Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer School

I have a fun friend named Laura, who is also a homeschooling mama.  She's one of the smartest, most resourceful women I know.  Sometimes, I think that I'm not doing all that I could do as a mama, because while I'm doing crochet projects, creating twirling routines, and blogging, she is out building fences, taking care of animals, and fixing up her house.  Unlike her, I have to wait for my husband to do these things, and he usually doesn't have time, so we have a lot home repairs that have been left undone at my house.  Be that as it may, we were having a conversation about how we operate our homeschools during the summer.  She was surprised that one thing that we have in common is that we don't really take a break for the summer.  This particular year, her daughter had heart surgery, and I had a baby.  We also like to take long Christmas breaks.  My reasoning for the long Christmas break is that Christmas is a huge educational project in itself and should not be crowded out by a bunch of daily work.  The public school system would probably disagree, since most of them have done away with the observance of Christmas.  Be that as it may, the longer breaks during the traditional school year mean that we need to keep working on lessons during the summer.  I have had people, in apparent disgust, ask something like, "You ARE going to give your kids a break for the summer aren't you?"  I can't give them a break from living, and when it's too hot to go out, we have plenty of book work to do, which means that nobody around here has time to get bored.   Scheduling is really easy around here.  We get up, determine what it is that we need to all do, including household chores and activities away from the house, and then we get after it.  That's it.  Nothing is written down that says that we must rise at 7a.m. and be at the table, ready to work by 8a.m.  On the contrary, we are often awake until 1 or 2a.m. because Melody doesn't get home from work until after midnight.  I don't let the Princesses sleep longer than 9:30a.m., which some people think is wrong, but they wouldn't think it was wrong if they knew that we get up and literally start RUNNING until our super late bedtime at night.  Few people could shadow this family and survive.  The same holds true for my aforementioned friend, except that I would venture to say that her day probably starts way earlier than ours.   I know that it doesn't END any earlier, because we get to talk to each other on facebook long after supper.  Incidentally, facebook is a nice treat, because most of us homeschooling mamas don't have a whole lot of time to get out and socialize.  Does that make us "unsocialized"?  Bwahahahahaha!

In a nutshell, we homeschool year round, many hours per day, and give credit for everything that is done.  They will get things like softball and baton twirling on their transcripts, and family vacations are part of their hands on experiences with nature.  With all of the educational opportunities available during the summer months, it would be a shame to limit schooling to only Fall through Spring.

Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I need a mother's helper.  I probably can not afford one, but I really, really need one.   Not too long ago, I was toying with the idea of starting a mother's helper business, and now I am wishing that I had one such helper for myself.  The king is a wonderful helper when he can be here, but I would rather spend time having fun with him than cleaning up the house. 

Princess Tarja is in her first beauty pageant.  We stopped doing beauty pageants after Princess Abbey won several West Texas Baby awards when she was 18 months old.  Since I'm not the "Toddlers and Tiaras" type of mom, it got old pretty fast.  We're only doing this one, because it's a fundraising event.  I don't know how she will do, since she alternates between being moody and introverted one day, to hyperactive and outgoing the next. Let's hope for a good pageant day.

Princess Melody has a business plan in the works.  If it works out, she might not become instantly wealthy, but she will have lots of fun.  I think that if possible, we should make money at doing what we love to do.  In other words, do things that we love so much that we would do it for free if we had to.

Princess Ivana has finally seen the value in eating solid foods, and is now getting more in her than on her.

Princess Melody and I went out for some driving practice, which got cut short when we noticed that she had very little gas in her car.  Oops!  That may have been a good thing since it's over a hundred degrees outside, and her air conditioner needs work. 

I'm too tired to type anymore and am in desperate need of a shower.


