Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

A surprise from Matt

(In theory I'm not a big "thing" person, but I sure like an occasional, unexpected gift!)

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August Homeschool Plans

I meant to do some sort of wrap up post for homeschooling in May/June, but never got around to it.

Oh, well.

The year was good. Some things went as plan, others didn't. I'm learning to relax a bit more. I started out the year trying to be very structured and planned but found we often wanted to stay with a topic for longer periods of time. This was especially true for history. I thought we'd get through The Story of the World in a few short months, but we got stuck in Egypt and couldn't leave!

I also found that we (truly meaning both me and the kids) got bored with some programs. For example, we started out the year with Math U See (and it is great!), but by March we'd had enough. We switched to Teaching Textbooks Math 3. It was a good to just have a change. We'll probably go back and forth between the two this upcoming year.

I was also surprised to find how much we (mostly me!) struggled with over scheduling, especially since   one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool was to avoid an overloaded schedule! There is just so much to do, and it all sounds like fun! We'll limit much more this year. I think. I hope. We'll see...

This year instead of giving myself a full or even half year plan like I did last year, I think I'll give myself a monthly plan. Nothing set in stone, just a general guide.

While we certainly didn't stop learning this summer, we did take a break from formal studies. We are already gearing back up with some math review, but I didn't want to start planning anything until August. Even then, August is definitely going to be an "easing back in" time for us. Here's my rough plan...

  • Farm Camp
  • Overnight Camp (for Kate)
  • Dallas Trip (Fossil Rim Wildlife Park, rhino study, Perot Museum of Nature & Science)
  • San Francisco Trip (Golden Gate Park, Muir Woods, John Muir Historic site, John Muir biographies, Redwoods, Exploratorium, maybe Alcatraz)
  • August reading list for each child (TBD)
  • Math (Xtra Math & IXL - finish up 2nd & 3rd grade for review)
  • Apple 1:1 at least twice (we purchased laptops for the kids last spring as they seem to need a computer more and more for schoolwork, using the 1:1 time for technology since the kids - especially Jack - are passing me up in tech knowledge at an alarming rate!)
  • Vision Therapy (Jack)
  • Sight Words (Jack - we use this app)
  • Test fluency for both kids to get baseline for this year
  • The Story of the World (no goal - just read and enjoy)
  • Online poetry class for Kate (starts the end of August)
  • Free Piano lessons. I have some names for piano teachers but in the meantime, we are going to try this.
  • Swim team
  • Weather lab - might wait to start this in September
And *my* August assignments...
  • Take Playful Learning Spaces ecourse
  • August Reading List (TBD)
  • Put together a baking class for the kids (inspiration here)
  • Put together a sewing class for the kids (inspiration here)
  • Plan activities for fall (for me and kids)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Right Now

Since my tank supposedly only holds 20 gallons...

I think I was close to being stranded!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

DayBook 7.29.13

Outside my window... sunny after a very rainy day. Foggy clouds covering the mountains still. Bits of mountain peaking through here and there.

I am thinking... that I am going to be really sad when the reality that my friend Nona has moved thousands of miles away actually hits me. (That sadness will be tempered by the fact that I get to go visit her in HAWAII! In December!)

I am thankful for... my life. This post (#5) reminded me of that this morning.

From the kitchen... I was a busy bee in the kitchen yesterday - 2 batches of buns, double batch of cha-cha-cha cookies (chickpea and chocolate chip), 24 roast beef sandwiches in the freezer, mini sausage quiches (that the kids told me they *hate* prior to tasting), and corn & black bean salad for later this week. Today I think I'll bake some sandwich bread and soak cucumbers because I have a hankering for cucumber sandwiches. Also going to roast a couple chickens for BBQ chicken sandwiches and freezer pot pies.

I am wearing...
 navy shorts, a baseball tee, and my current favorite summer shoes. I look pretty darn cute for just rolling out of bed!

I am creating... I started a new quilt this weekend. It's bright! Blocks are finished, just need to stitch them together. Ordered some flannel for the back. Hoping to snuggle under it this winter.

