Monday, February 23, 2015

Books January - February 2015

1 - 2 - 3. Uglies, Prettties, Special - Scott Westerfeld
4 - 5. Land of Stories books 1 and 2 - Chris Colfer
6. The Swish of the Curtain - Pamela Brown
7. Maddy Alone - Pamela Brown
8. Golden Pavements - Pamela Brown
9. The Blue Door Venture  - Pamela Brown

Fiction for my Kids (not counting picture books)
1. Haffertee Hamster - Janet and John Perkins
2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson

1. One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voscomp
2. 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum - Cathy Duffy

Friday, February 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes (vol. 36)

#1 - We've been off work this week, and I immediately came down with a terrible cold. It's been cold outside, so snuggling inside has been a good option for most of this week. Snow, well, that's laughable. While the rest of the east coast seems to be under mountains of snow and ice, we got maybe half an inch on Monday (the girls were off school that day--President's day).

So they cancelled school for Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, we got about 30 minutes of a light dusting.

So they cancelled school for Wednesday.

Thursday was really cold. Like a high of 15 or so. So they cancelled school for Thursday.

And apparently (because admittedly this is a large county) there is still ice on the roads in some places (but not in town where we are), so they cancelled school for Friday.

To make up for four days of missed school. Kids have a half day of school on Saturday. Which is a joke because we've done Saturday school make-up days in this county before, and the kids will watch movies and do nothing of significance.

Did I mention we're off duty? Yeah...we are. And I'm glad. 

More possibility of snow next week though. Maybe we'll manage two weeks off in a row!

#2 - One thing I've been doing while we're off (well, I started a few weeks ago, have just been finishing pieces this week), is doing a major overhaul of our house. We live in 400 sq feet. And while I'm not anti small-house living, it definitely does require some serious planning on furniture arrangements, etc. I finally got sorted through some areas that I've been avoiding doing for awhile. And then I made a list of what needed to be done to rearrange, remove, and create some more space in our little home.

13 item list. Which a few items of which were possible to do one step at a time, but most of which required moving Item A to point B, moving Item C to Point D, so that I can then move Item A to Point get the idea.

End result, I love it. Two big pieces of furniture are now gone, a chest that was in our room has been moved out of the room, thus reclaiming some serenity space for my bedroom, and a new bookshelf is now in the kid's room, designed for storing toys in a better manner.

Everything feels a little more breathable, and I feel good with the large boxes of miscellaneous items now gone. Still have one more area to sort through, and then comes the next tasks of putting in some major work on catching up on my scrapbooks so I can get rid of the boxes taking space in my closet. Once I've caught up on these last few physical scrapbooks, I'm switching to digital only.


#3 - Also on my list to do this week: edit one paper for a grad student.

Several hours later: check.


#4 -  This past three weeks (shift), has been crazy. Starting with jet lag fighting for about 10 days, combined with Zander's birthday, Valentine's Day, training sessions, and now I'm tired. I'm having a hard time registering that it's only been a month since we were in Thailand. Feels like a lifetime ago.

Oh, and did I mention that my daughter has been making steady plans about what she's doing the next time we're there? :)  bwa ha ha....the travel bug gene has been activated!


#5 - Been doing some research on kindergarten. Cause my baby is old enough to start kindgarten this year. That fact frightens me. So, my main focus with kindergarten, because in reality I don't necessarily believe kindergarten is necessary, But on the flip side, Blue wants to be in school. So, hey, why not. Reading and writing is definitely on her priority list, so there's not reason it shouldn't be on mine.

Unschooling, while something I've considered, is not my style. However, Before Five in a Row has been fun this year, so I think we're going to take the Five in a Row route instead. I like the idea of learning to read with "real books" instead of readers that have no real story and get boring after the first time. I figure Five in a Row--with it's use of great kid's books, should be a good help in that regards.

#6 - And there's my Baby Z, who is rapidly grown out of Babyhood and into Toddlerhood. His language skills continue to explode, and his sense of humor is hysterical. Everything is "funny" or "silly," and he looks for every opportunity to make people laugh.


