Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Leaving for Minneapolis!!!

It's 11:47 pm and we're about to head to Atlanta to fly to Minneapolis!! Yay!!!!

(btw, Frontier fixed everything and I'm much happier with them now. Still don't like the long hold time, but otherwise their customer service is pretty good.)

I don't recommend Frontier Airlines

I'm packing for a trip to see my little sister and my brand-new niece! I've been pretty stressed out lately with thinking about everything that needs to be done, and for a while this trip was just another thing to stress out about. Not anymore; I'm just pure excited now!

On the other hand, this airline's website stinks, and don't get fooled...they have cheap tickets but they get you in every other way possible. I'm trying to check in online right now but the website isn't working, and of course I've been on hold for about 45 minutes right now. I'm supposed to leave to get my car from the mechanic and pick up my husband, but I need to get this done too....

Ah well. I've had two friends mention to me how much stuff I must be packing to take Sir Dex with me. I'm really not. He is exclusively breastfed and he can sleep on a blanket right near me. My sister is borrowing a car seat for him and I'm carrying him in my Ergo. (LOVE the Ergo. My sister is the one who bought it for me 3 kids ago.) He needs a few outfits and a couple of blankets, some small toys and diapers and wipes. That's it. It's been quite a few years since I've needed to carry a diaper bag, too....I leave a small bag with emergency supplies in the car and my purse holds a wipes container and some diapers. On the other hand, I've just gotten used to always having a blanket hung over one shoulder. I don't try to look dressy when lugging a 18 pound poo, spit-up, and smiles machine. No one is looking at me either.

My son asked if he could toast some taco shells in the oven and I said yes. I was distracted by packing. So now when we get off the plane and unpack everything is going to smell like smoke. Our oven has a toasting setting, but of course he didn't use it, and had the oven set at 550 degrees.

Why do ovens have a 550 degree setting? What do you bake at that temperature?

Taco salad is still good without the shells..

Oh, hey, my call just got answered.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The weather is nice today

We live in the Southeast USA. In the Southeast USA, the school schedule makes no sense. Does it make sense where you are?

Think about it. We have four seasons here: comfortable-but-yellow-everywhere, too-steamy-hot-to-breathe, comfortable-with-colorful-leaves, and slightly-chilly-with-occasional-ice-storms. When do the kids start school? Just before the beginning of one of the comfortable seasons. When do they end? Right at the end of the other comfortable season. The kids holidays are too hot or too icy.

I'm not feeling bad for the kids here. Well, I am, actually, but really, I'm feeling bad for the homesteaders/small farmers. When are the best months for the garden/animal chores? While the kids are in school. For some this might be helpful, but I (finally) have more helpers in my home than hinderers (awkward word, that).

Other homeschoolers are confused right now, trying to figure out what my problem is. We homeschool. Do school when it's not nice outside and do outside stuff when it is nice! And count the farming work as school! What's my problem?

I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet, I guess. I'm really trying to have a very good school year...I have kids in high school now with futures to consider, futures that need nice looking transcripts. How many times can you have "built a fence" or "dug a hole" or "caught a runaway rabbit" listed as a school activity? Not to mention "washed dishes," "vacuumed," or "did laundry."

I'm sure you've seen this graphic:
Most people would probably agree that just three options would be nice, but there are a lot more than that. Mine would look like a star: Kids & Pets, Clean home, Garden & Livestock, Homeschooling, and I'm about to add Job to it. I'll manage it, or push through it.

Oh, wait...I forgot the sanity.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Two good Longfellow poems from my son's schoolwork

The Rainy Day
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

As a fond mother, when the day is o’er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Apparently there's this restaurant in California that makes "Vegan Soul Food"

That makes absolutely no sense to me.

We've been busy busy busy.

Intensity had a birthday, and went to her best friend's lake house. Sweetheart had a birthday. Octavia is about to have a birthday.

We got new ducks.

We processed a bunch of ducks and chickens with our Farming Enabler friends. (The lovely ladies at Homesteading Housewives, check them out!) Processing, for the non-farmers who don't know, means: chasing, catching, stuffing in a cone, slitting the throat, scalding, plucking, gutting, chilling, and bagging. Then chilling some more. We have more to do tomorrow and Sunday.

Ninja Timelord had an attack of gout. That's some nasty stuff, y'all. Everytime he has it, it is a little worse. This time it moved up from his big toe and included his ankle. It's very sad and hard when he gets it. Apparently it feels like a never-ending red hot screw is just twisting right through you. An then when it starts to get better, all the muscles in your leg seize up and give you awful cramps. It's never a fun time.