Monday, June 25, 2012


I had an interview this morning that might lead to my getting to do something AMAZING!  I wish that I could tell you what it is, but if I don't get this job (that will not feel like a job at all), then I will just let this phase of my story fade away.  Anyway, the interview was AMAZING!  I may have rambled on like an idiot at some points, but the interviewers didn't seem to mind.  Maybe I'm not the only rambling goof ball that they've run into............or maybe I am, and added some humor to their day.  I guess I will never know.  I will tell one gaffe that I did, though.  When the man in charge asked why I want to do what it is that I am applying to do, I replied, "Because I LOVE it!"  Oh, Laurel....  Oh well.  My enthusiasm can't always be contained, but I usually do a better job than that.  After a fairly lengthy conversation about what my duties would entail, I was asked to fill out paperwork for a background check.  I am believing that is a good thing, because background checks cost money, and if they didn't want to hire the overly excited goof ball, they probably would have just sat on the papers. 

NEXT, my kids determined that my possible success was worth celebrating with a pizza lunch, and so we loaded all of us up and went out for pizza.  As soon as we got home, Tarja's coach texted with a surprise tee ball game and the reminder that I had signed up to bring snacks for this game.  Princess Melody bought the snacks.  I had my time in the sauna (otherwise known as the laundromat), rushed home to clean house (you would never know it if you came over right now) and fix supper before Tarja's beauty pageant meeting and tee ball game (which were scheduled at the exact same time).  Princess Melody and Princess Abbey, accompanied by two cousins and a friend, stayed with Tarja at the tee ball game, while Princess Ivana and I went to the pageant meeting.  Not only did the meeting start a half hour late, but I learned that a whole lot of our twirling performance schedule on July 4th has just been shaken up.  Holy Cow!  I hastily spoke with twirler moms and pageant people about this situation, and how we could fix it, while my phone rang and buzzed like crazy, because Tarja's tee ball game was over.  Talking....planning......hurrying......considering stomping on the phone.......Hoootie hoo!!!!  Ivana and I got loaded back into the Expedition, and go back to the baseball park to reload.  It was good that dinner just needed to be heated up. 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Since I Can't Text Mama

Since I can't text Mama, I'll just keep telling you all what's going on with us, and I am sure that she will get the message in whatever form that messages get to her. 

A few short weeks ago, Princess Abbey's softball team won their league's tournament.  It was a very exciting tournament, and Abbey was ecstatic.

Princess Tarja had a tee ball game this past Friday evening, and her team won.  They have won most of their games.  This is her very first year to play, so it's exciting. 

I have to be a little honest, though.  I have spent about 2 months sitting in the stands, in the sun, in 100+ degree weather.   I don't enjoy spectator sports, possibly because they are so freakishly uncomfortable in West Texas.  Other than that, it is exhilarating to see the Princesses play.  However, I am glad that softball is over, and tee ball is nearing the end.

We spent most of this weekend at birthday parties.  It was only two birthday parties, but both had major lasting power.  Both were for children under five years old.  Both children were family.  Both had Spongebob themes and bouncy houses.  It was pretty neat.  This brings to light that I need to get busy on our family reunion and Princess Abbey's birthday, which will be back to back.  I am dreaming of a Just Dance 3 party and either pizza or barbeque.  Barbeque is more friendly for diabetic mommies, and seems to make everybody happy, so we'll see about that.

Not everything is sunlight and roses at our house.  Princess Ivana started crawling really well  during the past week.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that unlike her sister Princesses, she crawls right off the bed!  This has happened twice within the last few days.  This ends our co sleeping/bonding/natural child thing with this energetic little Princess.  I'm overjoyed that she's so strong, but bummed that snuggling and falling asleep with her is now dangerous.  It feels unnatural to put her to bed at night in her own bed at five months old.  I know that there is much debate over sleeping with babies.  The pros outweigh the cons for most kids, but in every situation, it truly depends on the needs of the individual. 

