Monday, October 31, 2011

Beginning of Celebrations!

Halloween really does start the season of celebrating.  We are going to have to really work hard to get our stuff done through this season.  This week we only had 3 days to work mostly because I chose to go on Thursday in the morning to find out some things about our new house and then #3's birthday party was in the afternooon.  We were gone all day Friday for Halloween parties and then the Pinewood Derby in the evening which was  a disappointment for #3 as his car didn't do very well. Poor oldest boy- guinea pig for boy stuff- his dad will do better next time.  The biggest thing we think is to make sure the car weighs the full 5 oz. so that it's heavy enough to keep the momentum, but according to youtube there are a ton of other things you can do too.

We had another party on Saturday, so there wasn't any time to work then either.  So we just go on and try to get back on track.  We had a good 3 days, but it's just not enough time for any of the kids to finish everything.  But I had to get stuff going on our new house.  Until we move, I think schooling will continue to be quite tricky.  We should have all 4 days this week, there shouldn't be any emergencies come up.  We just may have to work a little during normal vacation times since we are vacationing a little now.  We have to be so efficient and protective of our time!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This week--stamina

Overall this week was pretty good.  I spread the kids work out to fit in in 4 full days of work with one day to finish whatever we didn't get to in the 4 days.  The problem is that right now is that we are commuting 1 hour to church and homeschool events.  The weeknight activities are not too bad except they take away from my cleaning time which has to happen in order for us to able to get started in the morning so I have to do it and then I'm a little tired and cranky.  But the really hard one is our Friday morning homeschool group-- I love the ladies in it and the kids are all nice and the activities have been good, but in order to make the drive worthwhile and in attempting to save time I do my weekly grocery shopping afterwards and take #4 to his eye appt. down there.  We have to leave by 7 or 8 a.m. depending on when I decide to schedule the eye appt- before or after -- we then get home at 3 or 4 or 5 p.m. and the last thing any of us wants to do is schoolwork or piano lessons after we've carried in all the food, been in the car and in the store and it's Friday.  So we pretty much lose a whole day which wouldn't happen if we only lived 15 min. away because we'd just come home and finish up whatever we needed too instead of going on a monster shopping trip.  As a result nobody finished everything this week and science and piano lessons once again fell to the back burner for the girls.  The boys got their lessons and science discussion, but not the girls.  It just may take more stamina than I have to get those things done.  Also, the girls got all their algebra, latin and piano practicing done, but they did not finish their easier assignments like journaling, required reading, and workbooks. 

I really wish we could move sooner. We haven't even started on our house yet-  the builder's agent has said each day that he would have the bid ready and we still don't have it.  It is so hard to wait, and it is so hard to commute- but there really isn't anything for us up here anyway-- we'd have to commute either way, so I guess I can happily and patiently wait.  Each day needs to be savoured and enjoyed, but I would like to move.

Anyway,  we did have group time each of the 4 days and "boy time" - younger kids stories, history and science 3 days this week.  That was pretty fun.  After our long break from Spanish we reintroduced it and I think the kids finally realize they can say stuff.  Our new stake has a Spanish ward and when we move out there I would like to get involved and find opportunities to speak Spanish with real people.  I think I know how to teach Spanish now and I think the kids will continue to learn more especially if we can find some opportunities to use it.

Also our new electric piano keyboard and colorful ukeleles came this week.  The four older kids are all going to take the ukelele class we signed up for.  The teacher is awesome and has some really great music.  I'm glad everybody is excited about it.  The kids love the keyboard, especially my oldest.

Soccer is over so we got a lot of much needed cleaning done in the yard.  I have been throwing away all sorts of random things instead of trying to put them away-- it just takes too long.  It feels good to get rid of stuff in my way making my life difficult.  I wish it was easier for me to do so, because most the time I don't, but I think that will have to change just like I don't really naturally like to clean, but I do it because otherwise I can't do the things I need to.  I will get there.  It's easier now too, because I know we'll be moving soon.  I love having full trash cans!

So that's that.  School ran pretty smoothly, we just need to be even more organized, start earlier and endure to the end-- keep going til we finished.  I think I burned out a little early this week just cause I wanted to clean instead of teach.  I need to keep my priorities in mind and make sure I teach instead of clean in the morning.  But I know we are on the right track even if we are moving slow, and that just may be the case until we can move and not have to spend so much time on the road.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scripture memorization

I just read a conference talk by the apostle Richard G Scott on the scriptures.  He talks about how memorizing scriptures is like making new friends.  We usually work on memorizing a scripture each week- it usually takes us 2-3 weeks to get them down.  I think I'll start listing the scriptures we are memorizing so that I remember which ones they are and we can review them more often and I won't forget what we've done.

