River's Edge Urban Academy

Homeschooling 4 kids ages 9, 6, 4 and baby while working as a postpartum nurse and lactation counselor.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sometimes Work Doesn't Suck
I had a madly busy night tonight, but it was kind of good anyway. I had two patients for the second night in a row. Both were high needs for different reasons.
One was not exactly Somalian but from somewhere in that region of the world. (We have many patients who are from Somalia and nearby) She was such an amazingly peaceful and happy person. She and her husband had tried for three years (drugs, tests, etc) to have a baby and had actually made an appointment to begin the IVF process when she got pregnant without meds or intervention! Unfortunately her baby was almost ten pounds and she couldn't push him out and had a C-section.
She also had major problems with post-op gas. A big milestone after any abdominal surgery is when you pass gas. Usually it happens in the first 6-24 hours and the longer it takes the more uncomfortable it gets. This poor lady was 2.5 days out from her C-section and still hadn't passed gas. She was having that real sharp pain that gas causes and her stomach was so full of it that it was hard like a drum.
Well, I had tried everything last night and tonight to help her. We were feeding her warm liquids, having her walk and walk and walk and rock in a rocking chair. We tried warm packs and belly massage. I gave her a suppository and milk of magnesia to no avail. I was really getting concerned about her and had updated the doc on her condition as well as another problem she was having several times through the night. Finally, though, at 10pm her husband emerged from the room and said (in his broken english) "her stomach is much better" I went in the room with him to see her and she was in the bathroom with a huge grin on her face. I literally jumped up and down clapping and saying hooray and she too was thrilled and actually congratulated me. Her stomach was still blown up after, but it was soft to the touch.
What a weird job I have and how strange I am that I was so happy about a woman farting. It honestly made me so happy that I have a big grin on my face while I am writing about it.
I also got blood from a transfusion splashed on my cutest uniform and had to go change clothes. Lame, lame.
Also people keep congratulating me on losing weight. I have lost a ton now. It is so weird to be congratulated on something that I am not trying to do. It is so weird that it is such an honorable thing in our society to be thin. I mean I am generally at a healthy weight but just now am a little thinner than normal and people act like it is such a great thing. It is also strange how I keep losing weight w/o trying. Almost starting to think about going to dr. about it but I really hate my dr. and haven't found one I like at our clinic. Could go see my OB who I love but they would prob just refer me back to PMD. Blah blah blah. Good night.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

New Format
LMK if there are any opinions on the new format? I really like the color.

