Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 177--Ramblings

We were looking through some free photo websites today to find a picture for Rachel's next book cover. We found one possibility. I don't know if she'll decide to use it, but I like it.

She still has to write the synopsis for the back. She always waits til the editing is finished, in case anything changes about the story. We're about a third of the way through the editing. The story's pretty exciting so far.

In our church we're each asked to visit a few people each month to get to know them and see how they're doing. It's called Visit Teaching because we also usually give a little spiritual thought while we're visiting. So I have a new visiting teacher and she came today and brought me sunflowers.

Aren't they cute? 

One more picture from today.

It's bean cake. Sounds gross doesn't it? I don't love beans, but my family likes to eat a lot of them. So a few weeks ago, we decided to make "bean cobbler" which was beans on the bottom of the pan with cake cooked over the top. People say our cakes taste like cornbread because of using spelt flour instead of wheat, so we make cake with beans since we can't eat corn. Anyway, we thought it would be easy to cook them together. It's really yummy! Even to a semi bean-hater.

I'm thinking Sam would like geometry better than algebra this year. He doesn't seem to want to change what he's doing though. He's afraid he'll forget the algebra that he has learned. I say it wouldn't hurt.

See you next time!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day 176--Real Life Day

I ordered Rachel a Happy Light! I'm excited to see if it helps her. It's also supposed to help you sleep better (reset your circadian rhythm) so I'm hoping it will help Jeff sleep too. 

We couldn't do too much in the way of academics today because we had a lot of real life instead. The missionaries from our church came over for a little bit after lunch, which meant cleaning up the house. I don't usually keep the house in such good shape that I want someone coming over without doing a little work first. Or sometimes a lot of work.

After they left, we had to plan for helping out with an activity for some families that are spending the night in a shelter. We talked about how everyone's important and how Heavenly Father wants each of us to feel good about ourselves and about others. We also taught a few of the kids a song that kids in our church sing called We Are Different. Here are the words:

I know you, and you know me. 
We are as different as the sun and the sea.
I know you, and you know me, and that’s the way it is  
     supposed to be.

I help you, and you help me.
We learn from problems, and we’re starting to see.
I help you, and you help me, and that’s the way it is 
     supposed to be.

I love you, and you love me.
We reach together for the best we can be.
I love you, and you love me, and that’s the way it is
     supposed to be.

It's pretty bouncy and I love the words. So there was a mom there that had been having a hard time not getting frustrated with her kids; but while we were singing, she came up and gave one of them a little snuggle on the cheek. I know that good music can make a huge difference in the way we feel and act. I guess she couldn't help but feel better about her kids while someone was singing "I love you and you love me" with them. It was a nice change. Here's a link to the music if you want to hear the tune. It's just a music player, so it doesn't have much feeling; but you can see what it sounds like. 

We had to do several things to get ready for the activity. We cut out circles from stiff paper and punched holes in them for necklaces that said, "__________ is important" and we put their names in the blank. We took markers and stickers to decorate them and yarn to put them around their necks. We also made a beanbag to throw around and have each person talk about what or who is important to them. It was like craft day, even though crafts aren't really our thing!

Sarah drove in the dark for the first time tonight. She said she felt like it was the first time she had ever driven at all. It's so different driving in the dark. Rachel gave her helpful things to think about. I hadn't even thought of some of those things since I'm used to it. Like your depth perception is a little different and you have to remember not to stare at the headlights coming at you. She did fine, but she said her shoulders were all bunched up.

See you next time!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day 175--Shooting Guns

Sam had a young men's activity tonight. And it was shooting guns! He had so much fun. He said he hit the target 17 out of 25 times! Impressive! He used a pistol and a shot gun. Also there was some kind of ridiculously huge gun that sounded like of cannon or something. He could feel it in the ground and all through his body, even when he wasn't the one shooting.

We got to go see my niece Rebekah and her new baby today. They named her Ansley Jayne. Jayne with a "y" is a family middle name. My mom is Carole Jayne, my sister is Amanda Jayne, Her daughter is Rebekah Jayne (Ansley is Bekah's daughter), my Sarah is Sarah Jayne and my granddaughter is Eliza Jayne. It started with my great grandmother. Wait! I just looked up on my family history chart and saw that my great grandmother's middle name didn't have a "y" in it! It was Amanda Jane. I guess my grandparents added the "y" when they had my mom.

We watched another baking Great Course class today. It was about pie crust. They used so much butter! We love to eat butter, and we probably buy more of it that most people; but even we thought it was way too much. I'm sure it was extremely delicious though. And the texture. I could tell just by watching that the texture was perfect.

I miss real baking sometimes. I used to make some pretty incredible treats, but since we can't eat sugar or regular flour, we've had to change our expectations of how things are going to taste. We're pretty satisfied, but once in a while I just want some chewy cookies! Sometimes I make carmel out of pure maple syrup and put that in my cookies and they're pretty chewy. But if I don't eat them right away, they get hard. And it's a ton of syrup for just 4 cookies. Oh well.