So this week it's D&C 88:123

"See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Redwoods Vacation

We have read things about the Redwoods and we needed a vacation so that's where we decided to go even though it is a 14-20 hour drive from here (Utah).  None of us had been there before. You can read the long version on my other blog: .  We had a great time.  Some of the kids were disappointed that they could see the tops of the trees, but it gave them perspective.  The views were breathtaking and the ocean was wild.  There was a big swell coming in when we were there so we didn't get to go tide pooling, but we went on a couple hikes and saw some HUGE treees-- they were so big and so tall, they figure some of them are 1500- 2000 years old!!  The hikes we went on were so cool and fantasy like.  It was so worth the long drive.

We also realized that our kids had never been to San Francisco since we lived there when we had our first little baby, so we decided to come home through San Fran at night so the kids could see all the activity and bustle of a big city.  We've driven through Chicago before, but San Francisco is really cool especially at night.  We drove across the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and drove along the Embarcadero.  We looked at the sky scrapers and determined that they were bigger than the Redwoods, but not nearly as nice.  Then we drove out to our old stomping grounds east of the city in San Ramon.  It was fun to reminisce- those were nice carefree days for me with just one kid working in a city organic vegetable garden, giving tours, teaching classes and pulling weeds 5 hours a week and hanging out with other young moms and shopping all day.  It was awesome!!!

Everybody did great.  I think they learned a lot about oceans, tides, swells, forests, rivers, trees, climates, weather, camping, traveling, safety, cities, jobs, bridges, traffic, government, police officers, laws, crazy people, vineyards, Paul Bunyan, the list goes on.  They all traveled well, didn't complain much, took care of themselves as best they could and we had a very pleasant trip although we had to stop for the bathroom a lot!  We're all ready to explore another place, but I think we stay closer to home and do the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Dinosaur National Park, Colorado, Montana or Idaho next time! It's nice to have the kids getting older and know that they will remember these trips!

Homeschooling then and now

This article was written by a mom who was home schooled in 1985 and is now homeschooling her children. I really liked her perspective and I've seen a little of what she talks about just in the past ten years. We as homeschoolers would be better off to just go with what we know rather than trying to find the perfect philosophy-- just make sure your child is learning what they need to to be successful in college and life!

Here's the link:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Much Better this week

It is amazing how much we can accomplish when we're home to accomplish it.  No more morning appointments of any kind for me except in dire circumstances-- like a broken bone or something.  Art class during the day is over and the only morning stuff we have left is on Fridays for our co-op.  This is the last week of soccer too.  Yay!! 

So anyway, everybody finished all their work, we even did piano lessons and a science experiment, which is always my goal.  Unfortunately we were unable to do the enrichment reading and music and languages I like to do in group time, but I will have to clear our afternoon appointments to get that in.  It's all about priorities. I won't be in charge of scouts anymore, we cleared out violin and like I say this is the last week for soccer, so I'm excited to prioritize better and get some of these more important things into our lives.   Overall, I'm pleased with our performance this week.  Everybody worked hard and we are on a good roll.

My husband wrote an awesome computer program to help the girls drill Latin.  Now that I know how talented he is, which I knew-- I want him to write me a computer program to keep track of everybody's progress instead of doing it on paper.  All in due time.  In the meantime, we'll just keep plugging along!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review-- Just not home enough

This was one of those "learning experience"  (a.k.a. failing) weeks.  The first mistake is that I had some scheduled appointment every morning this week.  They were all good and important things, but had I been more organized and had planned ahead better, I would have been able to do them all in the afternoon instead of the morning.  Lesson learned is that 10 a.m. is my kids' best hour for learning and that is when we need to be working on math, Greek and Latin -- no exception.  I was not home to work with my kids at that hour any of the days of the week this week.  The result:  no one finished all their requirements this week.  They watched a lot of Inspector Gadget and they could not focus well enough in the afternoon to get their work done.  They also need me to be home keeping them on task so that they will finish.  So this week was pretty much a disaster as far as school goes.  I made them all do some math on Saturday and that was good so that it wasn't a complete disaster and they know that they have to do math.  We will definitely be doing extra math this week unfortunately.  No more dentist and doctor appt. in the mornings, no more art classes or any other classes in the morning, no more being disorganized so that I have to do x in the morning.  I have to be home-- I have a full time real job educating my children and my morning hours are the most precious especially for those boys.

I did print out lists for everybody this week, but it was discouraging for them because we lost our mornings. Our week is much more open this week without a bunch of scheduled appts. so I think we'll do much better.  I have some serious decluttering and organizing to do.  We have got to keep up on our 5 min. pick ups and after meal dishes.  I can't wait to move-- it's still happening slowly, but I think it will happen.  Wish me luck!!!