Saturday, January 26, 2013

Proof That I Am No Princess

My daughter has been begging....BEGGING to have a pedicure.

Not a cheap, "Let-Momma-Wash-My-Feet-And-Paint-My-Toenails-At-Home" pedi, but a real pedi, in a nail salon.

Yesterday she came to me with a wad of bills out of her piggy bank (how does that kid have more money than I do??) and posed this question to me:

"What if I pay for it with my own money? PLEEEAAASE?"


I know...mother-daughter pedis! Squee! How fun and girly and!

This is where I am weird.

Confession: It kind of makes me feel weird to let someone give me a pedicure.

Don't get me wrong- all that massaging and having feet that look smooth and pretty is wonderful, just feels wrong to me to have someone else 'waiting' on me like that.

So I get tense and twitchy on the inside. I feel guilt.  Horrible guilt. I wonder about those poor girls who have to rub all KINDS of feet, for hours every day, and think to myself...they deserve the pedi, not me.

 I am much more comfortable in the role of 'care-giver' than 'care receiver'.  Which makes me a very bad patient when I am sick.

SO, despite the weirdness it inflicts into my soul...I will suck it up and get a pedi with my girl today.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top Ten Bits of Advice for New Homeschoolers

And none if it is about curriculum!

1.  Have a deschooling period.  The most valueable thing you can do to start off on the 'right foot' to to allow your child a period of time to decompress.  Trying to jump right into a full schedule right away can backfire into burn-out and frustration.

2.  Learn your teaching style.  Pick up this book from your bookstore or local library:

Cathy Duffy gives numerous check lists to help you evaluate what your teaching style is and what knowledge and want your student to walk away with.

3.  Learn your student's learning style.  Believe me, nothing is worse than investing in curriculum that is pure torture for your child to comprehend or one they simply do not enjoy.  It's a proven fact that kids retain more of what they learn if they are engaged in what they are studying. 

4.  DO NOT think you have to subscribe to every club, method, curriculum, field trip, group, activity!  Again...take it slowly. Maybe pick one extra-curricular activity and allow plenty of breathing room.  Nothing is more defeating than taking on too much and realizing you can't (or don't want to) keep it up.  Believe me, even in the homeschooling world there are pressures join this group or that class.  Learn to say 'no' to the good stuff so you can save time for the BEST stuff!

5.  Find a homeschool group or co-op.  I know, I just contradicted #4. But a homeschool group, even if it is just a group of homeschooling moms that casually meet once a month at the park, is a great resource.  They are a wonderful place to air out your doubts, fears, concerns, successes.

6.  This is something I do all the time...ASK your child what they enjoy about school and what they hate about school. Now, if they hate math, well, there's nothing you can do about that. We all have to learn math! BUT if you can find a program or teaching method they prefer...why not? 

7.  If something isn't working...dump it.  That goes for curriculum, activities, etc. 

8.  Allow time for your child to pursue their interests.  One big mistake I have made is packing our schedule too much and not allowing for 'down time' for my children to explore new things. 

9.  A bad day doesn't make a bad homeschool!  We all have days that are less than perfect.  Don't let that stop you.  There are days that will knock your socks off. Just have faith!

10.  Don't worry about what the kids in public school are doing. As long as they have what they need at the end of 12 years, who cares when they learn it? It's the end result that matters!

Don't forget to enjoy this very special time with your children. It will pass by too soon. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Homeschool Anthem

This could very well be the anthem for homeschoolers everywhere...

No Such Thing~ John Mayer

"Welcome to the real world", she said to me
Take a seat
Take your life
Plot it out in black and white
Well I never lived the dreams of the prom kings
And the drama queens
I'd like to think the best of me
Is still hiding
Up my sleeve

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you got to rise above

I am invincible
As long as I'm alive

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

I just can't wait til my 10 year reunion
I'm gonna bust down the double doors
And when I stand on these tables before you
You will know what all this time was for

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sticking It To 'The Man'

One reason I love saving money is that I feel, in my own little way, that I am 'sticking it to 'The Man''.  Yeah, that's right. The Man THINKS he's going to charge me $9.00 for that toilet paper...huh uh.  I'm only paying $4.00! How about them apples!

I know. Such a rebel.

Anyway, I found some great deals at Publix today, along with coupons.

