Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Monday

Here is this week's dinners:

Mon - Kielbasa sausage with peppers, onions and potatoes (we usually only eat meat on Sunday, but got take out last night)
Tues - Italian lentils over rice
Weds - Canada Day Potluck (I think I am bringing cheesey broccoli potatoes)
Thur - Split Pea Soup
Fri - Spaghetti with black olive and caper sauce and goat cheese
Sat - Mexican Lasagna
Sun - Latin Chicken and rice

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wacky Wednesdays

I have hesitated mentioning this before, but I was hired on to write for the San Antonio Examiner on topics relating to Attachment Parenting. It is an online magazine/newspaper tagged lined as the "insider source for everything local." Almost all cities have their own edition. I am waiting to have my first article, "Intimacy and the attached parent" approved for publication. I get paid per page view ($10 for every 1000 hits) so it is not a big money maker, more like a forum for me to link people to attachment parenting, and things happening in SA. I am pretty excited.

I am also in the planning stages of creating my own business and also doing some planning to market things on the side (more on these when and if they actually happen). I am still developing my informational blog called "Big Family, Small Budget" - does what it says - talk about living with a big family on a small budget.

We got a box of girl clothes from a friend yesterday. It has sizes from 0 months to 6years. I barely got it through the door before the kids ransacked it. I have tried to organize it 5 times, but C keeps trying on all the clothes and the box has been made into a car/rocket ship by the boys. L is a little ambivalent about the whole thing. Needless to say, the family room is covered with cardboard and clothes. I am just going to be zen about it and let my frustration fade away until I catch up with all the other stuff I have to do.

I need to figure out what to do about our bed. The movers mangled our mattress during the move-from-hell and broke the headboard and mattress frame, so our bed has a horizontal fold down the middle and a vertical dip because the bed in sagging due to lack of support from the broken frame. We are all waking up grumpy and in pain. Either we have to ditch the frame and headboard and just put the mattress on the floor or we have to fix the frame; neither option is particularly appealing at this time.

I have been trying to cut down on our consumption of sugar and sugary products (not that we ever ate many) in the first stage of revamping our diet to be more in line with X's and my hypoglycemia. I'll just put this out there: I would sell an ovary for some brown sugar or maple syrup to put on my porridge right about now. I WANT MAPLE SYRUP!!! THE REAL KIND NOT THIS FAKE SHIT!!! Oh my kingdom for a cabane a sucre and the heady days of sugaring off...maple syrup boiled down and poured over fresh snow so that it becomes viscous and taffyish, oreilles de crise, maple pie, ham and beans, split pea soup (check this out for a typical sugaring off feast - the site is in french, but if you can't read it, the pictures do the trick). Mouth stop watering.

The dishwasher is broken (won't drain properly) but after 3 days of trying to fix it I have given up and am just using it. The water never overflows it just doesn't drain totally, so I am trying to make my way through the mounds of dishes that piled up during my futile fixing days. I am also drowning under loads of laundry - all the linens that mildewed in the closet when the a/c unit backed up and leaked through to the linen closet, the sleeping bags and comforters from the indoor campout that had juice dropped all over them, and the regular laundry.

Wow, I need to start writing all these things down because my brain is not fully operational right now. So, here is my To Do List for Today"

- catch up on extra laundry
- publish first Examiner article
- do boys' laundry
- do thorough cleaning of boys' room and playroom (usually the boys room is on Tuesday and I do X's laundry on Tuesday and S's laundry on Wednesday, but I didn't manage it yesterday). Thorough cleaning involves stripping and remaking beds, thorough vacuuming, washing walls and baseboards, dusting blinds, putting everything away properly.
- work on blogs and blog design for new blogs
- figure out how to widen the main column in this blog because it is bugging me how narrow it is.
- detail out business plan
- finish homeschool budget and find best prices for books
- reading lesson with S and X (okay and C too because she wants to be included, but isn't really ready)
- do loan forbearance application for student loans
- make dinner
-organize clothes from friend

God that is depressing; I am stopping now.

Just a fun picture to get me through the day (thank god they're cute):

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homeschool Tuesday - My Ideal Curriculum

In Texas, homeshools are considered "private schools" so you can name your "school" and have diplomas, etc., printed up. We have decided to name our school The Purple Door Schoolhouse.

So, my ideal curriculum for Purple Door Schoolhouse, Year 1 is (both boys will be doing it, with X receiving a little extra help in reading):

Spelling - Spelling Workout
Grammar - First Language Lessons
Reading - Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Writing - Writing with Ease
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears (I am having trouble deciding between this and either Getty-Dubay and Zaner-Bloser, so any reviews/critiques would help)
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise 3000 2nd edition
Editing - G.U.M. Drops


For our component of assigned read alouds, I will make my own curriculum based on suggestions from a Well Trained Mind and which correlate with our history, geography and science assignments.

