Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 192--Fun Being Grandma!

Wilson and Kamille are here for their Christmas visit, and Eliza is saying all kinds of things. And doing all kinds of things. Her favorite is to look at pictures. I showed her which button to push to take selfies on the computer and she took 41! Here are a few of them.

After a while, Kamille started making faces in the background. Eliza had no idea.

She can say everyone's names too. I LOVE that! She likes to talk about us when we're out of the room or doing something. She hasn't said our names like she's talking directly to us yet. They only have 2 more days here. It's gone by so fast.

Obviously, we haven't been having school lately, but I got a couple new books to use for the rest of the year. I finally got Sam that Life of Fred Statistics book. It looks really terrific. Wilson has taken 2 stats classes at college and he says he only knows about half of what's in it. They did say it was a college book and there's more info in it than in most college stats classes. I guess they were right. It should be fun, and motivating for learning Algebra.

I also got the Little Norton Reader. Brave Writer added some essay prep classes recently and they're going to have students reading essays before they have to be expected to write them. I thought that was a fabulous idea, so we got the book they're using in the class so we can do some of that here.  Now I just have to figure out how I want us to talk about the essays. Do we just read them and discuss them as a reader or do we analyze form too? Probably just as a reader first and then maybe after we see how well the essay defended the author's view, we'll analyze form. I'm really excited!

See you next time!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 191--Homeschool Coaching!

So one of the commitments for my starting your business class was to sell something. I don't have anything to sell, so I decided to offer some free homeschool coaching. And some people actually said yes! I started at the end of last week, and I love it so much. I might have to consider this for a business after all. I even thought of another book to write--of course. It's a homeschool coaching manual. I added it to my growing list.

I have had terrible migraines this week and last, but I'm finally vertical tonight. I think the barometer was crazy high yesterday, but I started feeling better right when a big storm broke. I didn't even think it was supposed to rain. Anyway, today has been very slow too--like I didn't do anything. But my headache is almost gone. I wish I could stay up all night because going to bed will bring it back. But if I do that, I'll fall asleep tomorrow and it'll come back anyway.

Sarah didn't actually do NaNoWriMo last month. I wasn't too shocked by that, since I was making her. It's one thing to make them do a small writing assignment, but it's not that effective to try to make them write a novel. Ha! I guess we'll just move on to a research project after Christmas. I hope she can find a topic she likes and doesn't need to change three times. She's so fickle!

Sam's doing constant research and telling me about it, so I don't know how much I should have him write about anything. It shuts him down so much, but I know he needs to do it. I wish I could just record his voice and type things up for him, but he doesn't want to be recorded in any way. Ever. Not video, not by me writing what he says, not audio, not by his own writing. He just likes conversation!

I ordered him the Life of Fred Statistics book today. I think he's excited. I told him it was a college book, but you don't have to know any more algebra than he knows already. I'm not sure how that's going to play out. But I can't wait to get it. Fred finally turns 6!

Wilson and Kamille are coming next Wednesday! I can't stand the excitement. Eliza's starting to say Grandma! Actually, I'm planning on having her call me Grammy so the grandmas will be distinguished from each other. I can't wait to have them around for 10 whole days. I wish it was longer! She's going to love putting up the Christmas tree!!

See you next time!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Day 190--Crazy Month!

It's been a completely crazy month! I think it's been three weeks since I posted a blog. We've all been ridiculously tired; I think we've had some sort of virus. We haven't felt sick exactly; but besides being tired, our throats have been hurting at least two weeks. Sarah and I both started to wonder if we have Mono. I've had it before, about 13 years ago; and I don't ever need it again!

Also, my sister's husband has been in the hospital for three weeks. And the hospital he's been in is an hour away, so I've gone with her a few times to see him. He got moved to a nursing home just 10 minutes away today so he can gain enough strength for a surgery he has to have. It's been rough on everyone.

Several days ago, Sarah knocked over a dish of really small lego pieces and some of them went down the heat vent, so she and Sam took the cover off to go rescue them. While they were looking, they found a lego piece that Sam has wanted but is always out of stock when he tried to buy it. There used to be boys living in this house and apparently they played with legos in the same place Sam does!

Then they decided to look in all the vents to see if there were any more or anything else good, and they found this coin. Sarah looked it up online and it looks like it's Korean. We know a couple people from Korea at church, so I think we'll need to ask them if they know for sure.


Yesterday we had a very nice Thanksgiving with my parents. My dad LOVES to cook, and he's been making Thanksgiving dinner ever since they got married (they had their 60th anniversary in September). He always makes way more food than anyone can possibly eat, and we all have tons of leftovers to take home. We love it, but it is a ton of work for him. So this year, after years of trying to get him to scale it down, he finally made less food! And he got chickens instead of a turkey, which I think was much easier. He even consented to having canned green beans. That's a big deal, because he's like a gourmet cook, only homestyle. And I got my mom to use paper plates! They've been tired too, so we were all thankful for less work this time. So fun!

Today we went back over to help them rake leaves (Sarah got to use the leaf blower) and move a huge free-standing closet into the house. I guess I should call it an armoire, but it's more like me to call it a closet. Dad made it for Mom. He loves to make things with wood. He's made furniture for several of us. Cabinets and bookshelves. He made all my bookshelves, and I love them so much! He also put an addition onto their house when they bought it. He's very handy!

So this thing was so gigantic that they had a bunch of trouble getting it through the house. They had almost made it to where it was going, when it wouldn't fit through the doorway by an inch or so. They actually had to remove the framing to get it through. But it's in place now, and it's never going anywhere. We all decided it stays with the house!

Just under three weeks until Wilson and Kamille come for Christmas! We cannot wait. I don't know how I'll make it. I've been wanting to think of some cute name for myself instead of Grandma, so the grandmas can be distinguished more easily, and we finally settled on Grammy. Eliza started saying people's names this week, and it's absolutely adorable when she says Grandma, but it's going to be even cuter to me when she says Grammy! Rachel thinks it sounds like a grumpy old lady. I told her that's Granny, but maybe I should spell it Grammie. Does it look more fun that way?

See you next time!

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!