Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Xav's wedding dance!

He's such a cutie pie!


Here I sit.  At the dining room table that gets converted into the school room 5 days a week.  Had a late start today, but it's nice because the boys have very little seatwork to do today.  I have to do some actual TEACHING for Tucker today ~ review of abc's {sometimes he has a harder time identifying them while reading}, memorizing months of the year and days of the week, and also looking at some charts to do with numbers placements.  He does pretty good with most of his stuff.  Just needs a little help.
Xavier is doing pretty well with his math.  And language ~ although, he hates reading (gets that from his daddy not me) and penmanship.  But he likes and gets the grammar work, which is nice!  Then we have science, history and Bible still to do after they get their seatwork done.  
I am truly enjoying doing their school with them this year.  Although, I think I need to be a little more structured with it.  I do need to administer their quizzes and tests in a better way.  But we'll get there eventually. 
Since we are learning about animals this chapter in science class, I'm thinking Friday might call for a trip to the zoo here in Syracuse.  FIELD TRIP!  That is the most awesome part of homeschooling.  Then sometime next month we are going to go to a farm for the autumn activities ~ hay ride, corn maze, maybe some apple picking.  I'm learning to not be so concerned about scheduling but about having a fun time with my guys.   It's hard, but when they grow up, I want them to look back and have wonderful memories of this time of their lives.  I am a hard person.  I realize that.  I'm trying to not be as harsh.  I'm trying to be more loving.  I'm trying to parent with grace.  THAT is hard.  But I can't do any less.  My wonderful Abba Father never treats me harshly, only with love.  So, I try to model HIM.  I fail at times, but my guys are so wonderful as to keep giving me chance after chance to become a better mom!  I have such awesome guys!

On another note, we had an awesome weekend.  Jesse's sister Samantha got married.  We had such a great time!  Xavier got to be the ring bearer.  He got a nice kickin' watch out of the deal.  And he showed us that he has got the MOVES on the dance floor.  THAT he must've got from me.  :D  It was so fun to watch him!  He told us on the way home that he got everyone out on the dance floor!  And that is pretty much the truth of it!   He had a good time and so did we.  I think I may have gained about 20 pounds between the rehearsal dinner and the dinner at the reception.  HOLY CRAP ~ it was AWESOME food. And I am a girl who likes good food! 
I'm gonna come back later today or tomorrow and upload some pictures on here and maybe a video or 2 of Xavier gettin' his groove on! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I can tell the seasons are changing!

With me, there is just this feeling I get in my gut at the turning from Summer to Autumn.  And it's a good one!  I love the chill in the air, keeping the windows open, making the heart meals.  I just love autumn! 
And at night,  right before bed, hot cocoa is begged for (and almost always obliged ~ if we have enough for all 3) and snuggles are fought for.  Nope, I don't beg them to snuggle with me, they fight over who gets to snuggle with me first.  And that does this mama's heart SO good!  I love it when my guys just snuggle and love on me!  I have been so blessed in my life.  Beyond measure. 

Now mind you they can be precocious little boogers.  Like tonight  ~ Xavier climbed a tree in our complex (we rent, and the management can be .............anal) and just started tearing down branches.  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?  So, I expect to be getting a very "sweetly worded" letter tomorrow.  Oy vey!

School is going really well.  Today, we started late (what's new, I'm SO not a morning person) and we were done by 1:15 ~ before Jesse got up.  WOOHOO! 
The guys do their seatwork ~ math, english, phonics/spelling  ~ all independently, well, for the most part independently.  Then we do Bible, history and science together.  I really am kinda liking it!  I love history ~ and so I'm relearning alot of what I had previously forgotten ~ and they like it too.  But what they like the best, I think is science.  We are learning about bugs and plants and animals!  I'm just having a good time just sitting at the table and talking/teaching with my guys! 

And that is just what's going on right now!  Oh, yeah, and btw ~ I did cut my fb vaca short!  :D

Learning about myself

You know, it's kinda funny.   Lately, while on fb, I had been getting frustrated.  You know, the kind of frustration that makes a girl just shake her head and yell to the wind "I DON'T UNDERSTAND SOME PEOPLE".  Ugh. 
So, I decided to take a facebook hiatus, vacation, sabbatical, or whatever you want to call it.  So, I decided that to keep my blood pressure to a healthy level, I needed to stay off of facebook for a while.  I came out with grand plans of doing it for a full week.  O.o ~ I don't know why I did that to myself.  I was going through withdrawals within 30 minutes.  And I realized that is a long time to go for a first time fb vacationer.   Especially since I am not doing anything special right now.  It would be easier if I was on vacation.  But I'm not.  I'm just homeschooling, and cleaning and cooking (keep your mouth shut, Jesse) and just bored at night.  Jesse goes to work at 6 pm, the boys go to bed no later than 9 pm and I am lonely the rest of the evening.  So it is hard
Now, what I am finding the most telling about myself is that a) I am what could be considered addicted to facebook and b)REALLY a boring and weird person cause I find I can blog about it. 

