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!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Day 182

Look how serious they are when they're doing math! I've still got them sharing a book. I guess that's working alright. I really don't want to pay nearly a hundred dollars for another one. Also I'm not sure I can get one that's exactly like this one, and I like this one.

Rachel finished typing her third novel today. Now she has to read it before she'll want me to. After that, she went over some of my suggested edits for her sequel, and now she's sitting on the couch writing another book! She won't tell me what it's about. All she'll say is that it's about a girl and written in first person. That's the way she likes to write them. Oh and she did say she's excited about it.

Sam just got home from his Young Men's activity at church. They were learning to make chili and cornbread. He said that while they were cooking, the boys decided they want to have a bake-off among the young men. He says he wants to make garlic-cheese bread. That makes me want some of that right now!

We read the rest of the first part of An Old Fashioned Girl today. The next chapter is six years later. I can't wait to read that tomorrow. That book just makes me want to be good.

See you next time!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day 181

This is a screenshot from our video chat with Wilson and Kamille Sunday. Eliza likes to sit and read books, and I love the way she's got her little hands on the page. Looks like she's concentrating. This only lasted for a minute, but it's longer than it used to be. She used to just sit down and flip furiously through the pages. Of course, this is what it looks like her parents are doing when they read, so she does what she sees. So clever!

We watched all of General Conference over the weekend. It was so good! It always is. Here's everyone on the couch getting ready to watch. We like to take notes on the talks and tonight for Family Home Evening, we told each other what our favorite parts were. One of my favorites was that you can't progress without effort. I think I need to work on my level of effort!

We watched some cooking lessons on the Great Courses today. They were about sautéing and roasting--my two favorite cooking methods. I love cooking shows. I used to watch them all morning long on Saturdays on pbs, when we had a tv. That was so many years ago. I don't even know how long it's been since we had a tv. At least 10 or 11 years. We've actually not had one more than we've had one during our 28 years of marriage. Or sometimes we would just put it in a closet and only get it out once in a while. I wouldn't want to have one now!

I made a list of steps for solving equations so Sam could keep it straight what he's supposed to do and when. He used it today, and I think it was better. Now to do that a thousand more times. Sarah didn't do math today because of a headache. She and I have both had one for a couple days. Maybe it's going to rain or something.

Here are the kids in the sandbox after school today. Sometimes they might be embarrassed to play in the sand; but I told them not to be, because adults go to the beach to play all the time and nobody thinks that's strange!

See you next time!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Day 180--Field Trip

Yesterday was my birthday, and we spent the whole day playing around. We went to a state park nearby and looked for fossils in a rock bed that used to be under water years and years ago. Eliza Jayne would have loved it, because rocks are her favorite things. So we sent her this picture of the kids each holding a big rock for her. Sam looks like a giant at that angle!

Then we looked at some log cabins that were actually lived in by early settlers of the area. This is the oldest one they know about.

We found this big old kettle they used to cook in, and the kids thought it looked like a cauldron so they gathered around to make some evil brew.

It was completely perfect weather too. So relaxing. After that, we went and got my parents some treats for their 60th anniversary (which was also yesterday--isn't that cute?) We got my dad salt and pepper pistachio nuts and goat cheese for my mom. We hung around at their house for a while, and then came home and watched a movie. It was such a nice day.

Today, some of us had headaches and we didn't do much academically again. That's ok. Some days I just feel like I don't know what to do for school. It's like I have no idea what they need to learn or work on, and then the next week I'm full of ideas. I guess it's cyclical.

We get to spend this weekend watching General Conference. It's a worldwide conference for our church, where the leaders speak to us; and I love it! It actually started last Saturday night with a women's meeting. Then tomorrow (Sat 10/2), there are two sessions for everyone and one in the evening for the men. Then we get two more sessions on Sunday. They're two hours each. It's my favorite. I listen to the talks over and over while I jog on the trampoline each morning for the next 6 months until we have another conference.  

Here's a link in case you're interested in checking it out. 

See you next time!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Day 179--Just when you think you have it right

Today Sam declared he couldn't understand any of his science. I don't think he dislikes the book, and I think he was understanding it before. I just think he's lost his focus for it. Maybe he's not getting enough sleep, and I know he's not getting enough physical activity lately. I've been so tired, and we've all been kind of sluggish. I'd love for it to be more fascinating to him. He really is quite willing to be interested in tons of things. If I could boil science down to statistics, he'd have no problem focusing on it.

I looked through the Great Courses list of classes to see what could take the place of his book, and there are several. I just don't know if that's the way to do it or not. I'll have to watch a few. Some of them are just not that exciting for a 14 yr old.

I think I need to do something different with his math too. He insists he has to take Algebra 1 this year or be behind. (I don't believe in "behind") It's hard for him to remember what to do at all. Algebra is so abstract. There doesn't seem to be any reason to do the things you do. And I can't get him past, "I'll never need this in real life." or "What good is it anyway? Let's just get it done." Ugh!

Rachel won a poetry contest today! She wrote a poem about learning about having faith like Esther in the Bible. It's called As Esther Saw. It's going to be published in an online magazine that's aimed at encouraging teenage girls in their faith. The poem was really great! I'll put a link to it when it comes out. I think it'll be two or three weeks. She won a gift card to a modest online clothes shop. They have some pretty cute stuff.

I'm thinking seriously about starting an online magazine about homeschooling. I'd love to get a few other moms to help me do it, and have other people writing posts regularly. I think it would be totally fun, don't you? Maybe even do some podcasts. I'm not sure about facebook live though. I always get so nervous when I'm live. I like recording things and then being able to edit. Editing is my thing, you know!

See you next time!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day 178--Tennis in the Dark

I was too tired to write a blog last night after we went to play late tennis. It was only 9:30 when we got home, but I've been wiped out lately. We've never played in the dark before. Well there were lights on the courts.

But it was definitely dark out! After we pulled into the parking lot, a police car came in and parked not far from us as we were walking toward the courts. I thought we should slow down in case they wanted to talk to us. After all, there wasn't another soul there. (The sign says you can play tennis until 10:00) So we slowed down a bit, and the policeman hopped out of the car and went directly to the bathroom! Kind of a relief for all of us.

Since I didn't write about yesterday yesterday, I can't remember much of what I would have written if I had written yesterday. Isn't repetitiveness fun? 

We started reading An Old Fashioned Girl together. It's been a long time since I've read it, and both the girls have read it. I think Sam will like it though; he seems to identify with the 14 yr old fun-loving brother. Imagine that.

We got Rachel's Happy Light, and she's been sitting in front of it for a while each morning. I wonder if she needs to increase the time just a little. I'm not sure she's noticed much difference yet. It had started to get cold and she felt like her SAD was setting in, but then it got hot and sunny again so she's not so bad. 

I've been feeling so tired ever since Sam and Sarah have been getting a ride to Seminary each morning. I think I worry about it in my sleep. You know, about them getting up on time and being ready when they get picked up. When it's just them leaving with Rachel, I guess I don't worry about that. So I've been waking up at 5:30 before their alarm goes off and again at 6:00 when they leave and 7:00 when they get back. It kind of wears me out. Rachel has to take them a few times next week; so I'm hoping with the Happy Light, she'll be better and she can continue taking them. Then I can sleep all the way through. Because you know, I like to stay up at night writing or reading. I can't give that up.

See you next time!

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!