Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Day of Advent

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was not as I expected. Maybe I'll get around to writing about that sometime.

Today I pulled out a few first holiday decorations - I like to decorate slowly as we draw nearer to the main celebration. We put out a few pot fillers on the front porch to replace the pumpkins, got our advent calendar set up and ready to start this week, and set up our advent wreath on the table. Tonight at dinner we lit the first candle, read the creation Bible story, and read one of our Christmas picture books (which my kids have mostly outgrown, but I'm still making them listen to me!).

And I read one of my favorite Advent writings Where God Begins.  Always a good read me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

DayBook 11.8.16

Outside my window... an amazingly beautiful, sunny day. I'm not complaining, but isn't it supposed to be cold in mid-November? Is winter coming?

I am feeling... pretty well rested. Love the fall time change.

I am thinking... about outfits for the kids for holiday outings and photography we are having done over Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for... sunglasses.

From the kitchen... made Swedish pancakes for breakfast. Not sure on dinner - maybe Harvest Skillet. I have everything I need to make it. There is a veggie sausage soup defrosting in the fridge, but will probably put that in the crockpot tomorrow for dinner and serve it with cornbread. Also have beets and cauliflower in the fridge to roast. Will probably do the beets today and then use the greens to make this amazingly wonderful baked eggs with greens. It is SO good. Although now I wish I had gotten 2 cartons of mushrooms at the grocery because Kate has started asking for Killer Kale Salad again.

I a wearing... black running shorts, yellow-green running tee, running shoes. Can't wait to get out of them and in the shower!

I am creating... a really cute quilt that I can't seem to find time to work on!

I am going... to drop of my ballot this evening. I kinda like waiting until the last few hours.

I am reading... Before the Fall (fiction audiobook), Better Than Before (nonfiction audiobook), Intimacy (fiction real book), How to Save a Life (fiction Kindle), and Dance of the Dissident Daughter (nonfiction real book), The Adventures of Robin Hood (read aloud with Jack). I'm at the end of all of these. Need to line up my next list of books!

I am hoping... that all is well at my eye doctor appointment tomorrow. I've been on every 2 hour steroid drops since my surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago. My vision is still a bit blurry in that eye but really hoping it's not more ingrowth.

Around the house... I've been working really hard cleaning out the back storage area of our basement. We've been in this house for 8 years which has been plenty of time to accumulate masses of STUFF back there. I'm about 2/3 through and feeling  ever so lighter. My favorite change is the far back, coal cellar alcove has been converted to holiday decoration storage. I now have many of our decorations on shelves where I can easily keep track of what we have.

In the garden... I can't believe I still have a growing garden! Really just the kale, chard, rhubarb and hardy herbs are left, but still. I'm ready for a good, hard freeze so I can mulch it all with compost for the winter. Even my forget-me-nots are still blooming!

In the homeschool room... I never did a November homeschool plan. We've been mostly just doing the basics - math, reading, writing. Some history. Some science. Lots of election coverage.

How I am exercising... I went on a really nice run this morning. Not far and not fast, but it felt so good.

A few plans for the week... all our normal swim/tennis/tutor/piano activities plus lots of appointments for me this week - therapist, eye doctor, hair. Also a technology meeting at the school, meeting with our architect, and a girls' night out. Then a big swim meet this weekend.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Halloween Wrap Up

Another fun Halloween in the books. As Jack said last night, "The problem with holidays is that we have so much fun, but then it is all over so quick."

I find notes about holidays, seasons, events, etc. extremely helpful to reference later. With life being so full, it is easy to forget what worked well and what didn't from year to year. Or maybe I'm just getting old and forgetful!

Notes on Halloween 2016

  • Kate went as a creepy little girl. Jack was an assassin (heaven help me!). We didn't put much effort into costumes this year. Kate wore an old "doll" outfit from an American Girl party with scary makeup. We bought Jack an all black outfit from the Halloween store on the 30th. Costumes were low stress, but I'd like to start earlier next year.
  • I like spacing Halloween decoration placement. We put out autumn decorations in September. Added a few of the cute Halloween items the beginning of October. Added a few scarier ones plus the outside lights the week before Halloween. Finished the outside of the house (strobe light, tombstones, spiderwebs, etc) on Halloween day.
  • Our tradition is to carve pumpkins on Halloween Day. The squirrels don't eat them, and it gets us into the spirit during the early afternoon. With Kate's late school release, Jack and I picked out pumpkins early afternoon. Might need to consider getting pumpkins a day or two early so Kate can participate. Do like tradition of going to Spencer's for pumpkins, cider, apples, corn candy, etc.

  • I wish I had a few more Halloween decorations in the kitchen/family room area where we spend most of our time. Maybe next year I'll have a whole new kitchen & family room to decorate!