All that to say ~ I am going to go off my fb vacation ~ it was intended to alleviate stress, not add to it.  And yes, I am gonna have some unnamed men gloat because apparently they know me better than I know myself.   There were some guys who said I couldn't last, my husband being one of them.  I will gladly tell them that they were right.   But, I have also learned that maybe I don't need to live on it like I have become accustomed to.   So, there is my sad strange little blog about my lack of will power to stay off of facebook. 
And this is why I don't drink ~ I'm easily addicted and have no will power to stop.  SERIOUSLY!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do your best, and hang the rest

I have said that phrase to Tucker, my little first grader today.

He had to read a sentence, then draw a picture to go with that sentence.  Well, not necessarily a sentence, but a phrase.  The first phrase he had was 'a frog on a pond'.  He didn't know how to draw a frog.  So, he asked me.  I am so NOT an artist.  So, I drew an oval, with 4 webbed-ish feet and a smile for a mouth and 2 eyes above the  oval.  And he looked at it like "Mom, that ain't no frog".  He said, I don't think I can.  So I told just do his best and hang the rest.

So many times, in my own life for myself, and for my kids, I find myself expecting more than I should.  More than they can give/do.  More than I can.  I expect perfection.  And I tell myself that is impossible.  That I expect too much from myself, or from them.  But it is so hard to remember at times that we aren't meant to be perfect.  We, in and of our human nature, cannot achieve perfection.  EVER.  No matter what we do, or how hard we try.  But I have a hard time remembering that.  Why is it so much easier to forget that we can't be perfect so we try try and try some more to achieve what is impossible for us? 

God, in HIS infinite love for us knew that we can't achieve that perfection ~ the kind *we* want nor the kind HE wants.  And I'm so thankful that HE doesn't expect me to do it on my own cause I SO can't.   So, I'm trying to live by this motto ~ Do your best and hang the rest.  Because that is all I can do.  And that is all I expect from my guys.  Unfortunately, I had spent way too much time expecting so much from them that they are too hard on themselves.  So together, we are learning this simple yet complex principle.  

And THAT was our lesson for today!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

School papers

I have always had a difficult time keeping track of paper work for the boys school.  We have mostly done the A Beka accredited program, where we send the papers in to them and they sent us a grade card.  I liked that but that was SO FREAKIN' EXPENSIVE.  So, this year, we decided to just "go it alone".  Because really, do you REALLY need to keep track of transcripts until high school?!  I mean, yes, I keep my papers, but I don't think I really needed the accreditation for elementary school.

So, we got our "new to us" file cabinet ~ it is old and heavy.  It was a steal.  Not quite the good deal we got with the one from where Jesse worked in Florida.  Can't beat free.  But, this one was $10.  Definitely a good deal, because a new one would not be as heavy duty.  And a flimsy 2 drawer one at Target is like $45.  So, yeah, a good deal.

Anywho ~ I got caught up on some of my grading.  But the thing I LOVE ~ I found (off of a facebook page ~ oh, how I miss thee, fb) a link to get a free gradebook system ~ it's a homeschool mom who formatted the excel worksheet.  It is awesome ~

It has an attendance record, separate tabs for each subject and grades for those subjects (quiz, test, and daily grades {which I don't use the daily grades} ) and also tabs for extra curriculars {ours are art, music, and pe}, book reports, and field trips.

This excel spreadsheet is such a life saver.  I stressed so much over how to keep my records.  I have to send in reports every 9 weeks to our school district so this is totally helping me.  And it's kinda nifty.  It helps me to keep track of how many days we are in school. 
Oh, and the best part?!  IT WAS FREE!  But, you know, it totally would've been SO worth the (I think) $25 it was going for (I just happened to win a contest or be within the certain number of visitors on a blog, or something like that :D ).  But I am SO glad I followed that link! 

I did notice that I was a few quizzes behind so tomorrow we are going to catch up.  I'm still trying to get the hang of this whole self teach thing.  I'm trying not to over stress it, and I'm trying to not hold myself to some far reaching goal.  I'm trying to stay realistic.  And I haven't been too hard on the guys, which I have to keep telling myself to just go with the flow. 

Do you homeschool?   How do you stay on track, and still keep it fun and make sure your kids are still learning?  Just lookin' for some ideas! 

AND ~ I'm really jonesin' to sign into facebook, so here I am rambling and blogging!  Don't mind me :D

Uh, oh.