For our component on "free" reading, I am going to go through alot of great book lists like Veritas Press, Classical Christian Education, Kidsreads, Brightly Beaming Resources, and Ambleside (to name a few), but will probably concentrate on the books from Homeschool Share and Five in a Row (not the whole unit studies, just the literature component).

We will spend 18 weeks doing fables and fairy tales, and 18 weeks doing poetry and plays.

History - History Odyssey


Cultural Geography - I will combine Galloping the Globe (which seems to have a very Christian component) with Geography Units from Evan-Moor for a complete study.

Physical Geography - Beginning Geography Series

Science -R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey - I may also look into NOEO science because R.E.A.L. doesn't have a physics section yet, so I will probably have to use NOEO if R.E.A.L doesn't come out with one before 4th grade.

Math - Singapore Math with supplements for extra practice. I am also considering getting the Mathtacular videos because all the kids seem to respond really well to learning concepts from DVD.

Art and Music

Art and Music Appreciation - Harmony Fine Arts at Home
Practical Art - Art Adventures at Home. I also ran into a woman (she was the wife of the farmer I bought veggies from last Friday) who also has an art business that runs classes for homeschool kids, so I might check it out.
Practical Music - not sure how this is going to go. I am considering this program, but may end up doing private lessons at some time.

Foreign Languages (we will be working through this slowly)

Latin - Minimus
Spanish - The Learnables for Spanish

Critical Thinking - Critical Thinking texts from Critical Thinking Company

Personal Growth and Development - I am creating my own curriculum, and this year will concentrate on manners, values and character.

Ah, the pox!!!

Last night my friend let us know that her daughter had chicken pox. This really isn't a big deal (so don't feel bad about it, Owl) but I have a weird thing where I have no immunity to chicken pox. I have had them at least 3 times, and probably more. The last time was in October of 2002. I was really itchy and spotty and when I called the Student Health Center, they had me come to the front door, rushed me past everyone and quarantined me in a room where the air was recycled. They wanted to keep me away from the general population in case anyone there was immuno-compromised or immuno-suppressed. When they finally realized that I did have chicken pox, they sent me home with some anti-itch stuff and some other meds and told me not to leave my house for 2 weeks so that I wouldn't come in contact with anyone who was pregnant or had immune issues. Wow, you get treated like a pyriah when you are an adult who gets a childhood illness. P-Daddy wasn't sure whether he had it as a child (and his sis couldn't remember either, but thought he had) but he was brave and stayed in the house with me.

Fast forward to this mornign and X woke up with a really high fever and all the others have low-grade fevers. I am hoping they are all just feeling ill (as am I) and that I don't end up with poxy kids because I am fairly sure the isolation would drive them insane.

Also, I have decided to make everyday a theme day so I can come up with something to write. Sometimes I have so much to say that I just get all flumoxed deciding what and when to do it, so hopefully themes will keep me in line. Not that I won't post about other things also. And I need to come up with cute little pictures for all of these

So here are my themes:

Boring Posts for Saturdays
Listlist Sundays (that is a play on the word listless, because I am hoping to have lazy Sundays)
Menu Mondays (discussion about food and menu we will be eating this week)
Homeschool Tuesdays (two of the local homeschool groups have their park days on Tues.)
Wacky Wednesdays (my crazy thoughts all in one day)
Week in Review Thursdays
7 Quick Takes for Friday

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Boring Posts for Saturday - Part 2

Well, I actually had a really nice, exciting Saturday. We hosted a "Welcome, Babies" celebration for all the babies who have been born (or are about to be born) at P-Daddy's work. 3 out of 4 have names that start with "L" so we have begun referring to them as the L-Pack. It was really nice being able to put faces to names.

I was, however, very sore because I had been up until 1am cleaning the carpets and couches. The kids ran like squirrel monkeys on crack and then crashed.

Good day all around!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crisis of No Faith

So, I have been wondering how to put into words what I have been feeling lately. I think I am having a crisis of no faith. For those of you who weren't raised with me, or by someone who was also raised with me, a little background. Both my parents were raised Catholic; my dad was even an altar boy. However, neither of them was religious growing up, and my dad, as a teenager, became an atheist. My brother and I were raised as such with a deep distrust of any institutionalized religion, but we were encouraged to investigate and learn about all faiths so we could, eventually, make up our own minds (with my dad knowing full-well what our decisions would be.) Well, lately I have been regretting not having any kind of faith. I wish I could believe that some of the things that happen to me, to friends, and family all had a greater purpose. I wish I didn't believe that the randomness of life was just that - random. I wish I could believe that I was "meant" to meet P-Daddy and we were meant to have all these kids (and that it wasn't just 4 catastrophic failures of birth control because, damn, who has that much bad luck with birth control?){not that I consider having my children bad luck...see what I mean...I wish I could believe that I was "meant" to have them}.