Friday, October 29, 2004

We had a bad week for getting Calvert School done. However, Joss did some sort of math and reading every day of her own accord. On her own she counted all her money by grouping the different coins, counting them and making a table. She was able to total the pennies, dimes and nickels by counting by 1s, 5s and 10s. She then counted the quarters by grouping them into dollars. I helped her add all the numbers as she has not yet learned how to add such big numbers, doesn't know carrying, etc, but I showed all my work and talked about what I was doing as I did it. Today we went to the garden store whose "guess the pumpkin's weight" contest we had entered to find out how much the pumpkin had weighed. It weighed 95# and they were also able to tell us that the winner had guessed exactly 95, Joss was soo disappointed cuz she thought her guess of 100# would win for sure. On the way home she figured out on her own what the difference between her answer and the right answer was and the difference between mine (120#) and the right answer was.
Those are just a couple examples, but lately it seems like it is super easy to work math into everyday life. I would also like to find a couple fun computer math games.
She is doing more reading all the time, and amazing me with the words she knows. Not that she doesn't get frustrated and she is still a beginning reader, but her confidence is very good and her desire to read is strong. One benefit to less "school" is we also have more time for reading aloud.
When we were at the Gibbs farm I bought a book about the early life of the the Gibbs matriarch. It is fascinating, and Joss loves it as much as I do so we are really having a great time reading it together. I would like to read the book through together once, then along with Joss plan some field trips and activities and go through the book again in the spring.
Zeff has also been setting himself some rather school-y tasks - like lining up and counting our library books and "sounding out" the Kerry and Bush (thankfully, few) signs in our neighborhood. He also made the funny comment today as we entered the corner store, "They're not going to vote for John Kerry, they're just a store" Anyway, he is such a stitch and it is shocking how even a 3.5 yr old can pick up so much about an election!
ANYWAY: I keep coming back to this unschooling thing. I have this really sensible plan of doing the Calvert school to be sure we're covering the basics and unschool the rest of the time, but... I have totally noticed how much more creative and self-directed Joss can be after we haven't done school for a while (like this week - we got 1 LESSON done and that was on Monday!). She really is so much more willing to problem solve and sound out, etc when it is towards the goal of her own choosing than when it is assigned and I am leading her through it. So we can't I decide this before dropping the big$$$$ on the expen$ive curriculum???? I am really not at all sure I could unschool. My stomach literally hurts just thinking about it, but I find myself always thinking and wondering about it and coming back to it and seeing how it COULD totally work but can I really take that chance with my child's education? Anyway - no answers or plans her, just befuddled musings.
I should get to bed - my car is completely screwed up AGAIN and we still don't know what's wrong with it, but we have to get to ballet in the AM somehow so I have to get up early and figure that out!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Today was really awesome. Z had Magic Treehouse in the AM. He had a very fun and busy morning there. His teacher used chalk to outline all the kids laying on the sidewalk. They also made the prettiest tissue paper window hanging things.
We got 80% of school done while he was there. Joss has hit a stumbling block in math. It's not so much that she doesn't get the concept, she just has it in her head that she can't do it. When she uses similar and higher level skills in other ways she does great so I'm not exactly sure what the deal is. Ry had a good suggestion tonight when we discussed it that I am going to try with her.
After we picked up the Z, we dropped off daddy's lunch - we all love doing that when he works near by. Then we ran a couple errands and finished off by spending 15cents on 3 loaves of bird bread and feeding the ducks, geese and seagulls at our favorite place, where we do that at least once a season. Today they I learned the trick of getting the sea gulls to catch the food mid-air. You hold the bread up until there are several kind of hovering nearby and then throw it in front of one of them. I got them to catch it four times and it was quite exciting for me!! (I know I am suffering from terminal dorkiness - dorkus malorkus my cousin would say)
Then we got home and the plan was to finish off school but we just did the read aloud stuff (Z did a very good job listening to big sister's literature piece). Then the good weather (It was above 50 today) called to us and we want for a hour and a half, 2 block walk! We collected leaves with the intention of using them for an art project.
We came back home to do an art project and listen to music but again I just had to get us outside, so we took a wagon ride to the "rainbow" park and bought a big 28 pound pumpkin on the way home. That was quite a workout, pulling the 20, 35 and 45 pound kids along with the pumpkin!
Poor kids - I totally tired them out! Z fell asleep next to his dad on the couch before supper and baby took a 2 hour nap! They went to bed well, though and now I need to get the house cleaned up! Aargh!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Why My Husband Rocks Part 2
He did the homeschooling today while I worked a day shift (actually attended a class). He said, "Wow, that takes a long time. I don't know how you do it!"
After I got home, I returned some phone calls, had a snack and went to bed for the next 6 hours, as I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before and then got my flu shot at work, so I felt yucky.
So he was home all day, got a little help from me for two hours and then had the kids for the whole rest of the day, till bedtime. He didn't complain or let the kids bug me, he just made dinner, cleaned up and did it all.
Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into an homage to Ryan blog, but I am lucky to have him and have been thinking about it more as we approach the big 1-0. More than one third of my life, by the way.

From an email to the grandmas and my brother:
Hi all,
Sorry for the mass email, but I am quite busy these days and need to be more efficient in my bragging about my family. :)
These are some pix we took with our homeschool gym class buddies at the nature center on the day that gym class was cancelled. It is really cool in that we are three homeschooling families that all have 5 yr old girls, 2 and 3 yr old boys and babies (the other moms have 3 and 6 mos old girls). A good time was had by all that grey, gloomy day, last Tuesday. The thing that the kids are all looking at in the second picture is either a shrew or a mouse with most of its face ripped off. They thought it was way cool and it was quite hard to pull them away from it! One of the other families and our family watched a movie about beekeeping that had been made right at that nature center. It was geared to older kids or adults but the 3 and 5 yr olds watched the approx 20 minute video very attentively - a one mile walk around the lake will do that for kids! Then we got to go look at the bee hives and see the bees in the exact spot where the movie was filmed.
Love you,

Friday, October 22, 2004

From an email I sent my friend after watching her kids yesterday (this refers to my 3.5yo and her 2.5yo.)

