Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes (vol. 29)



#1 - The internet is a curse and a blessing. Its a blessing in how connected it can make people who live thousands of miles away. Its a blessing in how much information is provided at your fingertips. Its a curse when it doesn't work well and you've learned to rely on it. And your work requires you to use it.

This curse has followed me around for the last few weeks and has been driving me crazy! However, as our connectivity seems to be up and running again, perhaps I can get back to doing those lovely things in life like checking emails and staying in touch with people. And blogging. And pinteresting. And yes, spending time on Facebook!

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#2 - Well, we're in full summer mode around here. Lots of trips to the local water park, lots of games, movies, fun trips to places, groups coming on campus and doing crazy activities with the girls, I love the summer.

Admittedly, I do miss my downtime during the days sometimes as having all the kids all day long can get really tiring. But not having to stress about school and grades and homework but being able to just focus on fun and bonding with the girls is an enjoyable experience.

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#3 - Talking about not having downtime. The first three days of this past shift, I was sick, Baby Q was teething (at four and a half months he's already popped out two teeth!), and Blueberry was sick. We did the sensible thing and actually took some sick time (I say sensible because frequently we don't wind up taking sick time when we're sick. It's complicated.).

Any ways, we came back to work on Tuesday and had a busy day. Then Wednesday our day went haywire as we (a) were told that our oldest girl was moving to another cottage on Thursday and (b) we are getting two new girls next week--a 3 year old and a 5 year old, sisters.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent in a scrambled mess of activity, including my house being invaded by an additional 8 teenage girls who were part of a group on campus needing something to do. I put them to work, got several projects that were desperately needing finishing up, and have everything mostly ready to greet our two new girls.

Sad goodbyes to losing our Tortoise; although, admittedly, she was definitely needing to be in a house with peers of her age. Now to take on my next challenge!

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#4 - We had a birthday a few weeks ago. And I have to admit, the cake was pretty spectacular, if I may say so myself without sounding too puffed up! What do you think? Pink and Black and White Zebra stripes!



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#5 - My minimalizing mission is going slowly. I just don't have a lot of free time while we're working (see #2); but it is coming together slowly. My closet is greatly reduced. And I've tackled most of the kitchen (still have a few areas that need cleaning out). I'm liking my much emptier kitchen counters. I'll never be a true minimalist, but hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?

Actually, in truth, true minimalist kind of creep me out. I guess it's commendable to have so few objects that you're attached to, but it always feels a little sad to me.

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#6 - This past month we had the pleasure of my baby sister and her husband for a few days. We've got a visit being planned for the end of July for one of my favoritest people in the whole world to come and see me (plus husband and her four kids!), and we're trying to figure out how to take a trip to Missouri probably in August. Anyone else want to come on down? Love to see you!

Baby Q with his Aunt and Uncle

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#7 - We've been battling bedtime for the last month or so. Blueberry used to go to bed so well, and then all of the sudden she just quit. Doesn't want to go to bed without fussing and making excuses to be out of bed a thousand times. I know, I know. Normal probably but still tiring.

We're finally back to doing a reward system with her. See if it works. It needs to because with four kids under the age of 5 in the house, I'm not going to have the time to be dealing with a squirrelly bed time girl. Please, dear Lord, let our two new ones be good sleepers!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Books, Books, and More Books

So here's some of my recent book saturation.

1. How to Embrace a Minimalist Wardrobe--Making the Most Out of Your Closet! by Kristen D. Smith. Pretty good read. Some interesting links. I like that she's very practical. I've looked at some minimalist clothing concept books before, and they tend to lean to the theoretical--which is irritating.

2. A Manual for Writers of Research Paper, Theses, and Dissertations, Eight Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers by Kate L. Turabian  Why am I listing this? Well, I have spent an awful lot of time in lately, but really it's because (for anybody who actually is a nerd enough to care about this), they finally have good details on how to cite electronic books (ie Kindle types). Made me happy!

3. Secrets of Professional Organizers Volume 3: Leading Experts Talk About Decluttering, Organizing & Simplifying Life  by Donna Smallin Kuper   This isn't a minimalism book, but I've found it an interesting read. Its basically a bunch of interviews with professional organizers.

4. The Five Love Languages of Children  by Ross Campbell   If you've ever read the five love languages book, this is just as good--just kid-centric.

5. Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education  by Clark Aldrich   Really good read. I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on the unschooling/homeschool concept, but this book was really fascinating and has given me a lot to think about.

6. Simple Living - 30 days to less stuff and more life  by Lorilee Lippencott  I like her writing style a lot. Some good links in here. I'm trying to work my way through this one.

7. The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage by Gary Chapman  I do enjoy Chapman's perspective on marriage. This book is as good as all his others.

8. So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool?  by Tiffany Manlee  One thing I really appreciate about this book is the sheer practicality. She lists (and links) state laws regarding homeschooling, plus tons of ideas and resources. Love it!