Friday, March 31, 2006

I didn't think it was this warm

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It has finally started to warm-up a little. I didn't check the thermometer but I personally did not find it warm enough to go with bathing suits as a form of dress. Apparently my girls did. They begged me to let them go play outside in their bathing suits, and being a parent who believes in natural consequences when it comes to things like this, agreed. I figured that they would be back inside within a few minutes wanting to change. Mom was wrong!

The girls had a blast playing outside, in their suits until it was time to go run errands. I had to go out and shut the hose off, because really it isn't quite warm enough for that yet - no matter that my daughter who was turning blue and shivering wanted to argue that point with me.

Here are a couple of pictures as odes to Spring and a reminder that Summer will be upon us very quickly.

Today is supposed to be even nicer. I am thinking about a walk around the lake after the glass people finish fixing our window this morning.

Here is a picture of EM. She loves playing dress up with the big girls nearly as much as they like to dress her up.

I realized as I uploaded these pictures that I have not taken pictures since the beginning of February. So many cute things have occurred, but I have been such a bad picture taker. I need to get back on the ball.

Have a great Friday!



Thursday, March 30, 2006

Updating Sidebar

I took advantage of this morning and I finally got around to updating my sidebar and fixing some broken links.

I just have to pause and say to you that have introduced yourselves to me and those that I read - I have really enjoyed getting to know ya'll in a virtual way over the past year. I never really knew how much this site was going to support me in this first year homeschooling and all the stuff that has happened. Everyone has different strategies and different aspects of being home and homeschooling, and I believe that I have gleaned so many worthwhile things from everyone's blogs. So thank you so very much for putting yourselves out there.

And, to Jess, who no longer has a blog - I really miss you and I miss hearing about your family. I had to take the link down because every morning I have wanted to come in here and click on it. Please drop me a note or comment and let me know everything is okay.



Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Life has been very busy these last few days, obviously. But other than the house stuff, it has been good. I am still not writing much when it comes to homeschooling because that would be pretty boring right now. We just have not been doing a lot outside of the normal school stuff. The girls have been having a lot of free time between the house stuff and then the pregnancy "I have to stop and rest right now" thing. This is good and bad. I love watching their creativity in action, but I am also noticing these last couple of days that they want a little more organized time during the day. They *say* they don't, but their actions and the whining are telling me a totally different story.

Yesterday we went and tried out a new gymnastics class for the girls. Something that I thought all three could be involved at the same time. But, even though EM is age ready for the mom & tot class she is just not a child who would rather be with me in these situations. She was all over the place; examining the equipment wanting to crawl under or over. Otherwise she wanted to go over to where MB's class was. When I tried to keep her in the circle she would just scream out her frustration at me.

Other than that the class was good. Both MB and K enjoyed their classes, which had more kids that they recognized from our homeschool group. At the end of the class the coach came over to speak to me about MB. Their thoughts are that MB needs to be on the development team. They have been trying to recruit MB for months, since she attended a birthday party at the gym. I asked if I needed to put MB in the regular classes (which are in the evening :( ) and they replied that not right now - that as the coaches for MB's age group they want to work with her in this small group (only 4 kids) for 6 weeks and then have her try out for the team in May. So, we will do this for right now and see how MB likes the added discipline.

She really does need this type of push to get her to exceed, keep moving forward. She has been graced with a lot of things coming easy to her, especially in sports. When she is constantly with others of her age group, but maybe not ability level - she tends to only do as much as everyone else. I have watched this on her soccer team. She doesn't even want to work with me and kick the ball around like we used to - because "she doesn't need to"

The pregnancy is going well, or I assume so. I still have not gotten around to calling the doctor yet. I feel comfortable and well and I know to take my vitamins. So, I just have not felt any real push to go in yet. The tiredness and nausea is letting up little bit. Afternoons are still the worst, but at least it isn't all day anymore.

Last night my sinuses/allergies started bothering me and woke me up around 2:00am. After that I laid awake for the next 2 hours thinking about all the things that could go wrong and mess up this move. That was frustrating!

But today I have started working on our to do list. I have called about getting a cracked window pane fixed, ordered packing boxes and have called a moving company about an estimate. We are dissapointed that interest rates went up yesterday - but hopefully will get locked in as soon as I can get the copies of the buy/sell contracts from the agent (today!!) before they go up again.

Time for me to go get the girls organized again and run some errands.



Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Our offer for the new house was ACCEPTED!! I am so very excited!

Everything is looking to be in place for us to close May 5th on both houses!! I need to sit down on and work on my To-Do list for the next 5 weeks.


Yesterday we went over to the house we are interested in. I took the in-laws to see it. They liked the house, like us they thought the layout was really good for our family but the decor was a little overdone. There is a lot of wallpaper done in kind of a country, folk-art theme. My FIL spent a lot of time wandering around outside checking to make sure that the drainage looked okay and then working with the agent to figure out the property line - an assessment has not been done so we are not exactly sure the property line on one side yet.

We got the thumbs up from the parental units and then they left. I stayed with the girls and the agent and we got to work making an offer. MB and K played outside in the yard, K on the supersize swingset and MB dribbling the soccer ball around the backyard. Next door two little girls and a boy, about MB & K's ages came out and they all introduced themselves. It was very neat watching the whole thing.

The house just feels like the right house for us. I have been 3 times now, yesterday staying for nearly two hours, and I just haven't had any niggling doubts about this house.

We have made an offer, but, unfortunately have not heard anything back yet. Today we are all going to be very busy so it should be interesting trying to do any negotiations today. DH is playing the golf tournament that was postponed from last week - so he really will not be all that available. I am taking the girls to a new gymnastics class that is offering a mom & me tot class that I can do at the same time with EM - so I will be out of pocket some also.

Tracey - the sale sign around here generally goes up once a sell contract is finalized and signed, sometimes they will put up an under-contract sign if there are several contingencies. Our only contingency is on the home inspection - and if they find enough stuff that would make it possible for her to back out, then we would take it off the market for awhile to get those repaired. A sale is never final until the actual close and by that time we better already have our things on a moving truck and be out of the house. It is very scary knowing that at anytime the rug could be pulled out. But, that also doesn't happen that often.

I think I am going to go make some monkey bread for breakfast.



Monday, March 27, 2006


We have a contract on the house!! The only contingency is the home inspection, and when you are talking a 35 year old house there is room there for concern.

We negotiated back and forth through most of yesterday afternoon - finally DH and I were just a little frustrated as the woman was not budging or had not worked her $$ very carefully and was in some cases trying to go backwards on us. We sent with our agent one last "here it is offer, we are not going to negotiate anymore" - boom quick call back and she had agreed.

We now have a pretty SOLD sign in our front yard and what a feeling to wake up this morning and know that I would not be getting a call from someone who wanted to see the house in 20 minutes.

So we need to get a contract on our future home now!! Today I am going by the "house we like" and taking my in-laws. DH wants them to take a look at it and see if they notice anything (very detail people there). I am fine with it. This house is a good fit for us physically and it is such a step up. But it is going to be a stretch for us, or at least more than I am actually used to spending on housing. To have another set of eyes roaming and letting us know what they see could be a help. If it goes well we will submit an offer this evening.

It has been somewhat exciting around here this weekend. DH and I, although excited about getting something with more room for everyone, are a little sad to be leaving. This is the house we bought just four months after we married. Basically our first everything has been in this house. I am pretty sure the next five weeks are going to be a little chaotic and emotional.

Off to spend some time with the girls before house hunting stuff starts up!



Sunday, March 26, 2006

It Might Be Good News...

Okay, here it goes, I really can't believe it : We got an offer on the house yesterday evening!! We countered and are waiting this morning to hear back. I didn't post it last night, even though I wanted to, because I thought that I might jinx it our something. But, the more I thought about that overnight the sillier it was - if this is God's will then it will happen.

Our counteroffer if accepted is what the real estate agent, three months ago, had told us would be a decent sale price in the average market that has happened. It is also about as low as we feel comfortable going, so we will see if it happens. Apparently the buyer wants to do most of the work that needs to be one around here herself, which means that it doesn't look like she plans on nitpicking us to pieces during the home inspection. That played in her favor of us looking at her original - really low offer.

Our real estate agent has also told us that the house we really like is still available - so we will probably go look at that again today. We will only have 5 weeks until close, so we will have to move on our new house really fast.

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I Cannot Change
The Courage to Change the things I Can
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference.



Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Almost A Day Off

Today was pleasant. I feel like recently I have been really negative on the blog about everything and I just want to share with you something positive for a change.

