Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 189

This is what homeschool looks like! Endless Algebra, science books stacked up, essential oil guide, Uno, Scripture study journal. There could be anything on our table--or everything.

We helped Sarah come up with a character for NaNoWriMo by asking her all kinds of questions. We started by asking her if her character was a boy or girl. Girl, of course. Then we asked about what she looked like; hair, eye color, height. Then her personality, her job and her age. She came up with someone very much like Kamille, which I thought was cute. When I told Kamille about it, she wasn't sure she was spunky; but I think she is. It means courageous and determined. She may not think she's courageous because she's shy with people, but that isn't all there is to it.

Jeff's dad called and said they're going to move into an apartment after Christmas. They've lived in their house for something like 43 years. It's going to be sad.

Then Jeff's brother called and said he knows someone that's going through training where Jeff works and the instructors he's had have been just terrible. Like not nice and very inconsistent. So Jeff called the guy and talked to him for a long time about some procedural questions and hopefully helped him be a little less stressed about the whole thing. I was gone while Jeff was talking to him, but Sarah said he sounded like he was speaking a foreign language the whole time. She said, "Dad, you sounded really smart!" Haha! It's like when our friends from Mexico first moved here and their little children could speak Spanish (of course). Those little 4 year olds seemed like geniuses to us! Jeff knows this whole other language!

I guess we're all geniuses in some way.

Rachel and I went to our "starting your business" meeting tonight. We talked about how to decide if our business ideas are actually what we should do. There are some questions you ask yourself and then decide if your idea is the best way to go about it. Also, you do a lot of praying for understanding and guidance. The idea isn't just to make money with your business, but also to serve some higher purpose. Something that can help people or fill a real need. We're supposed to interview several business owners and customers this week too. Sounds like fun, but a little scary.

See you next time!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day 188-Not too many more!

So I'm hoping that when I get to 200 days, I'll be ready to switch over to my online magazine or blog or whatever it turns out to be. I don't know if I've told you it's called Homeschool Paradigm. I love the name because it means a clear pattern of how something is done, and I'm hoping to make it easier for families to homeschool with clarity and peace. I can't wait!

Sarah hasn't decided what she's going to write about for NaNoWriMo yet. So Rachel showed her some brainstorming she had done before starting to write Becoming Sencra's Queen. She came up with a character and asked all these questions about what could happen and why and what the girl was like. It was pretty impressive. I also told her she could do sort of a fan fiction story about one of Rachel's characters since she knows them all. I guess we'll see; it starts Wednesday.

We had Sam teach us how to make a stop action video today using a pencil as the character. We had it roll in from one side, turn around, and take off with a flame coming out the back. We had to draw the flames with our fingers. It was pretty fun. Next time he's going to show us how to use the erase function to make things look like they're floating through the air.

I was wondering if we just plan on taking Mondays off, if we would feel better. We usually do a lot less on Monday anyway, or we do a lot of things that are easy for us like video lessons from The Great Courses. I guess it's math and science that we don't feel like doing on Mondays. Maybe I should just embrace it and not let myself feel pressured from it. I always advise other people to do what they can and not feel pressure about the rest. Maybe I should take my own advice!

We've Started reading Amos Fortune, Free Man. It's hard to read it without thinking slave owners were just plain idiots. I'm sure there's so much more to that story than we'll ever know or be able to understand. It just seems like a no-brainer to not kidnap people and enslave them, doesn't it?

See you next time!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day 187

Wednesday night at church, the kitchen was full of teenage boys. There must have been 20 of them in there having a stir-fry cook-off. The kitchen's not that big either, probably 12 x 12. Sam's team didn't think to make sauce, so they didn't win. They made cookies too, but they put the icing on while they were still hot. The judge didn't even want to try them. It was totally fun, and fun for those of us looking in the kitchen once in a while.

That group (or class) for starting your own business is pretty serious. You have discussions and commit to do certain things every day. Then you report to another group member about how well you kept your commitments. Rachel and I are partners this week. She's usually good at keeping me on track. Or trying to anyway.

We're supposed to go to a business each day and observe and ask ourselves questions about how we think they do certain things. Then I think next week we have to interview business owners. Also we have commitments specific to our business. Mine is to find out how an online magazine works this week. You know, how to even go about setting it up. I think Rachel's supposed to think about what she would put on an author page. Pretty fun!

We watched a video lesson in our photography course today. It was about taking photos of famous places while on vacation and having our families in them, but in an interesting way. Our assignment is to go to a famous place and take some great pictures with a different perspective than usual. So I guess we'll have to go on vacation. Haha! Maybe we'll just pretend our house is a castle or something.

How about a dose of cuteness? Here's a screenshot of Eliza looking at herself in the computer screen while we were video chatting. She's shy when she can see us, so Wilson hid us and she started talking up a storm. And smiling at herself on the screen!

See you next time!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Day 186--Family

We went over to my parents this afternoon to help with a few things. My dad is making a big beautiful armoire for their bedroom, and they needed some furniture moved to make room for it. It's huge! So we did that and a some other stuff they needed. Then I made stew in their pressure cooker. I've never used it before so I had to stop and look at the directions a thousand times. I'm kind of afraid of using it because my mom has told me stories about each of my grandmas getting burnt when their pressure cookers blew up! It worked well though. I guess if I got used to using it, it would save time.

My dad came across his baby book the other day, so we looked through it while we were there. We took a picture of every page so we could put it on the family history website we use. Here's a link if you want to check it out. I love it!

You can make a free account, put in your information and the information for your parents and grandparents up to one deceased generation, and it can show you your ancestors. It's very cool. There's a place to put memories (photos, stories, and even audio files), and we're going to put the pictures on there so they'll be stored permanently.