Wow, I had decided last night to take a needed break from facebook.  I know that I am on there entirely too much.  You know the saying that all my friends are the ones on line?!  Well, that is pretty much true!  But, I have been getting frustrated.  Not by any one person, just frustrated.  I have been feeling mouthy lately.   And I don't really desire to make enemies, so I decided to just back off for a little while ;) 

You know, I blame Eve.  You know, the curse and all.  UGH.  PMS.  Not something I suffer from gracefully KWIM? 

So, about an hour ago, I swore off facebook for hopefully a week.  I have my detractors who think I can't make it.  I'm beginning to think they may be right.  I'm having to keep telling myself ~ DON'T LOG IN!  Hopefully, my house will be a little cleaner ;)  And I will get caught up on some stuff.  I have a few things planned to keep me busy during this "facebook hiatus" ~

Jesse just bought me (dirt cheap off of craigslist) a 5 or 6 drawer file cabinet that I'm gonna start organizing my school stuff in.  YAY!  It won't all just be laying around helter skelter.  I won't lose it as easily that way! 
Which is a very good thing :D

Then, I really want to start blogging more.  Like I know you who do read my blogs really want to hear me whine and blather on and on and on and on.  I promise to try NOT to whine too much ;) 

Now mind you, I never said I was swearing off Google+ or twitter or Smart Girl Politics or what not.  Just the place I spend (or rather waste) the most of my time ~ pray for me ~ and my family :D  They may just end up begging me to start facebooking again.  And you may too!

So, there it is.  And the withdrawal is already setting in LOL!  But I think I can manage to survive ~ for at least a day or 2 ~ I hope!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11th

We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
“Terrorism against our nation will not stand.”
“Our enemies have made the mistake that America’s enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat.”
~ George W. Bush

10 years ago, I was a first time mom. My baby was 3 weeks old. My husband was busy. He was in the Marine Corps ~ man, do I miss it. September 10th, 2001 was a normal night ~ putting the baby to bed, up a couple times a night for feedings and diaper changes ~ which my man was wonderful at helping with! We had 1 car. Lived on base in a tiny 2 bedroom (couldn't have been any bigger than 900 sq. ft.)duplex at Midway Park.

September 11th 2001 came early for Jesse. They were doing work ups for upcoming float. So he was in early. I got up with the baby and put him in bed with me so i could snooze a little bit longer! I had the radio on to KISS country. Dozing off and on for what seemed like forever. When I finally woke up, reluctantly. And all the sudden, the show hosts break into a song ~ which was rare for them to do ~ and reported that a plane had hit the first world trade center. After a couple minutes, I go put Xavier in his crib and I turned the tv on. {Those were the days when we couldn't afford cable, so we had those bunny ear antenna's}
I had it on ABC and Charlie Gibson was on and reporting about the first WTC/plane collision. Then as I'm standing there, I saw the other plane fly into the other building. I stood there in utter shock. But, after a minute or two, I hear someone sobbing. I look around (I was the only one home)only to realize that tears were coursing down my cheeks and it was I who was sobbing.
I fell to the couch as I watched as people made decisions that it was better to fall to their death than be burned or be completely smashed.
At some point, I go to the phone to call Jesse to see if this was all a joke. My phone was dead. I look out my window, and it was SO clear, bright and beautiful out. When my phone finally had a tone, I couldn't get through to Jesse after a half hour. I then called my parents to make sure they were okay and they were. I eventually got through to Jesse ~ who told me to stay put ~ don't leave because all bases were locked down, if we left we weren't sure when we could get back on. It wasn't a big deal because he had the car. After doing nothing but watching coverage all day ~ and talking to Jesse when he could get through, I had a mission. He had asked me to make sure all his uniforms were washed and to get together any gear that he might need. His unit was the "on call" or next up unit. He might have to leave within 48 hours. The rumors were endless ~ the most plausible was that he might end up having to go to New York to help with the search efforts, security forces.

I spent my day feeding and changing the baby, doing laundry, and the weeping didn't stop. I was terrified beyond belief. Worried about my husband ~ who was in the branch of the military whose motto was First to Fight. Scared to death not knowing if our base was in danger. And knowing that I had just brought a baby into such a scary place.

Jesse eventually got home around 2 a.m. He didn't got to NYC. And they left on float at their appointed time ~ 6 months later. We survived 3 war time deployments.

But I will never forget the horrible utter terror of that day and the subsequent days following. Our tv's eventually went back to life as normal. As did the rest of our lives. But, our lives were forever altered, by the loss of so many lives. By so many things. And I'm grateful that I will never forget. I'm grateful that I get to educate my children on why we were attacked.