The best deals:

Finish dishwasher Powerball detergent : The Man's price $11.99
                                                                  My price            $3.84

Right Guard deoderant:                            The Man's price$3.15
                                                                  My price           $0.57

Prego Spaghetti Sauce                              The Man's price $2.05
                                                                  My price            $0.62

Viva Paper Towels                                    The Man's price $9.99
                                                                   My price            $4.00

AND I scored a free King's Hawaiian Rolls with my purchase of 3 Hormel All Natural sandwich meat,which was on sale 3 for $10.00 and for which I had two coupons which totalled $2.00 off the meat itself. (I got tired of all this 'figurin')

I feel so vindicated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Know It's Just a House...But...

We had an offer on our house yesterday.

Naturally it was low and we are counter offering with something higher.

I should be excited, right? I mean, this is something we have been working on for years...selling this house and moving out to the country.

But I'm not. Well, I am a little. I am nervous. I'm a little overwhelmed.

And I'm sad to leave.

This is the house I brought my babies home to...where they learned to walk and talk. 

Would the new owners care that I charted my children's growth on the back of  my son's bedroom door?  That we have a pet rabbit, guinea pig and two pet parakeets buried in the flower beds? 

It's where my kids hunted Easter eggs, woke up to every Christmas morning of their little lives and where they trick or treated from.

So many memories are tied up in this house.

It's making it hard to look forward to the new and exciting.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hmm...What Kind of Cheese Goes With 'Whine'?

So I have been a little stressed out lately, some of which may be my doing (signing up for too much fun stuff!)  to things that are necessary (twice weekly trips to the next town over for allergy shots for my son!) to things that I am patiently enduring (trying to sell a house and having to clean and vacate at the drop of a hat to have a realtor show it!) and, uh, oh yeah, trying to carve out time to actually 'school' my kids. 

Is it too early for wine?

Or should I say....WHINE?

If any of you can stand to hear a grown woman whine, then please. Spare your self the rest of this blog and go do something that makes you happy happy happy.

First, let me just say I am a pretty solid gal.  Not a whole lot gets to me. But the past several days I have noticed something that just really 'gets me'...judgement.

Judgement of what kind of church people attend.  (I know, right? Kind of crazy...judging what kind of church people attend.) Hey, if you are attending church, that's great!  And if someone else's church isn't your cup of tea, well, go find yourself another cup of tea because they have every right to choose how they worship.  And the judgemental thing? Not a good look on Christians.

Judgement of where someone is from, geographically. Particularly if you are from the South, oh Honey,...I realize Honey Boo Boo is not a great representative of all Southerners.  What gets me is when people who aren't from the South but are forced to live in the South want to bash the South...the food, the customs, the dialect, the mannerisms...I don't know about you, but I was raised in the South and one thing I was taught was "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." (Of course, I just violated that one with this whole post, didn't I?)  To me, that is like going into someone's home and standing in their living room saying "I can't BELIEVE you think this carpet goes with those drapes. And who buys that kind of couch anymore? <eyeroll>"   I think I have come to the realization that those people who do the bashing...they pretty much aren't happy ANYWHERE. 

And this one is becoming a growing trend...judging what kind of food other people eat. White bread, non-organic, processed, sugar, salt...spare me.  I am all for healthy choices. And I am trying to limit all of those things in our diets.  But it is so disheartening to sit around and hear other women pass judgement on others who don't (or can't afford to) buy organic, grass-fed, range-free, raw whatever.  Now, let me just say again...I am all for healthy lifestyles and if I could afford to, I would buy more of those products.  But when your eyes roll when you are describing how someone else served you WHITE BREAD at their home...that's not okay. 

And Barbie is not evil.  Just dress her respectably and call it a day. Your daughter won't wind up being a stripper, I promise.

Good gracious, life is hard enough. I don't know about you, but there are days when we women, especially homeschool moms, feel beat up and pressured by our choices.   We should have each others backs and support each other.

I promise, I don't care if you feed your kids Ramen noodles, let them play with naked Barbies and don't even go to church or if you have a Yankee accent so sharp you could slice a tomato with it.  It's about the heart.

Be an encouragement for someone today.   Instead of 'tearing down', how about doing some 'building up'?

Sigh.   There you go.  Should I have asked for a little cheese to go with my 'whine'?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

I was feeling a little creative in the kitchen this morning and came up with a winner.

Apple Cinnamon Waffles.

Here's how easy it was:

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 packet instant Apple and Cinnnamon oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the above in a mixing bowl.

Then in another bowl combine:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp oil
1 egg

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  If batter seems a little stiff, add enough whole milk to make it the consistency of pancake batter.

Make waffles according to your waffle iron directions.  This made 3 large, round waffles.  If you need more, of course, double your recipe.

I find that heating my oven to 200 F helps to keep waffles crisp and warm while the others are cooking.

And my kids didn't even know they were eating oatmeal. (Hee hee...don't tell!)