Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat!

Princess Melody and I determined that we needed more hairspray to be able to turn the Princesses into trolls for Halloween, and I also needed to pick up a check from our art association treasurer to pay the gentleman that cuts the grass at the art center.  When we stepped outside, we found a dead cat under a tree in our front yard.  Yuck.  I sent the king a text message about it, and we went on our way.  When we got home, there was another dead cat near the porch.  Holy Cow!  I sent the king another message.  Melody said to be careful, because there might be a snake.  This really freaked me out, so I called the hard working king to interrupt what he was doing to come out and pick up the dead cats and find the snake.  He was totally unshakeable, and advised me to call the dog catcher to come and pick up the cats.  She did come, and was very nice about it, but said that she had already picked up several that looked as though they had been mutilated.  Ewwww!!!!  I had forgotten that weirdos like to do things like that in honor of Halloween. 

Never-the-less, we proceeded to turn three out of the four princesses into those cute little trolls like everybody used to collect in the 80's and 90's.  All three girls turned out to be adorable trolls.  I tried to turn Princess Ivana into a Lalaloopsie with a hat that crocheted for her, but she wouldn't leave the hat on, and had no interest in any of the Halloween madness other than the part about taking over Princess Abbey's lollipop at Trunk-n-Treat. 

The merchant trick or treat was a really big deal.  I feel inspired to get in on that next year as a business owner.  Tarja almost couldn't hold her candy bucket after visiting all of the stores.  Trunk-n-Treat has always been the highlight of our trick or treating, and it was an even bigger deal this year than last, because all of the churches put their efforts together to make one, huge event.  By the time we got through that, it was time to go home, eat chili dogs and gear up to go house to house.  Ivana fell asleep in her car seat, so I got to ride around and supervise while Abbey and Tarja went trick or treating.  Tarja came home with another haul.  One lady handed out spiral notebooks instead of candy, which I thought was cool.  She must have known that there were homeschoolers in the area! 

Princess Melody was sad that this was the first Halloween that she didn't go trick or treating with her sisters.  However, she did get to dress up for work, so she was a purple haired troll and wore her favorite LMFAO shirt that says, "Sexy and I Know it".

When we got home, Abbey found all of my Christmas CD's and we chose a new song to use for twirling.  Can't wait to get started on it.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This morning, Princess Melody and I went out to run our errands.  We were on a mission to find some good, second hand jeans for Princess Abbey and Princess Tarja.  We did find what we were looking for, then quickly planned meals for the rest of the week as we shopped for the necessary ingredients.  We went home, had lunch, and Melody had a friend over. I had to cancel twirling lessons tonight, because everything that I do makes me cough like a crazy woman.  I haven't been sick in a very, very long time, so I'm inclined to think that this is just a nasty allergy attack.  I still can't read any of our lessons that I normally read out loud. 

I tried to crochet Ivana some baby socks, but gave up.  The first pair will fit a newborn, and the next pair might fit me, so I decided that today might not be a good day to crochet.  Therefore, I have worked on ChaCha all day long. 

We haven't done anything truly special for school today.  Abbey worked on her current events book for most of the day.  Tarja did with me, which doesn't take very long.  Melody had a friend over for a little while, and then went to work. 

I made chicken enchiladas and rice for supper, which was quite yummy. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Monday, October 29, 2012

This morning, I got up and gathered some last minute Avon orders from friends, and put in the order for my first campaign.  It was a successful first campaign, so I am very happy.  Hopefully, I have a bright future with Avon, because it is a great opportunity for moms.

Since it's been well over five years since I sold Avon, placing my order took most of the morning.  Next time won't be so hard.  After I got all finished with that, we dropped off our broken wii at the nearest UPS station to be returned to Nintendo for repair, then we met with our homeschooled Girl Scout troop at the new pet store, that is in the center of town.  The ladies that own the pet store had no warning that eight princesses and three queens were coming to call, but they acted like they were thrilled to have us.  They even let us take pictures with them, which I can't seem to get out of my phone and onto the computer at the moment.  Sigh......

