Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eye, Eye, Eye-Eye

*Eye almost have the birthday invites finished for the almost 6 years olds (the above pic gives a glimpse)
*Eye am still working on Halloween costumes but 6 all are either completed or very close
*Eye finally put up our Halloween decor items on Sunday .... I really didn't even want to but was glad I did after the kids were so excited.  We started our Halloween advent tree .... thank goodness it's only a week long.
*Eye am in the middle of changing out summer to winter clothes ... 3 kids done, 1 to go.  It's so much more challenging when kids are in-between sizes .... so many decisions to make.
*Eye have a sick husband at home today ... not sure what his exact ailment is ...  he's been asleep ALL DAY.
*Eye am making beef stew for dinner .... hopefully the husband is hungry by then as I doubt the kids will eat it.
*Eye wish my bedroom and my basement would become self-cleaning .... the clutter is unbelievable.
*Eye had to walk around the neighborhood this morning is my PJs as the hurricane force winds knocked both our giant (96 gallon) recycle bins over.  I didn't find much of our stuff so my neighbors are loving us right now.
*Eye think my kids are pretty great but lately they're fighting is at an all-time high.
*Eye think I'll enjoy the peace and quiet until the kids come home from school and Reese gets up from her nap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The ocean of grief

Grief is like an ocean, sometimes calm and quiet. Thoughts and memories can enter my mind without too much commotion.

I can have perspective and see the beach and the other beach-goers and yet realize that I am still in the waist high water . I can easily wade back to the shore or swim out further into that endless ocean.
Sometimes the waves get bigger. And the tides take me places I don’t want to go. I can go out so far that the beach seems miles and miles away and the other people on the beach don’t even appear to be people any longer. If I were to scream, no one would hear me.

And without notice a violent storm can appear. I panic and don’t know what to do. The tidal waves take me too far out. I can’t even see the beach any more.
No one knows you’re in the middle of the ocean and need help. They would help me if they knew where I was but there’s really no way to tell them.
Then just as suddenly as the storm arose, I am back in the middle of the calm and able to swim ashore and no one knows I was even in trouble for a while.

Grief is like that. Right now I’m back on the beach but who knows when I’ll decide to wade back out there again.
But the one thing I do know that will always be a constant is I sure do miss my dad.  Six months seems like a lifetime to me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home Schooling

I was a teacher for over ten years.  I loved it.  I loved the kids, I loved watching them learn and grow.  It was amazing to see the changes and progress in just 9 short months.  It was challenging too.  Lots of work preparing and grading and writing up lesson plans and theme units, decorating the classroom, and hanging up their work, figuring grades, keeping tabs on who needed extra help, keeping in constant contact with parents, and dealing with behavior issues (with children and parents) on a day to day basis .... it was hard work but super rewarding. 
Now I read a lot of blogs of moms who home school their children ... many of them have 4 or more kids.  Seriously I don't know how they do it.  Just keeping up with looking through my kids book bags, looking over their work, keeping track of and reading 3 library books, sending back notes and things they need for class is a lot to deal with most days.  But working with them almost every night on practicing their writing and letters has left me drained and exhausted to say the least.  Ethan has almost mastered writing his name ... but now instead of leaving out the "h" he is leaving out the "a" or combining the "a" and "n" into one letter.  He needs to work on his fluency with the alphabet so I am doing flashcards with him .... he continues to say "8" for many of the letters he doesn't know.  The teacher sends home extra worksheets (by my request) for us to work on.  I'm trying to get him to do them but his stubbornness takes over and he screams and refuses to do them most of the time ..... Then a worksheet was sent home today that stated he is having trouble distinguishing beginning sounds to tell when they are the same or different and that we need to work on that at home.  Seriously at this moment I don't even know what to do to help him with that .... I've taught 25 people to learn how to read all at one time and but to help Ethan work on beginning sounds, I'm at a loss. I'm sure homeschooling is even more rewarding than teaching in a classroom.  However, will I be homeschooling? I think not.
On a sidenote, Ethan's drawing skills have evolved from his SpongeBob like self-portraits to include suns and wind.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Search & Win

Do you know about Swagbucks?  Basically it's a search site (like Google) where you can earn swagbucks for searching the internet.  Why do you want Swagbucks?  For free stuff of course.  In the last 2 months I have earned SIX $5 Amazon gift cards.  That's $30 bucks in free stuff .... whatever I want from Amazon and since I always look to buy stuff on Amazon that has free shipping ... it's is really free.  In the next day or two I will have enough to buy another $5 gift card too.  Of course there's other things to get with your swagbucks in their store and there are contests to enter too.  I just like the Amazon gift cards for myself.