We also all had a cold, but we got over it.

Firstborn accidentally jammed a fork tine under his big toenail, and then hopped around shaking his foot so hard he kicked the door jam and split his little toe away from the rest of his foot. So yay for another ER trip. He's better now.

I ran 3 miles in under 47 minutes! Once. Then I didn't do anything for the rest of the day. Y'all laugh all you want, but someday in the distant future I'll actually be a real runner. Who can run a straight mile at least without doing intervals.

Sir Dex has learned to both sit up on his own and he is up on all fours rocking. Crawling is any minute now.

I got some more new ducks. Muscovies this time. They are gorgeous and I'm so excited! If they live up to their reputation, I should have plenty of eggs and baby muscovies running around here in no time. Their names are Vincent and Monet (the drakes) and the girls are Vivian, Hester, Hazel, Jemma, Melinda, Freckles, Agnes, and Demeter.

I drove a friend to Rock Hill and back. That was kind of fun. I know I'm weird, but I really enjoy driving. Less so when we get pulled over for not being buckled when WE TOTALLY WERE, but the completely mistaken officer let us off with a "warning" and that was that. I won't even put a vehicle in drive if there is someone in it not buckled, and if he had gone to the effort to actually look, he would have seen that it is impossible to see the seat belts from the side due to where they were mounted. But whatever.

School started! Being homeschoolers, we get to start whenever we want. We chose to school year round, taking breaks when we want as we go. We do 180 days, which when broken down into 12 months, means only 15 school days out of every 30. This is our first year doing Easy Peasy. It's a totally free completely online curriculum. It looks really great; I have high hopes. I bought two cheap tablets so we have a total of four computer-type things my seven kids can use. I may need one more.

This year I have two high schoolers, Firstborn and Right Hand Girl, both in 9th, and I basically told them to get 15 days worth within every 30 whenever and however you want. They can do just about everything on their own. I just check up on them. It seems to be working so far, but it's early yet. At the moment, they are both excited and motivated to rush through their schooling and have a bunch of free days near the end of the month. Or Firstborn is...Right Hand Girl wants to rush through and get done early. As in graduate early. Whew. She is hard to keep up with. Of course there are a couple of subjects Easy Peasy doesn't have that my kids want to take, so this semester I'm getting the fun of creating my own Home Ec course and Fiber Arts course. I'm nervous, but this is so much better than trying to come up with a whole curriculum on my own. We'll see, we'll see.

I also have two middle schoolers, but one of them is at the lake house so Happy Face is just doing half days till she gets back. He's doing okay. A little hard to keep on track, but he is getting his work done for the moment. We'll see when his sister comes back and the both have to start doing their program work together.

Then there are the elementary kids. Warrior has been having difficulty with reading, so we are massively focusing on that. I've completely ditched the phonics method and am just teaching him sight words. I don't know if he's finally developed mentally enough, become interested enough, or just understands sight words better than phonics (probably a combination), but he is picking it up fairly quickly now. Not as quickly as some of my other kids, his little brother Sweetheart passed him up by quite a bit and Little Big Boy is catching up quickly. Warrior isn't bothered by this, though, or if it does he doesn't let on. He says, "I don't mind being different! I'm different in lots of ways. I like different things, I think different things, and I'm good at different things." He is totally right. He has mechanical/spacial talent that is really something, he loves bugs, and he (seems to me) to have an above average talent in drawing.

But anyway, so I'm working with the elementary boys, reading, numbers, American History, fun science, lots of lapbooks. Octavia is participating, or not, as she likes, but I have a feeling she won't be waiting till age 5 or 6 to learn to read. So far she has had someone to play with during school time, because her little best friend has been spending her days here. But she starts private school this Tuesday, so I'm going to have to make sure Octavia has stuff to do!

Oh, and our back porch sliding glass door shattered suddenly last night. It was likely shot out, and we know by whom, but we have no proof and aren't inclined to chase neighbors down for an accidental ricochet. We did speak to them and made it clear how very very lucky it was that no kids or animals were in the room at the time. They seemed properly shaken up. I guess. It could have been a bird or stray rock. That suddenly shattered a double paned glass door with no previous cracks or chips. It was very exciting in a completely not good way.

Apparently I just got a job as well, so life isn't going to get any less busy! I don't want to share more till it's for sure...I'll write something Monday.

I wish I had pictures for you, and I might soon, but right now for some reason none of the ones we've taken are on this computer, and if I wait to post this it will never happen. So, this is my long boring imageless post. At least I wrote something finally!