I regret to inform you that Zeff told his first off-color joke today and that your son, Ben laughed at it.
He called the "apple machine" a "diaper machine". And Ben thought it was hysterical and repeated it several times.
I thought it was an important milestone for both of them in their humor development, and that you would want to know.
Those kids are way too funny, sometimes.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Today was pretty nice. We skipped playgroup this AM as I had offered to watch my neighbor's three kids in the PM and I wanted a chance to clean up, do school and get to the library before they came over.
We were done with math (working with commutative property of subtraction) and had just started LA when a friend called. She was having a rough day and needed a friend to talk to so she and her children came over. My kids were excited by the unexpected visitors and we talked for a little while before we went to the library together.
Library was great as I had found a movie that I thought was gone for good so was able to get the money back I had paid for it! It felt like free money to me and I used it later to get McD's which was kinda nice for me on such a busy day. We also got a great DK book of The Nutcracker and the next Little House book on tape for litsening to in the car.
The neighbor kids came over shortly after we got home so we had a total of six kids here ages almost 7, almost 6, 5, 3, 2, and 1! It was so much fun. The baby slept for the first hour or so and the kids played outside in the leaves for over an hour. They were really working together in all different ways to pile up leaves. They raked, loaded in toy dumptrucks, hand carried, loaded in trunk of play car and used big swimming noodles as chopsticks. They worked very well together for the most part and really seemed to enjoy running around outside again after our spell of cold, rainy weather. Then we collected a couple leaves apiece and used blow pens (sorta like airbrushes on a very small scale) to stencil (I'm sure that isn't the right term) the shapes of the leaves onto paper. They turned out pretty well!
The kids then had a blast with our new apple peeler/slicer/corer and we had apples for snack. We then had a dance party (gotta love They Might be Giants) and finally collapsed in front of Arthur.
As soon as they went home, my cousin showed up and took her son, Joss and I to the Kerry rally downtown. We took the LRT there and back which worked fine on the way there but we waited in line for a train for 45" on the way home. It was very exciting being there and Jossy's improv Kerry songs were hysterical. She heard the slogan "Kerry for a Fresh Start" or whatever it is and was singing:
Vote for John Kerry
If you want a fresh country
And lots of other cute lyrics that I can't remember. We couldn't get very close, but my cousin (who is pretty tall) gave each kid a turn on her shoulders and Malcolm saw John Kerry, but Joss said she couldn't see him cuz the lights were in her eyes. She was very proud that she was close to him and got to hear him "in person."
Well, a very busy and full day. I am so happy that we got to the rally.
Well, I am supposed to be at work at either 0700 or 0730 and I don't know which so I think I am going to get there at 7:15 and either be 15" late or 15" early! I have a class in complications in pregnancy that will last all day so I better get to bed. And bring coffee money!!!!!
Ryan is so dang lucky. The kids were so hyped up by the Kerry rally that they didn't get to bed till after 10:30!!! They are going to sleep till 10am. I am so lucky daylight savings is coming cuz we are getting up later and later! I love daylight savings in the fall. Only.
Peace out.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Why my husband rocks...
He took the kids to the children's museum yesterday while I went to work.
Today he took the big kids to a play at the children's theatre and than made sugar cookies with them in the evening.
He changes 95% of the diapers when he is home.
He has chosen a career that despite some drawbacks allows him to be with his kids quite alot.
He let me sleep till 1pm today (got home at 4am).
He is going to see Subhumans at First Ave this week, but he checked the calendar FIRST to make sure I wasn't working that night.
Our 10 year anniversary of co-habitation is on Halloween. We've both grown and changed alot (We were 17 and 22 back then!) but remained best friends. I think if you would have told our grunge-dressing, Grateful Dead and Phish-listening, Uptown dwelling, coffeeshop working selves back then that we would one day be married with a house and yard and homeschooling 3 kids we could never have believed it. I am so a million times happier now.
Warning: Total lack of homeschooling content. Purely bitching about work, here!
I am feeling a bit concerned about the future of the human race again at work these days. Yesterday I had a 26 yr old G76016. Meaning 7 pregs, 6 term births, 0 premature births, 1 abortion and 6 living kids. Yup. At 26. Her first was when she was 14. The father of the most recent of the two children threatened and swore at the staff and was not observed to be very much nicer to the mom. They were both so unkind and bossy to the other children. After having her till 11:30 I had to stay and work my call shift on Labor and Delivery (puke, I hate recovering patients) until 3:30am. Lame, lame, lame.
Today I had a very sick 14yr old mom of a stable premie. Totally screwed up family situation, no father involved. Probably shouldn't say any more due to confidentiality.
OTOH, my other three pts represent a somewhat typical mix for me: young married Somali primip (1st time mom)doing the very typical Somali breast and bottlefeeding mix: "no milk", G2P2 (second time mom) who was bottlefeeding and a very fun G6P6 homeschooling, breastfeeding mom.
Late in my shift when I finally got to leave the floor to get food, I ended up in the elevator with a priest. As he got on the elevator he asked me how my night was going. He asked like he really wanted to know, perhaps he sensed I was upset, and for some reason, instead of saying fine, I said "really bad, I work in maternity and I have a sick fourteen year old," he said he was so sorry and I asked him to pray for her and her baby and he asked their names and said that he would.
So maybe those reading this want to say a little prayer for her and baby, too. Not just for now but for the future, too. I really worry, sometimes.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A good friend forwarded me these articles from the homeschoolers for Kerry email list. I don't usually get political on my blog but as it gets closer to election day I just can't help myself.