I woke up early this morning, dang hormones, and was able to spend some time in solitude and reflection before the children woke up. I thought about how much I had moved back into the mindset of my day as drudgery. I love being with my girls, but I have always had to work on the whole "putting the heart in the home," joyfully cleaning and cooking in the love I have for my family (yes, I am kind of overstating it a little - I know its an ideal and its progress not perfection). Still I have found that my perception of my life colors all my attitudes, and when I get down and overextended my perception really goes wonky. When I can be in the frame of mind to remember why I do this all in the first place - because I really do love my husband and my children - then what needs to be done doesn't seem so hard and dreary. So I decided to do one thing for the house, for the family and for me today.

That one thing was right in front of my face today. I opened the refrigerator and realized what a messy, disgusting place it had become. My mother was up this weekend and had filled the frig with leftover containers without lids - which is fine in her own house where she doesn't have kids constantly in an out of the refrigerator - but here it is just an invitation to a disgusting mess. Not to mention all the clutter of jars of stuff that ended up being a bust on the taste-o-meter. So I filled the sink with soapy water and pulled out the over-sized garbage bags and went to work. 2 hours and 2 garbage bags later our frig/freezer is now clutter free and wiped down. Everytime during the day that I have to open the frig it has made me feel good. DH was home today and commented on how good it looks!

Then I got my day off. DH took the day off from work - he was supposed to play in a golf tournament but it was postponed due to the weather. I left about 10:30 to go to a meeting and then a little grocery shopping all by myself. When I got home the girls had been feed lunch, EM was ready for her nap and the big girls were heading out with DH for a special day with him. MB had even managed to complete her math and grammar work for today.

So, EM and I got to nap away the rainy afternoon. DH came home with the girls and he had taken them shopping at the outlet mall and had bought them each a beautiful easter/summer church dress that fit perfectly. I think that maybe he should take them clothes shopping more often.

We have fed them all an early dinner, DH has headed out to help a friend with a project and I am holding down the fort for a couple of hours. Today has been a very positive day. Now to decide on my project for tomorrow.....



Hanging On

Thank you guys for your hugs below to my whine session. This to Shall Pass and I will barely remember this moment in my personal history.

This has become my motto for the last few days. I hang on until nap time, until dh comes home from work, until bedtime, until the weekend - you get the point. The tiredness factor, for me, is much worse than the nausea, although that is not a picnic either.

We are hanging on and holding it together. I am trying very hard to keep things running as smoothly as possible and as normal as possible. We are still progressing in school, although not nearly as many of the fun things are getting done as I would like and imagined doing this year. That is something I need to work on.

The house is still being shown - which honestly is both good and bad. The fact that people are coming out to look at it is good. But, it has been hard to keep the house up and get through the clean up sessions. Thankfully the last two were on the weekend when DH and my mom were here to help with the clean up and the girls. Had I known I was pregnant before we got the house ready for market I think we would have waited. This is really difficult during the first trimester.

I do have some fun things in the works for the next few weeks school and life-wise. I am going to get back to those things that are important for us to focus on - having fun with the girls and enjoying our spring before the humidity-filled heat settles on us. I am going to try to remember to break out the camera and enjoy the messy, laugh-filled learning that can take place in a house with young children.

So, if you don't hear from me for a few days at a time it's because that is where I have chosen to exert my limited energy reserves.



Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'll Whine If I Want To

I really don't want to, but I am just so frustrated. I am tired, I am hormonal and my house is on the market. It is on the market for more than *I* think it should be, but my personal opinions really didn't seem to matter here. I am finding it so hard to keep up - and it isn't with the clutter. It is with the fingerprints and the dirty smears on the walls and doors. I no sooner get the dust up then it is settling again. I even vaccumed the ceiling yesterday and saw little dust bunnies forming yet again today. It is wearing me out, and this so I can be ready for that one showing we have each week where they come in to say that it is either too cluttered or the price is too high for the updates that need to be done.

The clutter I am working on, but considering there are five in this house there is only so much I can do. The house is not going to be some type of showplace and I can't move the kids out for weeks. The updates, well yeah - that's why I think the house is too high also. There are updates that could be done. Do the absolutely need to be done to live here - NO, but there are a number of things that I would have liked to be able to have done and we just couldn't. But come on buyers - give us an offer we are willing to negotiate.

Anyway, it is the end of the day and I am just tired. Too much going on and I am just feeling at the end of my rope.



Spot o' Tea?

