ve been encouraging him to do some studying each day since last Friday. I really hope he does well. His English grade is currently in the toilet and I’m hopeful that the exam could pull him up a little. I can’t take the test for him, and I can’t make him do better in the class. All I can do is keep checking his grades, encourage him to work, and be there when he needs help – if he’ll let me do so.
This is really tough. DD1 was a teacher’s dream and until the end of physics there were no issues to worry about. DD2 has been home schooled for the past seven years and thus her work can be adjusted to her SPD/anxiety needs. Now I have my son with whom it’s a whole lot of worry. He’s smart, but he can throw an attitude with the best of them, and he does not like help with school work. It’s almost all on that awful Chromebook and I seldom see his actual work – just the on-line grades. Art is the only subject which sends work home. The others recycle all the papers at school when finished. At the end of the day it’s his own education now that he’s in high school, and it’s mostly in his hands as to how much he gets out of it and how well he does. Ugh.
DD1 called today to let me know that she’s made the second level of applying to be an RA or academic peer mentor. She’s applying for both jobs, but really hoping for the APM, as that would be more to her taste. Either job brings room and board fees paid, and that would be stacked on top of her full tuition scholarship. I’d greatly love for her to graduate without debt. She’s going to be a high school teacher, education is a five year program, and she won’t make a whole lot of money to pay off what would be $125,000 out of pocket expense for the five years. Such a financial relief!
We’re too poor to pay out of pocket ourselves, and too ‘rich’ to qualify for any help. It was really disgusting to find out that 90% of academic scholarships have a ‘need-based’ component. Essentially, this means that it’s great if you’re a good student, but grades don’t mean anything if the all mighty FAFSA deems you able to afford the bill. You’ve got to be rolling in it to be able to write a check for $25,000 (public university) each year. Then stack siblings on top. DS’s grades won’t help if he doesn’t kick it into gear soon and buckle down.
Being sick, I’ve spent too much time on Pinterest lately and want to renew the efforts to make more food from scratch. I’ve gotten back to making the kids’ waffles and need to forge ahead on some other things. I know that doing things from scratch means fewer chemical ingredients, less packaging consumed, and often better taste. Now I just need to schedule the recipe try-outs. It’s helpful for me if I plan to use one or two new recipes with meals. It’s easier to plan on it ahead of time rather than pull the recipes out on a whim.
I have a feeling I’ll never be finished working on the same things, but maybe I can at least keep from losing ground.