My greatest wish is that I had some kind of belief in a heaven, nirvana, paradise, what-have-you. The only thing I truly am terrified of is death. Logically I know I will die one day. It has always scared me; sometimes it scares me so much that I think it will scare me to death - imagine the irony in that. Well, it never truly hit me how devastating my view of death and what happens after has been to me. When I was little, I asked what death was, and what happens after. I was told that everything just ends. You don't see or hear or breath or taste. You get to chose between being baked in an oven until you are rendered into dust, or being put in a box in the ground to slowly degenerate and get eaten by bugs in a strange circle of life. The moment S was born was when I truly realized how horribly that knowledge has affected me. The thought of any of them either being cremated or buried has the power to render me immobile. The knowledge that they will die some day is almost more than I can take. I have had a recurring nightmare about having to make the decision that leads to the end of one of my children's life (I will not say which one) and the dream still has the power to wake me up sobbing in the night. I wish I had some hope of being with them forever. I want to see my pets again. I want to hug my grandfathers again. I don't want to spend eternity alone (not that I will care once it happens).

And then I obsess over sad blogs like this I wish I had the strength of conviction this woman has. Although I do dispute the idea that all pro-choice, non-religious people vilify her and people like her. Not that I could ever hope she would read my blog or even know that I exist, but if I could I would tell her this: I am staunchly pro-choice and a non-believer. However, I would have made the same choice as she did...I too would have brought my child into the world so that I could spend a few seconds, minutes, hours, days or months with them, and so that I would be comforted by the knowledge that they died in my arms or the arms of my husband.

Wow, this has been morose and rambling, so I apologize for that.

Another casualty of the move

My claim for damages : $7141.46
Actual amount we will get (i.e. the bare minimum the moving comapny is legally obligated to pay us): $834.60

...and they refuse to pay for our broken television because we can't prove it was working before we moved it (um, wtf? who moves a broken television), nor will they pay for the very large dog pen they somehow misplaced because it somehow didn't get listed on the re-written inventory list, and I didn't notice, eventhough the movers made jokes about how heavy it was when they loaded it. And, where the hell is the damn thing anyways? On the side of the highway with some of our other missing stuff, no doubt!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boring Posts for Saturday

BaaBaa, I am such a sheep. No, seriously, I hear about something fun, check it out, and have to join. So in that vein, I am going to join the Boring Posts for Saturday game that I heard about from my friend Dawn (but the idea originated with Mary, here).

So, you may notice that it is, in fact, Sunday, not Saturday. Well, turns out my boring Saturday turned out to be a really cool, fun Saturday so I didn't get a chance to post until now.

The day started out quietly. Sat around, watched some television, spent a large portion of my morning plotting out, diagramming, listing, my homeschool schedule for next year. Talked to G-Ma for a bit. P-Daddy and the kids (minus L) went to the park. I got invited to a pool party/Pampered Chef party, so I shaved my legs (sorry, TMI), shoved my post-partum belly into a bathing suit, extracted P-Daddy and the kids from the park (it was too hot for them to walk back) and headed out for an evening of kitchen gadgets, food, wine and swimming. L loved (!!!!!) the pool and actually fell asleep in it. Came home, ate leftover Tacos that P-Daddy and the kids had eaten earlier, P-Daddy and the kids went upstairs to bed at 8pm (where P-Daddy fell asleep) so I watched a little more television and went to bed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stupid Heat!!

I don't do heat and humidity well (yes, I know I voluntarily moved to Texas and should keep my whiney mouth shut). Kansas was hard, but so far Texas has been hotter but less humid. I blow up like a blowfish in the humidity and heat (soooooo not attractive!!!).

Well, we were doing well not using the a/c but it has gotten too hot for the dogs and L. So, we turn it on, and the a/c leaks into the vent in our downstairs bathroom making the floor wet and slippery and the ceiling wet (please, oh please, do not let it collapse on my head when I am peeing). I have been keeping the a/c off as much as possible and opening the windows at night but just as a warning to those of you who may actually see me or talk to me on the phone.....I am hot, sweaty, puffy and pissed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend in Review

Saturday we had a lovely time at the zoo (read: no one got lost). We wandered around for a bit, then we were joined by a friend and her daughter for picnic lunch and some playtime at the "beach". The zoo installed a little beach/sand area and a little "river" which is deep enough for the kids to frolic in, but not deep enough to make me terrified they are going to drown.

We spent a lazy Sunday hanging around.

This weekend we also watched alot of movies - Zack and Miri Make a Porno (hilarious), Taken (really good), Bolt (like a million times and still going), and Twilight (damn you young adult fiction - first Harry Potter, now Twilight has sucked me in - off to the Library to borrow the whole series).