Food for thought for those who feel they can't support Kerry because of the abortion issue:

Pro-life? Look at the fruits
by Dr. Glen Harold Stassen

I am a Christian ethicist, and trained in statistical analysis. I am
consistently pro-life. My son David is one witness. For my
family, "pro-life" is personal. My wife caught rubella in the eighth
week of her pregnancy. We decided not to terminate, to love and
raise our baby. David is legally blind and severely handicapped; he
also is a blessing to us and to the world.

I look at the fruits of political policies more than words. I
analyzed the data on abortion during the George W. Bush presidency.
There is no single source for this information - federal reports go
only to 2000, and many states do not report - but I found enough
data to identify trends. My findings are counterintuitive and

Abortion was decreasing. When President Bush took office, the
nation's abortion rates were at a 24-year low, after a 17.4% decline
during the 1990s. This was an average decrease of 1.7% per year,
mostly during the latter part of the decade. (This data comes from
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life using the Guttmacher
Institute's studies).

Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to
continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the
opposite happened.

I found three states that have posted multi-year statistics through
2003, and abortion rates have risen in all three: Kentucky's
increased by 3.2% from 2000 to 2003. Michigan's increased by 11.3%
from 2000 to 2003. Pennsylvania's increased by 1.9% from 1999 to
2002. I found 13 additional states that reported statistics for 2001
and 2002. Eight states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6%
average increase), and five saw a decrease (4.3% average decrease).

Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion
rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s,
52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than
would have been expected before this change of direction.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child
(Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three
years, unemployment rates increased half again. Not since Hoover had
there been a net loss of jobs during a presidency until the current
administration. Average real incomes decreased, and for seven years
the minimum wage has not been raised to match inflation. With less
income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable
mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless
usually do not marry. Only three of the 16 states had more marriages
in 2002 than in 2001, and in those states abortion rates decreased.
In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the
year before, and 7,869 more abortions. As male unemployment
increases, marriages fall and abortion rises.

Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their
children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now
than before this presidency - with women of childbearing age
overrepresented in those 5.2 million - abortion increases.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops warned of this likely outcome if support
for families with children was cut back. My wife and I know - as
does my son David - that doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical
insurance, special schooling, and parental employment are crucial
for a special child. David attended the Kentucky School for the
Blind, as well as several schools for children with cerebral palsy
and other disabilities. He was mainstreamed in public schools as
well. We have two other sons and five grandchildren, and we know
that every mother, father, and child needs public and family

What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not
separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow,
mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs,
child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word,
means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and
support for prospective mothers.

Glen Stassen is the Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at
Fuller Theological Seminary, and the co-author of Kingdom Ethics:
Following Jesus in Contemporary Context, Christianity Today's Book
of the Year in theology or ethics.