I am going... to get some new running shoes today or tomorrow. I ran several times in Austin, but my legs (specifically ankles, calves & shins - but not shin splints - just an achy, tired feeling) bothered me. I took this last week off running (but not tennis) to rest. Everything feels better except my right ankle. I think I have a little tendonitis. Blah.

I am reading... started and finished The Late, Lamented Molly Marx. Good read, but a book about death always leaves me a little sad. Especially when one can relate to the character.  Still reading the Lemon Cake one. Just no time to *sit* and read.

I am hoping... for a some time alone away from it all. I think the stars will align, and I might get one vacation night in August.

I am hearing...
 birds chirping, Nina snorting in her sleep, and a lawn mower somewhere in the neighborhood.

Around the house... my guest bedroom looks so good! Ceiling is painted, new light fixture up, dresser moved in. I'm going to pick up a frame and maybe a mirror today. The rest of the house is a disaster...

One of my favorite things... hot tea. Even in the summer.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
 my mother-in-law arrives tomorrow, Matt's uncle arrives on Wednesday, my parents arrive Friday, Uncle Mark will visit this weekend, tennis everyday this week, day camp & swim team for the kids, Matt is riding the Copper Triangle... Phew!

Here is a picture I am sharing: Does this even look like me? I don't think I look bad, it's just an angle I never see myself from.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Right Now

Well, Hello!

Watcha doin' in here?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Homeschool Moment

At Apple Camp making music & movies

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Newest Aquisition

Stopped at the hardware store to get some paint and a paintbrush. Left with this...

Comfy glide with a place to set my tea. Just right!

It's not perfect so I talked the guy down to a fabulous price. Always a plus.

Current dilemma: start painting or relax in my new spot...

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Monday, July 22, 2013

How Green is Your State?

I know I rarely post anything about being "green" anymore, but I was cleaning out my inbox today and came across this. Kinda fun so I thought I'd share...

Produced by

DayBook 7.22.13

Outside my window... looks lovely. I have the back door wide open. Can hear the birds chirping, and a chicken must have just laid an egg and is now clucking away.

I am thinking... about painting my whole house white!

I am thankful for... quiet days.

From the kitchen... after eating our way through Austin all last week, I'm not eating nor cooking again until August!

I am wearing... cutoffs, white tee (that I slept in last night!) and my recovery sandals (like foot heaven!)

I am creating...I have GOT to get into my sewing room sometime soon. I'm actually going to do a quilt-a-long class thing to help motivate me (although it really isn't a motivation problem, it's more of a making time problem). I might also ask Matt for a mountain weekend alone with my sewing machine soon

I am going... to enjoy this week. It is one of only a few weeks this summer that we don't have much going on.

I am reading... I waaay overestimated how much reading I would get done while we were in Texas. I'm close to being done with Reached and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Then I am going back to the pile of books that I've started but not finished. Mostly because I'm tired of having them hanging around on my bedside table!

I am hoping... to get to Nordstrom on my own for their anniversary sale. Doubtful, but a girl can hope, right?

I am hearing...
 another chicken squawking about her newly laid egg.

Around the house... travel laundry, deck is being painted (not by me), still working on guest room (ceiling now being painted by me!), general clean up. 

One of my favorite things... my college friends. Got to see one of my favorites in Austin.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
 oh goodness, I just want to be lazy all week... a few tennis matches, movie making class for Jack, vision therapy for Jack, hopefully some pool time.

Here is a picture I am sharing: lookin' great, Kate! And a moment later she did a face plant...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Right Now

Shady Grove with Tia

The frozen sangria is super yummy on a hot afternoon!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Right Now

I can still do it!

Up on my second try. Just a short run to prove it can still be done.

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Uh... Think I wore the wrong shorts for kayaking...

(In my defense, it was a fairly spontaneous decision to go!)