Tis' the time of year when I start seeing people discussing curriculum choices and school planning for next year. Homeschool conventions are upon us and stars dance in front of our eyes as we imagine how great and wonderful our plans for next school year are.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't really have any major additions or changes I want or need to make for next year. If something wasn't working I probably would have already thrown it out an tried something different. Being that it is "our" school I don't have to wait until the next year to try something different. I am happy with all of our subjects and curriculum we are doing. I do want to add in Latin, and it will probably be early next fall when we do it. I want to find an astronomy/outer space program to do this summer. So, nothing major in the mix there.

Right now the thing about school/our day that is working on me is our "structure." I am happy with a relaxed, take our time and enjoy what we are doing approach - but too much of a good thing can become bad. This winter with all sorts of things that have been going on, and I have lots of excuses, we have become so relaxed that we are like spaghetti that has been cooked 15 minutes too long - which we all know is just - yuck.

I am searching for balance and flexibility. How much is enough and how little is too little. I wish, with my love of reading, that it could be as easy as adding in a couple extra read aloud/snuggle reads in the day. But, MB and K just don't enjoy those times. I pull out a book and pat the sofa next to me and they "poof" disappear.

So, I am watching and trying to explore those things that grab at them. They love too cook, I do to - I just hate my kitchen. It doesn't work for more than one cook and always ends in some arguement. But, I have been thinking that an afternoon tea time after EM's nap, but before MB and K play with friends would be a good way to end our school day. Spend time together preparing the snack and then eat it together. Maybe, slowly build into it time for things we don't normally get into like music appreciation or a daily discussion time.

I have some other ideas, but if I can start with one thing at a time right now maybe I won't get so overwhelmed with everything else.



Monday, March 13, 2006

I just wish I could paint a picture with words the way some people can. Today is a day that would be worth painting. The weather is phenomenal, the way it can be in Spring around here, but so often isn't. Flowers are blooming, the azealas are just beginning. Trees are beginning to bud and everywhere is just the faintest bit of green. The pollen has not quite started in earnest so we can still be outside without having to load up on antihistamines.

Last night we slept with the windows open and the ceiling fans running. It was wonderful to wake up to the birds singing this morning. Soon we will have to fight the pollen and then too soon it will be way too humid - but for today we can enjoy.

Except for the birds, this morning did not get off to the best of starts. Apparently EM had gotten sick during the night and being the sleeper that she is, it did not phase her. So I found her sleeping in her mess - Yes - YUCK!! So, with my weak stomach I was cleaning her, her bed and the walls near her crib. It wasn't pleasant and all I could do to not make a worse mess in there.

Thankfully the day went much smoother than this morning. I got a little mor organizing done as I am trying to address the whole clutter thing while keeping the things we need handy. I picked up some of those cloth baskets to go in our cubbyhole organizer that the educational toys are stored in. This will at least make them less visible. On Friday I also picked up a new quilt and pillows for our bed - the first purchase like this since MB was born more than 6 years ago. We needed it and it really perked up the bedroom.

Besides having to chase K down the street when she decided that she was going to go play with friends the girls have been very good for me to get these projects done in the morning. I have been able to balance it by doing a project, play a game, do another chore or project.

School is getting done during EM's nap time right now - between 12 and three. It isn't the best time because I generally have to refocus MB and I would kind of like to take a nap. Today was probably the longest time we have spent on lessons in awhile, and not because MB was dragging on them, but because she was engaged and enjoying them. She told me the other day that she really likes homeschool now!! Which is so great to hear considering the fight she put up at the beginning of the year.

The afternoon has been spent outside. Watching the girls run around the backyard, and relaxing on the deck, when I haven't had to save EM from a tumble down the steps. I am so glad Spring is here.

I have potatos in the oven, my homemade roasted potatos per request, for dinner. I am trying to decide how to cook the meat to go with them.

A high energy, high mood day all around.



Thursday, March 09, 2006

Free Thoughts

I finally have a chance to sit and write and all my coherent thoughts fly from my brain. So, for lack of anything better I am just going to write.

I am handeling the stress, or anxiety or what ever one wants to call this totally gut feeling of uncertainty of the future, combined with trying to keep things even more clean than normal, by reading. And then more reading. None is profound or classical or really much beyond the whole "calgon take me away" sense of reading. But I have amazed myself at just the mass of books I have read in the last three weeks. Don't ask me how I have been able to read all these books. I'm not sure, but they are getting read.