Voting Our Conscience, Not Our Religion

October 11, 2004

New York Times

South Bend, Ind. - For more than a century, from the wave of immigrants in the 19th century to the election of the first Catholic president in 1960, American Catholics overwhelmingly identified with the Democratic Party. In the past few decades, however, that allegiance has largely faded. Now Catholics are prototypical "swing voters": in 2000, they split almost evenly between Al Gore and George W. Bush, and recent polls show Mr. Bush ahead of Senator John Kerry, himself a Catholic, among white Catholics.

There are compelling reasons - cultural, socioeconomic and political - for this shift. But if Catholic voters honestly examine the issues of consequence in this election, they may find themselves returning to their Democratic roots in 2004.

The parties appeal to Catholics in different ways. The Republican Party opposes abortion and the destruction of embryos for stem-cell research, both positions in accord with Catholic doctrine. Also, Republican support of various faith-based initiatives, including school vouchers, tends to resonate with Catholic voters.

Members of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, are more likely to criticize the handling of the war in Iraq, to oppose capital punishment and to support universal heath care, environmental stewardship, a just welfare state and more equitable taxes. These stances are also in harmony with Catholic teachings, even if they may be less popular among individual Catholics.

When values come into conflict, it is useful to develop principles that help place those values in a hierarchy. One reasonable principle is that issues of life and death are more important than other issues. This seems to be the strategy of some Catholic and church leaders, who directly or indirectly support the Republican Party because of its unambiguous critique of abortion. Indeed, many Catholics seem to think that if they are truly religious, they must cast their ballots for Republicans.

This position has two problems. First, abortion is not the only life-and-death issue in this election. While the Republicans line up with the Catholic stance on abortion and stem-cell research, the Democrats are closer to the Catholic position on the death penalty, universal health care and environmental protection.

More important, given the most distinctive issue of the current election, Catholics who support President Bush must reckon with the Catholic doctrine of "just war." This doctrine stipulates that a war is just only if all possible alternative strategies have been pursued to their ultimate conclusion; the war is conducted in accordance with moral principles (for example, the avoidance of unnecessary civilian casualties and the treatment of prisoners with dignity); and the war leads to a more moral state of affairs than existed before it began. While Mr. Kerry, like many other Democrats, voted for the war, he has since objected to the way it was planned and waged.

Second, politics is the art of the possible. During the eight years of the Reagan presidency, the number of legal abortions increased by more than 5 percent; during the eight years of the Clinton presidency, the number dropped by 36 percent. The overall abortion rate (calculated as the number of abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44) was more or less stable during the Reagan years, but during the Clinton presidency it dropped by 11 percent.

There are many reasons for this shift. Yet surely the traditional Democratic concern with the social safety net makes it easier for pregnant women to make responsible decisions and for young life to flourish; among the most economically disadvantaged, abortion rates have always been and remain the highest. The world's lowest abortion rates are in Belgium and the Netherlands, where abortion is legal but where the welfare state is strong. Latin America, where almost all abortions are illegal, has one of the highest rates in the world.

None of this is to argue that abortion should be acceptable. History will judge our society's support of abortion in much the same way we view earlier generations' support of torture and slavery - it will be universally condemned. The moral condemnation of abortion, however, need not lead to the conclusion that criminal prosecution is the best way to limit the number of abortions. Those who view abortion as the most significant issue in this campaign may well want to supplement their abstract desire for moral rectitude with a more realistic focus on how best to ensure that fewer abortions take place.

In many ways, Catholic voters' growing political independence has led to a profusion of moral dilemmas: they often feel they must abandon one good for the sake of another. But while they may be dismayed at John Kerry's position on abortion and stem-cell research, they should be no less troubled by George W. Bush's stance on the death penalty, health care, the environment and just war. Given the recent history of higher rates of abortion with Republicans in the White House, along with the tradition of Democratic support of equitable taxes and greater integration into the world community, more Catholics may want to reaffirm their tradition of allegiance to the Democratic Party in 2004.