What is funny is that in our Bible classes, we have been learning about Abraham, Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac. You know, were it not for Sarah ~ who didn't trust God's promises, who made decisions with her emotions {granted, Abraham could've, and SHOULD'VE said NO WAY, SARAH}~ we wouldn't be in the same predicament we have today. You see, God promised Abraham a line through which all the world would be blessed. But, Sarah got impatient and gave Abraham permission to take another wife ~ her Egyptian (hmmmm, curious) maid Hagar who gave birth to Ishmael. He wasn't the "promised" son ~ Isaac was ~ who Sarah gave birth to 13 years later ~ but God couldn't deny Ishmael. I like that ~ God will ALWAYS keep HIS word. God told Hagar that Ishmael would be a wild donkey of a man, whose hand would be against everyone. And boy, have his descendants lived up to that.

September 11th was the scariest and most life altering moment so far in my life. But, through it, we saw who our friends/allies are. We saw that America can be a very divided country, but when it came down to it, we were UNIFIED. {And my prayer is that we could get back to that again} But, I'm grateful that I can use this to show my boys that God keeps HIS promise, and such a cut and dried right is right and wrong is wrong lesson. And, how we can make decisions in our lives good and bad, but that God will ALWAYS keep his promise. Whether HE likes our decisions or not. And that is a comforting thought.

So, here we sit, 10 years later, and it seems as though so many have forgotten. But I will never forget. NEVER FORGET.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


"I'm thankful for piles of laundry,it means my blessings are nearby"
I like that quote. For so long, and I still fight this, I stressed about keeping my house perfectly spotless ~ laundry always done, not a speck of dust on my furniture, no crumby's on the floor. But I've learned to embrace the chaos. If you come to my house unexpectedly, odds are you will find dirty dishes in my sink, baskets of laundry in the living room waiting to be folded and thus put away, and carpets that need to be vacuumed. And if you per chance need to use the rest room ~ don't mind the toothpaste in the sink and on the hand towel ~ there's a towel closet at the top of the stairs so feel free to get a fresh one.
No, I'm not rude, not filthy ~ I'm a mom of 3 little boys, wife to a man who works odd hours, oh yeah, and I homeschool.
I've learned to embrace the chaos. I'm glad that at night after my little guys are in bed that I don't have the energy to do anything but veg out. Always in the back of my mind I know there are dishes that need to be done, but there will always be dishes. And it's okay if my hubby has to ask me everyday to get him a pair of socks out of our sock basket ~ I do eventually get around to mating the socks, but then, they keep getting washed. I've learned to embrace it all. And if chaos and messiness (mind you I didn't say filth)bother you, don't bother to come to my house! I will eventually have a clean, spotless house, and while I get frustrated and say that I can't wait for my house to stay clean, it makes me sad to think why it will stay that way ~ because my guys will be gone.
So, I'm thankful for the piles of laundry (dirty and clean)dirty dishes in the sink and the crumbs on the floor ~ because it means my little blessings are here with me and I have taken time off from the chores to spend what little time I can with them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guess What?!?!?!

Autumn is in the air ~ which then leads me to start singing:

Yes, yes, I know it says love is in the air, but I ALWAYS replace it with Fall is in the Air Everywhere I look around. And it is so beautiful!

The weather is cooling off.  Today, It didn't get out of the 60's.  And it's supposed to get in the mid 50's tonight.  The leaves are already starting to change.  I got my fall decorations up yesterday.  Gotta finish them up.  This is my most favorite time of the year.  It used to be winter, but the older I get (yes, I've finally accepted that next year I will be slightly older than my usual 25) the more I love the chill that autumn brings.  I love the look of pumpkins on my door step.  The piles of leaves in the yard.  I love to see the harvest blessings flag flapping on my garden stake (alas, no garden to put it in though).  I love all my count your blessings, give thanks decorations.  It reminds me every day to be grateful.  I do keep a few blessings out all year.  But this time of year always brings me to a more thankful place.  Gratitude is a thing that is so hard to come by anymore.  I work so hard to instill some gratitude into my little bits.  Sometimes, I despair when I hear them being so selfish.  But there are times when they utterly shock me with how sweet and grateful they are.  Mom, thanks for dinner.  Mom, thanks for buying us this.  And the thing that steals my heart the most is when they hug me and tell me how grateful they are that I am their mom.

These guys :

Are so awesome! I love them. These guys make me grateful day in and day out. I'm grateful that God gave them to me to raise. To make into men. I worry every day that I am a failure. But I know that God can turn my disasters into successes ~ not for my glory, but for HIS.

I know I rambled, but I love the autumn, I love my guys and I love my God! And every year at this time, I am always reminded of these things!