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

DayBook 7.12.13

Outside my window... I'm outside writing on the back porch of our mountain place. The air is cool and clean, the trees seem so green, and the wild grasses are spotted with wild flowers. Sometimes it can seem like such a hassle to get here, but - oh, my! once I am here, I feel so good. Then I wonder why I don't spend more time here. 

I am thinking... about how full my life is right now. And I write that with both a positive and a negative connotation. Summer has been so full of family and friends, and I love that. Wouldn't change that. But that fullness has left me wanting for space to think and and just be.

I am thankful for... the homeschooling time I've had with my kids. While we are committed homeschooling to this coming year, Kate has been talking about going back for 5th grade. I have mixed feelings, but I'm trying to focus on what a fun time it has been.

From the kitchen... nothing fancy. Kinda addicted to fruit and yogurt right now.

I am wearing... old, old fuzzy Prana yoga pants, a long underwear top (seems I didn't leave any clothes up here last visit) and my thick, red, mountain cardigan (it's a bit chilly in the mornings here)

I am creating... I think I'm going to start a new crochet project on our next travel trip coming up soon. Something to keep my hands busy while we fly and drive and chat.

I am going... to try to squeeze in a run today even though I don't really feel like it.
I am reading... not a lot of reading going on lately. I'm close to finishing Reached (#3 in the Matched trilogy). Then I think I'll move on to something more cerebral. I've had my fill of angsty young adult novels this year.

I am hoping... that my tennis team wins playoffs tomorrow. We came in first in our league and need to win this next match to go to the district playoffs in Denver. That would be so much fun, so wish us luck!

I am hearing...
 the creek water rush, a little bird at the top of a tree... pretty nice.

Around the house... I've been focusing on our guest room. Would really like to see it mostly done by the end of the summer. I feel like I never actually *finish* any rooms in our house.

One of my favorite things... unexpected texts from friends that make me smile

A few plans for the rest of the week:
 since it is already the end of the week... we head home Saturday so I can play tennis. Next week will be full of family and friends again.

Here is a picture I am sharing: Playing dress up

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Monday, July 08, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

 Kitten* crashing the outdoor movie** in our backyard***
*She really isn't a kitten anymore, but she has stayed so small that I still call her "Kitten"

**We were watching Pete's Dragon

***Forget the kitten! Just watching a movie in my own backyard makes me happy!!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

To Do List

Seems like I should have more crossed off since it has been a few weeks since I last blogged a to do list. I've pretty much just been in survival mode (except the few days I had to myself, but then I got bigger projects done). Life has been crazy busy the last few weeks, and it isn't really going to let up any time soon. Yesterday was the first day that felt like a true, do-nothing, summer day. It was lovely. And while I got a decent amount done, I also got a lot of nothing done. I need more days like that.
  1. Review/balance finances
  2. Register kids' for Apple One to One time
  3. Deposit kids' checks from my grandma
  4. Go through homeschool books/junk
  5. Clean out linen cupboard (on hold until I get dresser moved to guest room)
  6. Give hedgehog a bath (cage cleaned, but no bath)
  7. Make banana muffins
  8. Make vet appt
  9. Make my annual doctor appt
  10. Make my annual eye doctor appt
  11. Submit Kate's standardized test scores to school district
  12. Email homeschool program about curriculum
  13. Catch up on laundry (I've had to catch up a few times in the last few weeks!)
  14. Plant flower pots (decided not to do flower pots this year... too dry...)
  15. Buy paint for guest bedroom
Not sure if it is even worth making a list for this week. My dear friend Ashlee is coming to see me, and I know I'll be having too much fun with her to get much of anything done. I *should* at least get a few of the phone calls/emails done...
  1. Deposit kids' checks from my grandma
  2. Go through homeschool books/junk
  3. Make vet appt
  4. Make my annual doctor appt
  5. Make my annual eye doctor appt
  6. Submit Kate's standardized test scores to school district
  7. Email homeschool program about curriculum
  8. Submit homeschool form to school district
  9. Choose paint color for guest room ceiling (got walls painted, now going to take on the ceiling myself - yikes! But it is going to be so pretty when I'm done)
  10. Change guest room brown outlets to white (please let the old wiring is straight forward for me!)
  11. Buy curtain rods for guest room and Kate's room
  12. Hem drape for short guest room window
  13. While I'm at it, hem drapes in master bedroom
  14. Move old dresser from garage to guest room
  15. Freakin' get my master bedroom headboard upholstered (I've been meaning to do this for a year!!)