Mark W. Roche is dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

So do you punish them when...
...your almost six year old sneaks into the school pile and does one more math worksheet, after you told her that she was done for the day????
She also does all the problems when I tell her she only needs to do the first two rows or whatever. What a weirdo! :)
Nerd confession: I used to do the same thing, only more along the lines of reading the whole 1st grade reader in the first week of school.
Must get off computer, must clean up house for Usborne books party tomorrow. Oh yeah, I mean for the party that takes place after I get home from the Apple Orchard 50 miles away. Why do I do this to myself???? :)
If anyone reading this would like to buy some books through me here is the link (though I can never make a hyperlink)
www.ubah.com/L1059 and then you click on enter bookstore then my name is on the right side.
Peace Out Yall!!!!!!
Great homeschooling moments this morning.
Doing an experiment where we cut open two different varieties and compared the number of seeds (then ate the apples).
Watching kids act out (and wildly dance and race around the house) the Nutcracker at Joss's direction. She is to be in a production of the Nutcracker this December and knows the story pretty well all ready.
While they were doing this I hopped online and requested a video of the ballet and a story book of the nutcracker from the library.
They rock. I rock. Even the baby rocks. Have a good day y'all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Oh yeah, since this blog is my pathetic attempt to make up for never making or maintaining baby books I better mention that the baby has started walking!!
He is my latest walker by a couple weeks as he is approx 1 yr and 3 weeks and the others were just shy of 1 year when they walked. It is possible that this kid has not received the encouragement to walk that the others did. I mean I won't admit to pushing him down when he tried but you know, once they start walking its just a short amount of time till they run and once they start they never stop!!!!!!!!!
Well, it was a busy weekend. The big kids stayed overnight with grandma while Ryan, baby and I went shopping at Ikea and deep-cleaned the house. There is still a ways to go, but we got the carpet cleaned, which is very tough to do with kids underfoot so grandma's help was greatly appreciated.
Sunday night we had a Thanksgiving dinner with my little bro and Monday we had his goodbye party with many of our relatives and his friends. He is in the air now on his way to Texas, then Ireland, then Kuwait then back to Afghanistan.
School with Joss is going really great. The first couple weeks have been an adjustment of course, but I think we are finally hitting our groove. Science continue to be MY stumbling block. Joss loves it, though I can tell she is a little confused about why we are learning about plants by reading a book, when we usually are learning about plants outside! I also find the experiments a little tough to pull together. I have made a couple rules in regards to experiments
1) The benefit has to outweigh the trouble of putting it together. For example: We skipped the experiment where you take two similar plants and don't water one, but water the other. Honestly, to get two plants together to show her something she has seen a million times and could predict would happen is just not a good benefit:PIA (pain in the rear) ratio!
2) If it is a big PIA, but does have significant benefits we will do it on the days her cousin is here. If I am going to go to the work, I want as many kids as possible to benefit from it!

Another rule I have decided is that no matter what all the "experts" say about doing Math in the morning, it just has to be last. Joss is such a little nerd (just kidding!) that she LOVES math and does extra sheets for fun in the car! She enjoys reading but it is work for her, so we will do that first with the prize of Math to look forward to.
Last rule, when she is hitting the wall (frustrated, unable to read words she could read earlier in that lesson) with reading we will stop immediately. I have always insisted on finishing the page she was on at that point, and then stopping as I wanted her to perservere - but more and more I feel like it just discourages her so that's my latest thought on that.
Last of all, I have this stupid internal pride that wants her to keep ticking along a lesson/day a full grade level above her age, even though there is a larger, more rational, less prideful part that knows it is fine for us to take it slow. I struggle with this, despite knowing better. I actually have overcome that evil side of my homeschooling personality a little bit. We are doing 45" school in the AM then 30" in the PM and are scheduling some projects and assignments for later to keep any one day from being too long.
At this point we are averaging 3.5 lessons a week. If this year goes like last we will get up to 4-5/week as the year goes on. A 4day school week done year-round, still allows for 12 weeks off so this is the plan at this moment in time! I definitely want to take most of December off again as we did last year. It is such a busy time with so many great events and things to see and do, not to mention so much to get done for the holidays! Speaking of which: maybe I should be smart and request some holiday materials from the library now or soon. Maybe I should even start my Christmas shopping now.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That was hilarious. I think I will order most of the presents online again, though. It may have been a little more expensive, however I got free s&h everywhere I ordered and didn't have to drive or park or bring or ditch kids so it definitely has that going for it!
Well, enough rambling for this morning, hope everyone is good!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Cute story from yesterday:
I got Zeff helping me with the cleaning by telling him all the dirty laundry was "bad slugs" and he was spiderman and had to throw them in the "dungeon" (basement). Well he loved it and threw the bad slugs with much gusto for about 10 minutes. Then my little lovey boy discovered a "baby slug" (one of dad's rolled up stinky socks!) and the game was over. He was very distressed when I suggest baby slug should go downstairs and instead insisted that it was a baby who lost its mama and he was going to be its mama. Oh well, he got most of the laundry downstairs before he adopted the baby slug. Baby slug also kept him busy for the next half hour (he is so nurturing) while I finished up with cleaning so that was fine!
I also forgot to mention that after our library run yesterday we went to the creek so Zeff could see his favorite type of tree (weeping willow) up close. There was a couple really majestic ones with branches hanging all the way to the ground that the kids played house in for quite a while.
Peace out, gotta keep working on the house as I am having an Usborne books party this week.
Cute story from yesterday:
I got Zeff helping me with the cleaning by telling him all the dirty laundry was "bad slugs" and he was spiderman and had to throw them in the "dungeon" (basement). Well he loved it and threw the bad slugs with much gusto for about 10 minutes. Then my little lovey boy discovered a "baby slug" (one of dad's rolled up stinky socks!) and the game was over. He was very distressed when I suggest baby slug should go downstairs and instead insisted that it was a baby who lost its mama and he was going to be its mama. Oh well, he got most of the laundry downstairs before he adopted the baby slug. Baby slug also kept him busy for the next half hour (he is so nurturing) while I finished up with cleaning so that was fine!
I also forgot to mention that after our library run yesterday we went to the creek so Zeff could see his favorite type of tree (weeping willow) up close. There was a couple really majestic ones with branches hanging all the way to the ground that the kids played house in for quite a while.
Peace out, gotta keep working on the house as I am having an Usborne books party this week.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Okay, let's see am I actually smart enough to add comments to my blog?
Todays activities:
Major house cleanup
Zeff painting Spiderman coloring pages, ends with me painting his face red at his request
Library run
Kite flying and playground playing
This weather is so fabulous - don't expect to hear from me much, I plan to be enjoying it!