When we got home, Princess Abbey and Princess Melody planned our lunch with the rule that we were not going to the grocery store or through a fast food window to buy anything.  They decided on ramen noodles, drained, with chicken, cheese and mushroom soup to make a casserole of sorts.  We DID have to go buy the mushroom soup, but that only costs about 65 cents per can at the dollar store, so I think that we followed the rules pretty well.  We played the same game for supper.  What will we make for supper by not having to go buy anything?  The girls decided on jook, which is an oriental rice soup (probably a peasant meal) that calls for a small amount of rice, small amount of meat, and is left to cook so long that the rice turns it into a creamy, satisfying meal.  I suggested that we go ahead and buy some white rice, since all we have on hand is brown, but they immediately said that we should follow the rules and use the brown rice.  So, that's a bit of home economics, and everything turned out perfectly.

Princess Melody went to a friend's house to watch Bollywood movies.  Princess Abbey did quite a lot of her school work by herself, as I am currently too hoarse to read to her.  I don't feel sick, but I can't talk very well.  Later, Abbey went to her archery lesson, and then everybody got back together for some jook.   Now, I am working on and the girls are watching Halloween movies (the fun kind, not the scary kind) on TV. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The three princesses that are old enough to do so, made their Jack-o-lanterns the other day.  I like to light real candles for them instead of using battery operated lights, so my duty has been to light the pumpkins in the evening.  Pumpkin insides are pretty gross, though, just so you know.  The roasted seeds were the best that I've ever made, so that's the big bonus.

Princess Abbey and Princess Tarja painted wooded Jack-o-Lantern faces that the king bought for them from Micheals.  They are colored blue and green instead of orange and black. 

After much thought and a glance at our slender budget, the princesses determined that they would like to be trolls for Halloween.  They don't want to be the ugly kind of trolls that hide under bridges, they want to be the colorful, wild haired trolls that were popular in the 80's.  I used to have an amazing collection of those little cuties.   Each girl chose a different colored hair spray, and we got some stick on jewels to decorate their faces.  They can wear regular clothes to go with their crazy hair, just like the troll dolls.  I'm stoked that they came up with such a fun and economical idea.  Princess Melody might have to miss trick or treat for the first time, due to her work schedule. 

As for Princess Ivana, I don't think that we can spray paint her little fuzzy head, so she is going to wear her Cabbage Patch Kid beanie that I made for her.

Yesterday, Abbey had archery lessons for two hours and Melody worked at McDonalds.  I worked on crochet orders, made felt/sequin Christmas ornaments and answered ChaCha questions at the same time.  I also picked up some Avon orders here and there in between doing all of these other things.  I hope that Avon becomes very profitable for us, since I really do love it.

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Friday, October 26, 2012

Old School Blogging

I used to blog about my day to day homeschooling journey with my family, but I got a little bit bored with that, so I quit.  I started blogging about things that seemed to be a little bit more newsworthy.  However, I have been meeting more and more friends that are new to homeschooling, and they actually ask me questions about what our day to day lives are like.  Therefore, I have been inspired to go back to my old ways of blogging.   Maybe what my readers need is some affirmation that I am, indeed, a normal mom, with a life that might not be as normal as some, but more normal than one might think.  To start us off, I will give a general detail of what has gone on with us since my last post. 

First of all, I made it through three marching contests with the local junior high school.  The first two contests were sort of a practice one for the UIL marching contest that took place last. To make a long story short, the band and twirlers were amazing.  They got a first division rating and are the only junior high band in the entire state of Texas that goes to the UIL marching contest.  What an honor to have been a part of that for this year!