How does it work?   Just go to Swagbucks and register and if you use this code (it's completely free):

JoinTheFun for 20

you will get 20 swagbucks to get you started  (I think the code is good until 6 pm).  I downloaded the Swagbucks toolbar so I can remember to use it when I search.  You also are rewarded every day with 1 swagbuck for having the toolbar.  I also do the Daily Poll every day for another swagbuck, and if you visit the the survey part you get another one just for going there each day.  Sometimes there's a video to watch to earn swagbucks and I've submitted 2 ideas for daily polls and got 100 swagbucks each for them.  There's special codes you can enter to earn more too.  Of course you can win them when you do a search, but you don't win everytime but I  have won 9, 10, 12, 27, 50 (once) at different times.  I usually win a couple times a day depending on how much I search.  Since I haven't been doing it all that long, I don't know all the ins and outs.  I don't spend much time doing it but the $30 in gift cards I've earned so far has been great. 

So if you want some free stuff sign up today and get some free stuff.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Paul

Last weekend when we went to Dad's farm, we stopped to see our favorite neighborhood farmer, Paul.  He said he was test driving a BIG combine and that we should take the kids out to see it.
 He wasn't kidding when he said it was big.  My kids look like little ants in front of this massive machine.

 We let them crawl all the way up too.  I believe it has all the "options". 

Then in usual fashion someone had to take a potty break in the field.  At least we travel with a potty.  Hopefully the traffic on the road didn't take too much notice of the large family who pulled their van into an open field in front of a brand new combine with one kid sitting on a potty.  I'm almost certain Paul wouldn't mind.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I've been up to

Things have been happening around here.  With four kids there's always a million things going on and with upcoming Halloween and all 4 kids having birthdays in November, there's lots to do right  now.  I like to start projects as I've said before .... the finishing part I'm not so good on.  I also have a short attention span so I must have about 10 ongoing projects plus I find if I sit down without anything to do .... I fall asleep no matter what.  Here's what We've been up to lately:

We went to pumpkin patch/apple orchard with Aunt Ashley and the cousins last weekend.  It was a nice day, almost hot and we had fun.

 Our friend, Trudy, gave the kids a ride on the four wheeler.  They thought this was a blast.

 Mallory let the kids go a couple rounds in the combine while she was picking corn.  The girls would have done this all day.  They miss Mallory since she started her teaching gig, we don't get to see her as often.
 Here's the current BIG project:  our pantry/laundry room.  It's really small.  But we are on week 3 of all that stuff that was on the shelves scattered about the house.  I am painting and it seems to be taking a long time even though it just might be the smallest room on earth.

The kids and I have been enjoying the nice weather.   One day when they didn't have school we played at the park for a while.
Aaron and I took a weekend trip alone to Springfield, ccourtesy of Aaron's parents.  I think it was the first time since we've had kids that we went away on our own.   It was so nice.  I thought it was cool that the hotel had robes and yes, I used mine.  Actually I could have just went to the hotel, put on the robe, and stayed in bed the whole time.

 I went with the kids' kindergarten classes to the pumpkin patch.  It was fun.  It's fun to go on field trips when you're not the teacher.

My days seemed to filled with paint rollers, paint cans,  and paint brushes.  I don't mind painting but I just wish it would be one of those things you could start and finish in one (or even two) days.

 We celebrated PaPa's 60th birthday with a pizza party.  It was a good time and nice that the whole family could get together.

One of the many birthday party projects I got going.  There's a pinata that's ready to paint too and many more things on the list to still make.

The kids' Halloween costumes are just about finished .... I have to start Aaron's and mine but I think they are turning out really great for homemade costumes.  I'm trying to only use sutff I have on hand or from resale/thrift stores.  So far, so good.