  • We gave out (or ate!) over 1000 pieces of candy this year. It was really fun to have the motion activated monster in the candy bowl!
  • The time between 4-6PM on Halloween is a bit stressful for me - trying to get dinner done, kids fed, costumes on, answer the door for the first few trick or treaters, etc. Need to think about how to make that easier.

  • We didn't go to Boo at the Zoo this year. I think it is the first time we've missed ever. We even spent Kate's first Halloween at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo because we were here for Matt's job interview. We missed mostly because we were traveling, but we could have gone Sunday night. Makes me wonder if we are outgrowing the event.
  • Kristen, LISTEN CLOSELY, do NOT buy any Halloween napkins. I don't care how cute they are. You have enough to last a lifetime in your Halloween storage box!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Green Eggs, No Ham

One of our Americauna hens started laying last week. A nice green color. Makes egg gathering that much more exciting. Now I'm excited to see the color of the last new hen. Any day now!
First green egg
On a sad note, I noticed this morning that one of my favorite hens Rocket is not doing well. It's not unexpected as those older hens are over 5 years old now, but still...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschool Plan - 6th Grade - October

Despite being almost halfway through October, here's this month's homeschool plan. I actually wrote this almost 2 weeks ago, but edited it this morning before publishing...


  • Tutor - 3-4x/week (I *heart* our math tutor!!)
  • Read Life of Fred - Honey - didn't get to this last month
  • Math Games
  • Logic Games

  • The Story of the World - vol 2, ch 21-34 (Monguls Devastate the East to Martin Luther's New Ideas) plus related books & videos
  • CNN Student News - daily
  • Election Study - using various library and internet sources

  • Spooky Circuits - library program plus related books & videos
  • ModDesign1 - through YouthDigital
  • Elk Hike - Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument & related books & videos
  • Arizona Trip - National Park visits TBD

  • Waldorf Homeschool Program  - 1 day/week
  • Keyboarding Without Tears - 3-4x/week
  • Speech Therapy - 2x/week
  • Piano - weekly lesson plus practice 4-6x/week
  • Swim Team - 3-4x/week
  • Dock Diving - TBD

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Oh, Hello, Blog

Did you think I forgot about you? I haven't. Life has just kept me on my toes this season.

I found out yesterday that I have to have eye surgery again next week. This will be my fourth eye surgery in 18 months, and the last one was just over 3 weeks ago.  Even though I was pretty certain I needed surgery again (because my vision is still so poor in that eye - I'm one of the teeny, tiny percentage of people who have complications from LASIK. Blah.), the actual news was still difficult to hear. And even though it is relatively minor in the realm of medical issues, I am still a bit bummed to need to go through it yet again.

I consider myself to be mostly an optimist/realist, but sometimes something will send me down the path of negative thinking. You know the one where all you can see is the things going wrong in life? That's where I started going yesterday, but I'm stopping myself and changing my thinking by focusing on all that's wonderful right now.

Some of the good that's happened in my life since I last blogged (in August!)...

 - My parents came for a week around Labor Day. My mom broke her arm and had to be casted (ok, that's not good, but it feels necessary to mention. And actually Kate thinks the casting and signing was exciting). We went fossil hunting. My dad made his specialty Butterfinger milkshakes (twice!). We went to the Rubber Duck Races - Jack's duck even won a prize!
Fossil hunting
I coud have done this for hours!

My girl
Duck race
- My sister and her friend stopped though town and stayed a night with us. Fit a decent amount into a short visit.
Garden of the Gods
- I took a goat cheese making class. Got to milk a goat. Now I *really* want a goat.
I was a natural milker!
Goat kisses
- My new hens started laying  (well, 3 of the 5 did... still waiting on the Americanas. Apparently they are often late layers. So impatient for those colored eggs!).
- Jack and I went to California with friends for a long weekend. I got an afternoon to sit on the beach, soak up the sun, and put my toes in the waves. Then we went on a whale & dolphin watching tour - small boat and up close experience. I even got to smell whale breath!
- Attended MINECON with Jack. Pretty sure I'll be getting a Mother of the Year award for that effort.
See me in my Minecraft shirt?!?
- Turned 4-4. Wow. Had a great meal with a great friend as we watched the sun set over the ocean.
It's just not my birthday if there aren't
candy corn pumpkins on the cake!

 - Went on a ranger guided elk bugling tour at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (I live for that stuff...)
Look at the Aspen leaves!
 - Took a short trip on my own to Dallas to see my mom and my brother and my niece and nephew. Love those ones.
Auntie Date

I am also so grateful that my life is full of so many little, delightful, barely-worth-mentioning, will-they-even-be-remebered moments - movies on the couch with kids, seeing the succulents reproducing, quiet reading together, making carmel corn, inside jokes, snuggles, quilting time, holding newborns, buying a new bedspread, chicken and dumplings, snuggles with pets... I could go on and on!
Tripper Love