I might have some exciting news tomorrow..................or not.  NO, I'm not pregnant.  If you are a praying person, I stand in the need of prayer right now for God's will to be done in this very happy situation that could come to pass.....................or not.  I want something very badly, but it's not up to me.  We'll find out tomorrow.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Text Messages to Heaven

I had a very happy experience happen to me the other day.  It was one of those experiences that just leaves your head swimming and our mouth smiling all day.  Now, unfortunately, I can't share what exactly it was that made me so happy just yet, but if you keep checking my blog, I will share it in the near future.  That's not important now, though.  After an entire day of being all full of myself and thinking about all of the wonderful things that are taking place in my life, I had an odd, fleeting thought that I should text Mama to tell her all about it.  That would be a nice idea considering that Mama never owned a cell phone, and probably wouldn't have ever been able to see well enough to text.  At least, that's true given the time period and her age when cell phones and text messaging became so wildly popular.  At any rate, I took that as a sign or message that she's still around, seeing all of this.  To the dismay of myself and probably my English teacher friends, I have no conclusion to this little bit of rambling, but I hope that it blesses somebody, and I hope that Mama is enjoying the two Princesses that weren't yet born by the time she took her journey home.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory......

Besides being a work at home, homeschooling, kid loving, peace loving, artsy fartsy mom to the Four Princesses, I am a twirler.  You read correctly.  This thirtysomething, fat girl has twirled baton since she was in grade school.  Baton twirling carried me through my most awkward years, and I would like to think that I have helped some tweens and teens who have taken twirling lessons from me in the same way that my own teacher helped me, so many years ago.

When we first moved to this town, about three years ago, our new home was broken into and among the items stolen was my baton case, with all of my batons, and all of the batons that belonged to the Four Princesses.   We had nothing left for performing, I had nothing to use to teach a lesson, and the batons that had been with me through football games, contests, and grueling practice.................were gone.  Batons aren't money or precious jewels, but these were precious to me.

I got on facebook, and sent a long PM to my former twirling teacher and very dear friend.  Hot tears streamed down my face the whole time that I wrote and told her about what had happened.  Maybe I'm a drama queen.  I don't mean to be, but I was having to turn down requests for lessons, the Princesses were missing out on parades, and I was just hurting all the way to my soul.  We aren't to be attached to our earthly possessions, but some things are harder to let go than others.

That was a test or a cleansing of some sort.   How much was I willing to let go, to gain more than I had before?    Did God really think that my batons, my profession, my identity with myself was unimportant?  I never questioned this, but I can see how things have unfolded since that horrible incident.  Fast forward nearly three years, and we have more of everything, including batons.  Everything that held me back from my dream of having my own company involving baton twirling has been cleared.  Everything that we needed and could not afford has come to us in multiples, and often from some unlikely sources.  There have been so many days recently where I have been so happy that I felt like I might just pass out from the excitement.  I have been a very happy mama, but never did I know that these wonderful emotions even existed.  WOW!!!

Thanks to God and all of the good friends and family that he keeps sending to help.  No matter how much I say or how much I write, my feelings might not make any sense to anybody but myself, but I hope that all of you get to experience this same joy at some point in your life. 

With much love,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Normally, it is against my policy as a home educator to pay for a packaged curriculum, no matter what form it takes.  However, delivering fourth Princess Ivana this past January has caused me to reexamine some of my self proclaimed rules.  When I started making decisions about lesson plans for the upcoming year, I started to feel a little bit overwhelmed.  After all, I will now have three students with a very needy fourth future student.  How will I keep everybody's lessons and records from turning to mush in between bottles and diapers?  How do I keep from going crazy somewhere between Melody's job, Abbey's softball practice, Tarja's tee ball practice, and my home business?  WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?????

I have always known about, and have known from other homeschooling mamas that they were good, but had never been willing to pay a monthly fee for the service.  In my height of craziness, on a particular day, I decided to give it a second glance.  Their website looks like lots of fun.  However, there are plenty of free, fun websites with educational games.  I want all of my children to be educated the Charlotte Mason way. offers short lessons that feel more like play than work, with the added bonus of the fact that they keep records for me.  There is no reason why Tarja can't spend some time on Time4learning and still be taught all of the other neat things in the style of Charlotte Mason.  Money tends to be tight around here, which is why I am so careful about what I choose to use in our homeschool.  When I brought myself to find out how much it costs to become a member, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the benefits of their program can be had for $19.95 per month.  WOW! meets our needs as a program that fits into our homeschool situation, and is easy on the pocket.  Tarja loves to play with it, and a great deal of my work as a homeschooling mama has been relieved.

As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own.