#7 - Two year old Birthday Party. Spoiled greatly. Apparently living in a house full of girls leads to much love.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Daybook -- February 2, 2015

Outside my window...It is bucketing down with rain. Such a gloomy day. Post-Superbowl depression?

I am thinking...that I forgot to write our cottage sponsorship letter for January. Oops! Guess I should get that done ASAP! I have a reputation to uphold for staying on top of those.

I am thankful for...a good group of cottage girls. They make life cheerful and satisfying. I know it won't stay this way for long, but I'm enjoying it while we have it.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...Baby Z is changing every day. His language skills are growing exponentially. And his interactions with toys and people are great. He is so much more focused on exploring and analyzing "things" than his sister ever was. He will sit and play with a toy for a long time, enjoying what he can make with them and do. I love it.

From the kitchen...Came quite a lot of yummy food yesterday. We had chicken wings and french fries (sweet potato fries for those of us attempting more paleoesque eating....we won't mention the batch of GF brownies that I couldn't resist making) and cheese dip and chips and veggie trays. In addition to brownies and cookies and other yumminess. How to convert girls to the Superbowl? Feed them well.

I am wearing...Sweats and a shirt because in order to get some writing time in and some exercise time in, I have to do both first thing in the morning before my smallest are allowed out and about. Because once they're out, I'm done for!

I am creating...Valentine's day and birthday plans. A 2 year old party (just cake and presents this year) and of course V-day fun for all my kids.

I am going...tonight, to take one of the girls to her second ballet class at a proper studio. As a Christmas present from one of the groups, they kindly gave her a semester of ballet classes. While I'm grateful that she is getting this experience, the ballet snob in me is cringing a little bit because the studio itself, just from initial feel, is not one I would have chosen. Highly competition focused and not very professional feeling. Interestingly enough, I was talking to a friend the other day, and she said that someone else had just had that same vibe from that studio, so it made me feel a little less snobby and instead feel like I can chalk it up to sheer experience (ha ha).

In my mailbox today.. .should hopefully be some presents that I've ordered for the above mentioned events. More wooden train tracks for Baby Z's trains to run on. We are train obsessed currently. And I'm good with it.

I am reading.. .a series of books called The Blue Doors. This is actually a very old young adult series that I only ever read the first one of growing up, and I finally got my hands on all five of the books (quite short), and have been enjoying reading the rest of the series. The first book, The Swish of the Curtain (Pamela Brown being the, at the time, 14 year old author!) was one of my favorites, and I can't begin to count how many times I read it. It's a very theatrical series, and quite a good read....just like getting closure!

I am stick well with this paleo eating thing for awhile as I really am enjoying how it is making me feel (minus a few exceptions like some chocolate and the occasional GF brownie). I'm finding my limits and learning how to best utilize them.

I am hearing...the sounds of the cottage girls getting ready for their day (giggles and vacuums and the occasional question coming my way). And wind howling around the side of the house. Really, it's best described as wuthering.

Around the house...I am officially unpacked and have most of our new decor from Thailand hung up/placed as desired. Happiness is pictures of elephants and floating markets.

One of my favorite things...watching my daughter interact with different groups of people. She has grown up around older kids her whole life, and I don't know if it's that or just her personality, but she has quite a level of maturity to her in her interactions with all kids (both her age and older). I'm curious to see how this works out in her life as she grows up.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
- ballet classes x3 (one cottage girl, one Blueberry, and I need to start back up with the campus girls)
- one birthday party to plan for and have
- Prayer session (we're doing a ten week class on campus)
- staff meeting
- weekend plans, TBD. Girls want to go shopping. I guess we'll see.

Here is picture (or more) for thought I am sharing...
This hands-behind-the-back thing is very new and extremely cute.

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

In response to the accusations, finger-pointing, nose-snubbing, guilt-charging, and overall negativity peppering my facebook page regarding Katie Perry and her Superbowl halftime show (not that I'm in any way endorsing the halftime show, it was turned off at our house):

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:3 - 5

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...