Last week we recorded Jeff's mom telling things about her mom, and we put that on FamilySearch. She said she couldn't think of any stories; but once he asked her some questions, it was a lot easier.

Last night we went to a seminar kind of thing at church about self reliance. It's a new thing they're doing to help people improve in that area. The people who were there formed groups that will focus on one specific theme for 12 weeks. We'll go to the group meetings once a week for 2 hours and discuss ideas and support each other in actually following through on goals. The group we joined is the one about starting your own business. Rachel's going to go too, since she needs to come up with an author website or something to promote her books and get her name out there. I'm going to focus on starting an online homeschool magazine. Then hopefully that'll give me an avenue to sell my books too--when I get them written! I'm totally excited!

See you next time!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Day 185--Planting and Ice Skating

Sam likes to draw while he's supposed to be doing math, and today I watched him doing it and the expression on his face matched the face he was drawing! I told him that and he said it helps him get it right. So Sarah tried it. She's got furrowed eyebrows in this picture in case you can't tell, and here's what she was drawing. Sam did enhance it a little afterward though. I don't see a way to rotate the picture so it's sideways!

Sam worked on coming up with a character for his comic strip class today. He tried several different kinds. He's SO good at drawing! I guess it might be in his genes a little. My dad can draw and my brother is actually an artist, so he's just amazing. I can draw a little bit if I have something to look at. I definitely can't draw from my head. My brother can draw anything he's ever seen and it's always perfect. Sam's more like that and working on it all the time.

We signed Sarah up for NaNoWriMo today. She set her word count goal at 10,000. I might do it too, but I can't decide if I should try fiction or just work on one of my many book ideas. Rachel already writes all day long, so I don't think she'll need any extra motivation. I wonder if she'll ever run out of ideas. I guess it doesn't work like that any more for fiction than nonfiction. I'm just amazed at anyone that can come up with stories.

We went over to my parents' house today and helped them plant a few things that will bloom in the spring. We planted this very twiggy little tree, and we were afraid it would get mowed down because it was so hard to see, so Sam hammered a stick in next to it to make it visible. We planted 5 peony bushes and like 50 starts of some kind of ground cover. Dad and my brother had already planted 140 tulip bulbs. They used a drill bit that digs out dirt so you can plant the bulbs fast. I wish we had been there for that. Sounds fun.

Sam and Sarah went to an ice kating birthday party tonight for one of their friends. They haven't done much ice skating, but they did great. Sarah got a lot more comfortable than she had been. Sam was pretty comfortable already. They were so cute. There were about 25 teens there and they all were on about the same level. It was good that nobody was terrific at skating, but they all were pretty good. Maybe we should go more as a family and I would learn to do it a little. Of course Jeff already can. He can do everything!

See you next time!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Day 184

I came up with a new book idea. I don't even know how many books are floating around in my head now. Probably at least six. I wish I could stay up all night writing instead of sleeping, since I don't have much time during the day to work on any projects. Actually, it's what I do all day that has given me anything to write about anyway. So no complaining here. It might just take me a few more years to get to it. That's not too long.

We went on a little road trip to see Jeff's parents last weekend, and on the drive I got finished with my first run through of Rachel's book, Sencra's Fate. Now she's going through it looking at my notes. She says it's easier to edit with me though, because we can bounce ideas off of each other and come up with something better than either of us can doing it alone. I love that about editing. It does work better for us if I go through and make notes and then go back together to work things out. It's so satisfying. It's like you can feel it physically when you say something just right. Is that strange? It's true though.

I think Sam would like to work on statistics and then he'd be more interested in the algebra that would come up. He's so set on doing it the way everyone else does it. I'm not sure where he got that. Maybe it's because we don't do too much that's like everyone else. I'll have to talk to him some more about it.

His Comic Strip Capers Brave Writer class started this week. It looks like so much fun! I think I'll probably do the assignments with him. He gets to draw a character over the next couple days. I'd like Sarah to do the assignments too. She drew an amazing bird yesterday. We were looking at a bird book, and I decided we'd draw a tree swallow from a picture. Theirs were better than mine. Here's hers

I'd like to see Sarah try her hand at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). She hasn't written much fiction, but it might be fun for her. She and the others started a murder mystery story a couple years ago, and she worked on finishing it on her own but never did. I think it would be fun for her to try this. You don't have to do 50,000 words; it can be as many as you want. It might be fun for me to try too, even though I kind of stink at fiction.

See you next time!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day 183

Tell me you don't think that's the sweetest face ever! Friday was Rachel's birthday, and Tuesday was Jeff's. We ate birthday cake for lunch before he went to work. Kamille's birthday is tomorrow, mine was a couple weeks ago and Sam's is in 3 weeks. It's crazy! Wilson and Sarah are the strange ones with birthdays in July. I guess we added another one to summer, though, with Eliza in June.

Wilson and Kamille don't have many books to read, so I'm excited about Kamille's present. I put 14 books in the cart on amazon and she picked the ones she wanted and ordered them. I love books as gifts! We don't usually do birthday presents, but we got a wild hair this time. We all picked our favorite ones for her to choose from. She chose Little Women, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, The Three R's, and The Power of Everyday Missionaries. I think she's going to love them!

Rachel's still looking for the perfect picture for her next book cover. We were trying to take some of the moon with mysterious looking clouds over it the other night. I don't think we got anything we could use, but it was fun.

We went to a small funeral today. It was a graveside service for my Great Aunt Genny. She was so sweet. She was so much like my grandma (her sister); fun to be around. I think she was the last person in her generation in my family. She'll be missed.

See you next time!