See you next time!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Day 174

Some funny things happened today and I thought, "I have to remember that for my blog." Bad plan. I can't think of a thing now. Let's see. . . We folded every stitch of laundry in the house today. Go ahead and be impressed. I can't even tell you how many loads it was; and if any of you are looking for socks, they're here. I don't see how any socks are left in the universe.

We took a walk. Not very exciting, but the weather was nice. I can't take credit for this, but my niece had a baby yesterday. Total cuteness! I get to go see her tomorrow. Don't you love babies?

More reading, more math, more science. We watched a Great Courses class on baking. It made us all want dessert. We're easily influenced.

I got out an English textbook and opened it to a random page so we could learn some grammar thing nobody ever uses. It was about predicate nominatives. Do you know what they are? You should look it up. I told the kids they didn't have to remember it or worry about it at all. Bad homeschool mom! Really, I'm a writer, and I didn't know what it was. I bet English teachers have to look it up before they teach the lesson because of how little it matters.

I guess you'll never know about my funny stuff from today. I'll have to go back to taking notes!

See you next time!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Day 173--Stuff for Texas

I've spent the last 2 weeks sick. My sore throat turned on me. I spent some days with a terrible cough and that gave me a migraine. It's just about over (the cough and the migraine) after a week. I used some amazing essential oils for the cough, and it improved so much. I know it was going to be way worse and for longer. Everyone of us got sick. That never happens, and boy am I glad!

I ended up collecting a table full of stuff to send to Texas for some hurricane victims. Four or five people brought stuff to send. They were so nice. Some of them bought a bunch of kids clothes or giant packs of diapers. We even had some tools that'll be used in the cleanup.

We had a nice full school day today. It was refreshing after the last 2 weeks. We're doing a bunch of graphing of functions for math. It's kind of fun change of pace. The kids like using the graph paper because everything looks so tidy.

We've been reading Hattie Big Sky, and I think there's going to be some crying as we get further into the story. Sarah told me there are some parts that are going to upset me or make me emotional. I don't like crying while I'm trying to read aloud, you know?

We read about Devils Tower in Wyoming today. It's kind of crazy, just sticking up 865 feet in the middle of nowhere. I'd love to see it in person. The Natural Wonders of the World book is a fun way to study geography.

I've had to take a huge break from editing Rachel's book because of the migraine. I'm totally excited to get back to work on it tomorrow!

See you next time!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Day 172--Pity Party

Do you want to come to my pity party? No? Neither do I! But here I am.

Some of us have had some kind of virus for almost a week now. Today it hurts in a whole new way inside my throat. And I spent the day coughing and sniffling, which was new.

I'm trying to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, and I have a way to get some things to several families that have lost everything. I'm so excited about it! So I told over 50 people about it and said to bring stuff to my house this week and I'd get it to Texas. And only one person has brought some things so far. It really doesn't look like anyone else will be bringing anything.

So I'm having a bit of a self esteem crash. It feels like more people would have donated if someone more noticeable had been organizing it. People just don't seem interested in what I do. That's not generally too important to me, but once in a while it just gets me down.

Also, we're having a hard time getting Sam and Sarah to Seminary every morning. We've never had the kids go because of my fatigue and Jeff's job schedule and his inability to sleep. But this year, Rachel has her license and can take them. Except not. She had Lyme disease not long ago, and we got her cleared of it; but I'm wondering if she's having some kind of fatigue or something from it. Also, she has Seasonal Affective Disorder and she's starting to feel "wintery" already for some reason. I think I'm going to get her a happy light this year.

We did get to have school today, and we actually got some things done. We started the graphing chapter in Algebra. Fun. We did science, read a couple chapters of Hattie Big Sky,  Sam studied his architecture stuff and looked for info on a little report I'm having them do. Sam's been working steadily on his Danish, but Sarah's not too interested in a foreign language. I say don't do it then. Find something more interesting. Like piano. That's definitely more interesting to her.

See you next time!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Day 171--Volvox under a microscope

Today Sarah had to look at several bacteria and algae under the microscope, and Rachel got a very cool picture of our favorite one with her phone! Looks like it's right out of the textbook, doesn't it? It's called Volvox. Sounds like a Dr. Suess thing, and it looks like one too. These are actually colonies. They also call them Globe Algae.

Sam has to get information about all the kids in Seminary (the early morning scripture class) so he can do a spotlight every Friday. He emailed all the parents with a list of questions about the kids. It was a pretty good writing assignment for yesterday. He's so funny though, because he wouldn't even let me read it before he sent it. I guess he doesn't mind the other parents reading it. I think he figures I'll edit him. I didn't think I always did that. I'll have to pay more attention.

Sarah and Rachel and I did some editing on Rachel's sequel, Sencra's Fate tonight. I think I'm going to have to read it through once before I can really do it justice. There are too many questions for editing on the first read through. I think non-fiction is easier to do without reading first. With fiction, I need to know the personality of the character before I can know what they're trying to convey. I keep having to ask her, which is fine; but I think she'd like it better if she didn't have to explain things that are going to happen in the future so I can figure out what a person should say that will keep them in character.

See you next time!