Right Now

Happy hedgehog!

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Egg Gathering

Jack can turn anything into an adventure!
Gearing up
Ready to enter the depths of the bushes
Cousins anxiously watching Operation Egg Recovery

Friday, July 05, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

A visit with an old friend.

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Camping 2013 - Lake Powell

We met up with Uncle Mark and camped at Halls Crossing. Rented a boat for the first 2 days and 2 jet skis the 3rd day. A great trip. We'd like to go back and rent a houseboat for the week to explore even more.
Hangin' with Uncle Mark
No one can build a campfire like Uncle Mark
Night sky was pretty amazing.
Visible Milky Way.
Plus I learned a few constellations.
Love this photo!
Jack was the 1st one out on the tube,
but we forgot to explain what happens if he falls off...
Poor kid went nuts when he fell off
and he saw the boat zooming away
(to loop around and get him)!
Not sure he'll ever get back out there! 
Nina - the quintessential man's dog
(we joke, but she really is a great camp/boat girl!)

For the record, I was opposed to this...


Gigantic Grasshopper!
No jet ski photos... too wet! Gotta remember my waterproof camera for our next Lake Powell trip. 

We ended our trip with a night in Pagosa Springs soaking in the tubs. I think we were too exhausted to take any photos at that point! 10 nights on the road will do that.

Already brainstorming Camping 2014!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

DayBook 7.3.13

Outside my window... sunny, warm but clouds are building over the mountains. Maybe we'll get an afternoon storm?

I am thinking... that life is pretty good. I'm feeling really happy this week.

I am thankful for... tolerant pets.

From the kitchen... at this moment I'm munching on apple slices, my favorite PB, and biscuits with my tea. Will probably do something easy for dinner like quesadillas and guacamole. I've been prepping all day for tomorrow... chicken in the crockpot for BBQ chicken sandwiches, black bean & corn salad, cut veggies, snow cone syrup...

I am wearing... a flowered skirt that used to be a dress. It was too short as a dress, so I never wore it. I really liked the print, so I cut it off and made it a skirt. Wearing it with a brown and pink striped tee. Polka dot Sanuks on my feet. Love 'em.

I am creating... messes. Just making messes out of everything!

I am going... to have a productive weekend.

I am reading... probably best to check my Goodreads page... I can't even remember what all I'm reading. Currently going back and forth between Matched on audible and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Haven't been much in a nonfiction mood this week. Will get back to it soon.

I am hoping... for the impossible

I am hearing...
birds chirping outside, the dryer turning intermittently, the dishwasher running, and Jack and my nephew Sonny talking about Minecraft.

Around the house... we are bursting at the seams with people staying in our house right now. All that is getting accomplished is of the "keep-it-together" sorts. But I'm not complaining! I love having everyone here.

One of my favorite things... afternoon naps while it rains

A few plans for the rest of the week:
 not much of a week left! Friends and family for the 4th (but no fireworks!), an early morning run with my running partner, a tennis clinic, swim meet for Kate. And I really want to get a massage.

Here is a picture I am sharing: Jack luring Anabelle with lettuce

June Miles

Despite receiving some flak for converting tennis hours to miles, I am sticking by my original plan!

Running = 66.25 miles
Tennis = 26.5 hours = 106 miles
June Total = 172.25 miles
2013 YTD = 729.75 miles

Decided no triathlon this summer, hence no biking nor swimming. I'm also not recording strength training, yoga or any other activities... I don't get as much as I want of any of those anyway...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Summer Dinner

Pretty good for throwing together a last minute meal.

Perfect outdoor eating.
(That's my mom, my niece and my nephew)

Post dinner clean up...

Nice way to end the day.