Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What is a good day?

My husband and I are trying to get on track. We flounder around. We know we need a better routine for our boys. They are so much happier when they know what is expected and I am so much happier when I get a chance for a break during the day.

We took away video games during the week. So, very helpful. They were getting into the habit of only doing work so they could play video games. They get more and more manipulative. I just can't stand that. I want to enjoy our time together and not just rush through it so we can retreat to separate corners of the house.

When should we do chores?

School doesn't really take much time once they get started. I really want to get some more of our chores done in the morning and I'm thinking perhaps I should get them done before I start schooling.

My boys do not do school when left alone. I think they should be able to handle it at this point. It's frustrating and I run out of patience and time every night. I end up fixing too many lunches and getting sidetracked with vacuuming or dog brushing or window washing or toilet scrubbing. I go to help someone wash their hands and realize their toilet is filthy and their laundry basket is full.

Boundaries and Expectations

I think if we can keep being firm with our boundaries and expectations of the boys our life will run a little smoother. I hope then I'll be able to leave them alone and they will actually complete what I give them to do.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Here are ten reasons skirts are better than pants. It caught my eye because I've been thinking about wearing skirts again. I went to unpack some winter clothes and I have only one skirt left. I actually like wearing skirts in the winter because you can layer so much under them. I am always cold. Under a pair of pants I might be able to get a tight pair of long handled-underwear or long johns or thermals...whatever you call them. Yes my family always called them long handled...
Under a dress I can fit a pair of wool socks and cropped yoga pants. If I'm really cold I can add that layer of long handled underwear or tights. I'm short and this is a good way to stay warm without looking like a beach ball.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New European Car seat for the larger family...

The Europeans have done it again. Did they try to make a larger vehicle? No...they made a carseat that fits in a smaller vehicle and it fits up to 4 children! It's not all that pretty, but so very practical. It probably wouldn't be legal in the United States. At the moment we have a Volvo and normally we have some sort of VW bus.

This carseat would allow me to safely transport our children in the Volvo or the Volkswagen and I could even have another. My problem with the VW bus is that it's hard to put carseats in safely. Plus, one child has to sit rear facing in the jumpseat (or whatever it's called).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Grieving, Mourning...and moving on...

A sad thing happened shortly after my birthday.

Seattle and I have broken up. Sure I'll see her as I arrive by Ferry. Sure I'll get to ride public transit to visit the Zoo.

But, alas I've moved. Whilst cleaning my little City home, I cried till I got a migraine. I will admit to drinking too many beers to get through my cleaning date. I'm sad, really, really sad.

I've moved to my hometown (well my parents live I guess it's my hometown). I don't feel at home. I feel uprooted. I feel naked. Heck I feel like someone chopped my roots off with a cleaver.

It's quiet here. There are more cats, chickens, sheep, a small horse, a pond, ducks, a rabbit and five acres for three little boys and their Border Collie to roam. Apples have been picked and pies and cider made. They all seem happy thus far.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Still riding my bike...

I'm still riding my bike. But, last night I wanted to go to the store & so did my 5 year old son. But, I can't ride the bike with him. That's fine because the dog needed a walk. He is a Border Collie...thus he always needs a walk. So, does my 5 year old come to think of it. 9 at night and he was running around the store attracting positive attention as usual. A man was looking at the bin of prebagged and netted pistachios. Escher ran up and put his hand on each bag.

So no bike ride last night for me. I used to prefer to walk even if it's was a long distance. But, I'm starting to find the riding easier. I still haven't ventured out of the safety of my neighborhood yet. But, what started this? Oh yes. My 5 year old cannot ride anywhere with me & he doesn't fit in a *seat (see explanation below) & I hate bike trailers. So, I went lusting after and Xtracycle again and found a local couple who I think I'll lust after, too. Is that ok? I mean I'm just lusting after their biking, not them as individuals. I promise not to hunt them down or anything either.

I once, and only once, had a child's seat on the back of my bike. I'm not sure if I'm too short or what. But, every time I came to a stop my giant child & bike came crashing down to the side. Try as I might to keep the bike upright it's just horrifying to me. Well, perhaps it's not horrifying, just horribly embarrassing and a blow to my tough I know I'm short but I can do what I want spirit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer with a Bike for Groceries

I have lived in places places with my bike. A sweet little GT boys bike with a little basket on the back. I've dragged it from home to home. But, this is the first home where my little GT feels loved. Because a bike was meant to be ridden.

It's wonderful to ride my bike with my oldest son. I enjoyed his little years. But, this is new. He is becoming a little man. He is becoming more friend than son. And, it's strange, but fun.

When you haven't ridden a bike in years you have to limit the amount of groceries that you can place in those little baskets. Good for the budget and really good for the bum!

We spent $20 and have dinner tonight with leftovers for lunch tomorrow, coffee & sugar, cat food, and sandalwood soap.

What drives me crazy is my will power. I do not save money when I shop at Costco. I actually hate having extra food around the house. I wish I could replace our fridge with a mini-fridge. It's insane with 5 people in our house. It feels so wrong yet so right. We don't need all that food. I love being challenged to figure out what to make out of leftovers and frozen bits of veggies. I don't like trying to have willpower against that giant box of low fat ice cream bars my children talk me into.

When I sat down to post to my blog the first thing I remembered was Rebecca's Eating Organic on a Budget. It seems impossible to live that with a family. But, it is plausible. It is nice to occasionally get a trip to Costco (I do sometimes send the husband on his way home from work), but it isn't necessary. You can teach your children to enjoy simple food. You don't have to stock up or rely on hamburger to be thrifty.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Year of Living Biblically

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

Wow, this finally came in from the library. I was well over 100 in the waiting list. So, far it's hilarious and insightful. It's a good look at how those from the outside often see "us". By us I mean those who identify as believers in a Judeo-Christian God.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Charlotte Mason in Modern English

Volume 1 of Charlotte Mason's Series

I know I said I wouldn't be talking about homeschooling over here. Well, if you take that literally you are very, very silly indeed. What I really meant was I wouldn't be sharing all my children's achievements.

I'm not going to stop learning myself. I believe a homeschooling parent should keep ahead of their children. This week though my oldest read the Sutcliff version of The Iliad and the Odyssey. Asking for a narration was informative because I haven't read any version of it yet. Intended for it to be a read aloud to last the summer but you can see how he took over at our homeschool blog.

I digress....back to the subject...(and all those darn little dots...)

I'm reading the Modern English version so generously put together by The Lovely Leslie I read most of it a few years ago. Then within a few months I was accepted to a large university. A large university which has somehow managed to suck a few years off my life. (Let's not go there too deeply yet. I have until the fall to decide if I'm officially on another break from Higher Education).

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