Monday, October 04, 2004

We had a great weekend. Saturday was busy, Uncle Jon came over and went to tumbling with Zeff and Ryan. I took baby and Joss to ballet, then came home and raced to work.
Sunday I was lucky enough to get cancelled and the weather was gorgeous!! Unexpectedly my sister in law and her kids were able to come spend the day with us. We played at home and took the kids to the community garden to run and play. They ran through the gardens and climbed trees and we took pictures of them.
We then had supper and my mother and stepfather in law and grandma came over. Our house was full to the rafters and the noise level was incredible! A good time was had by all though, and I got to show my inlaws some of our curriculum and talk about our homeschooling philosophy with them. They have never approved of the hs'ing but seem to be opening their minds and seeing Joss progress and grow so well helps, too.
Today has been lovely. Ry took Z to park n rec this AM and J and I finished all our leftover school from last week. We skipped two science lessons and never received our math books till Friday PM so we did the science and 2 math lessons.
While she was on break from her lessons she requested I play her kindermusik CD. I did and she danced with Keian and Ryan and I danced. Ryan was getting a late start at work and just happened to be home at 11 which is not the usual. It was really fun.
After we got Zeff we went and climbed on the big copper bunny that is at the corner of M'haha parkway and Portland Avenue. The kids have always wanted to do that but we never seemed to have time, or think of it when we did have time. They were excited and had a great time!
We came home and did art and had lunch. After baby woke up we went for a walk around our neighborhood where we paid close attention to the different shapes of leaves we found.
Now I have chili simmering on the stove, and am taking a little computer break.
Aaaahhhh <-sigh of contentment.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Well life has been very good, but very busy lately.
Our first week of Calvert 1 has been great. The workload is definitely increasing, but Joss still really likes it. I ended up sending back the 1st grade math in exchange for 2nd grade math and I am so glad. It is just perfect for where she is right now. Hoping it keeps her challenged!
I have made a conscious effort to pull back on some commitments and try for more downtime at home. Always looking for that balance, I guess.
Yesterday was really cold and rainy so we stayed in PJs most of the AM and had lots of stories, cut up magazines and made collages and did puzzles. It was lovely but around 1 the kids were getting antsy. I had to go to work so I got them dressed and had R drop me at work and take them to the Children's Museum to run. It worked out great.
MY BRO IS HOME! Just for a leave but the kids are thrilled, Zeff especially. Well, I am beat so I have to sign off - hope everyone is good!