Here's a detail of what many of our days are like.  First of all, I usually wake up about 7:30a.m.  This may seem late to some of your, but Princess Melody doesn't get home from her job at a local fast food place until nearly 1a.m. on many nights.  The rest of the family is usually still asleep when I wake up, except for Princess Ivana.  Ivana normally plays with me for a little while, then sits in her high chair and eats while I straighten up the kitchen and surrounding areas.  As I type amid chaos, a visitor might think that I never clean up, but it is just a never ending process around here.  To backtrack a little bit, I feed Ivana, wash any dishes that are dirty, put away clean dishes, start laundry, put away clean laundry and wander around picking up any stray trash that I find around the house.  I try to straighten up my bedroom when I first get up, but that doesn't always happen.  Breakfast and lunch are usually leftovers from the night before, or pretty much whatever anybody wants.  We have cereal, eggs, and a McDonalds down the road.  I personally LOVE to have the sausage/egg/mcmuffins in the morning, but my blood sugar doesn't always appreciate it, so we can't do that as often as I would like.  So there's the truth about the first two meals at my house.  It's food, and isn't our all consuming thought.

Usually by about 10:30a.m. we have settled down enough to get some school work done.  If I have a lot of household errands to run, then we might not get started until after lunch.  School work is for Tarja, with stories read out loud from story books of her choosing.  She finished her PreK curriculum during the summer, so now we're slowly working our way through kindergarten.  At age four, I figure that we can take our time and do short lessons each day.  If Tarja isn't feeling up to it, then we don't do a lesson.  YIKES!  Did I really say that????  You read it right.  I don't pressure my four year old into doing her school work, but I do take full advantage of days when she feels energetic and ready to learn.  Abbey and Tarja both do math on  It does the teaching (for the most part) and grading for me.  I have to work on Tarja's with her.  Abbey logs in and does hers whenever she feels like it.  She claims to not like math, but she practices for hours on ixl so I have no complaints.  I get to log into my area and see what she has worked on and how well she did, or not.  If no progress is being made, then we talk about it, but other than that, my input isn't really terribly necessary.  I love this, since math is not my thing. When Princess Tarja and Ivana settle down in the afternoon, I go over Abbey's Forestry and Wildlife Conservation course with her.  We read and do the study questions together, and then she takes a test online.  After that, I read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis out loud.  We discuss what we need to discuss from it, and then Abbey retreats to my bedroom to work on the rest of her studies.  The majority of her work is done by reading and narrating what she has read.  There isn't much to grade.  There isn't much to teach, but there is much, much, much to read.  As for Princess Melody, the better part of each day is spent at her job.  She likes to run my errands with me each morning, and I have to strongly encourage her to stay on task with her online curriculum, but she is doing very well so far.  Again, there isn't much that I can do to help or teach her.  She has to read and study the prescribed lessons on her own, but I am here to assist when needed.  One lesson learned is that online college courses aren't necessarily easier than more traditional courses.  

While all of the above is going on, I also have the challenges of keeping our financial heads afloat since I don't have a job outside the home.  I make custom crocheted items, give twirling lessons, am a ChaCha guide and have just started selling AVON.  Needless to say, my fingers and mind are usually flying from the time that I get up in the morning, until the time that I go to bed, which is well past midnight. 

Looking back over this post, I can see that it doesn't include a whole lot of things such as Abbey's archery lessons, or Melody's art work.  There's also Girl Scouts and the Sands Art Association.  There is much more to tell, so starting tomorrow, I will start back on the daily journal of our lives.  We are simple in a lot of ways and very complex in others.  We don't do things as formally as a public or private school, which seems to confuse some of the newer homeschoolers.  I don't have a real philosophy about education.  I didn't like unschooling for my princesses, but I don't like strict, rigid structure, either.  I insist that learning happens 24 hours a day, which means that the traditional school schedule means absolutely nothing to me. 

So for now, I am going to pick up something to throw in the oven for dinner, work on a few crochet orders, and answer as many ChaCha questions as I can until I can no longer keep my eyes open.

Have a Great Day!