Our house certainly isn't drawing many "lookers" and that is kind of depressing me. It is hard to keep the house up and to keep the girls picking up after themselves when days go by and we hear nothing. The feedback we have gotten says our house is too cluttered and doesn't show well. And, that bothers me even more. We have filled up the storage unit and have pared everything down beyond what I was expecting to need for the next few months, but with 5 of us, there is still alot of stuff. I don't even have the energy to contend with it all.

I saw something yesterday that made me a little sad, and a bit angry. At soccer practice I was sitting in the car with the two little ones and watching MB practice, when a car pulled into the lot. This was one of those nice, loaded SUVs and the license plate "My3Brats" I thought that was really over the top. I had a family member that always referred to me as a brat, forever, I mean it still comes up today and he still thinks it is funny. The psychological damage that occurs from hearing that term in reference to me is lasting to this day. The self-image that is defined as a brat -- I just can't imagine some mom finding this to be a cute way to express how she feels about her kids.

The weather is going to be great this weekend. Eighties and sunny. I don't think I am going to let the girls in the house ;)

Better go and start cleaning in case anyone wants to drop in on us today while we are out.



Monday, March 06, 2006

I just want to close my eyes for a couple of minutes. Plllleeeasssee. I think I could nod off right here at the computer. Unfortunately what I have to do is go put clothes on, yeah I know it is after 5:30 pm, but I actually have to go out to dinner tonight with my husband and some people from work. I am sitting here procrastinating. I am looking forward to the dinner, you know going somewhere where they don't ask "do you want to supersize that?" But, I am not looking forward to going back and trying to find something in my closet that still fits me.

I am not one of those lucky people that can go on for months and weeks before the body starts to change shape, since baby #2 it has been nearly instantaneous. Not nearly enough to put me into maternity clothes, but enough that I find my sweats and yoga pants the most comfortable thing to have on. And, although yoga pants are perfectly acceptable attire here in yuppie-ville, I don't think they make just the right statement for a business dinner.

Today was a good day even though I did not get a good nap. With it raining and cold all day I figured I had a choice, run after the kids picking up after them continually or just have fun with them and clean up tomorrow morning. I decided on the later. It was a good choice!! We got a lot of school work done, built castles and so on.

Better go make myself pretty,



Saturday, March 04, 2006

I'm Proud Of My Girl

Today was MB's first soccer game. The first time she has been involved in a structured, competitive event. Okay, I was a little worried after watching her first soccer practice on Wenesday. She is playing in a 6-under league, which means she is playing with other kids ranging from just turning 4 this spring to age 6, like her. MB is an athlete. She has always had excellent balance, speed and body control. She loves and excels at anything physical. And, with her competitiveness I was worried at how she would respond to playing with and against others who are just not like that, or are much younger.

She did so well, and I am not talking about her actual playing (which was very good as well). But she had patience with those on her team, she helped out some of the "lost" players by stopping them and turning them to go to the right goal, she tried to pass the ball - which was a little difficult being that all the kids just surround and follow the ball wherever it goes. When one of the other kids fell down and began to cry she went back and helped him up, wiping of his knees and back. She cheered and high-fived for everyone.

I just loved watching this aspect of my daughter, something that I see with her sisters but wasn't very sure if I would see it in a competitive environment. She still cared what the score was (even though they weren't keeping score) and was proud to announce that the score ended up tied so no one lost.

In one sense what made this just a touch sweeter for me was just prior to the game I was talking with another mother about homeschooling. She had considered it but determined that socially kids needed to be in school and she could work on additional academics at home with her children. It was just very reaffirming to me to watch MB out there with her teammates and the other players and know homeschooling isn't only about the academics or what I can teach her, homeschooling is about socialization too - the type that can build up a 6 year old to care and want to help others who are smaller and younger than her.



Thursday, March 02, 2006

Careful for What You Wish For

I have been walking around for days lamenting the fact that we have only had one person come view our house in the nine days it has been on the market (I have told you I am impatient). Anyway, today, Thursday, is probably my busiest day of the week. Mornings are always a hassle - getting them all up, fed and dressed, gymnastics clothes packed and books and schoolwork ready. Generally I don't even take time to eat Thursday mornings, instead grabbing something later in the morning. Of course add in one mommy in early stages of expentancy, and that throws the system off even more.

So, I felt lucky just to get the kids out the door only 10 minutes late this morning. Who cared that the girls had spread toys all of the family room floor this morning, that I had not made beds yet, the girls' blankets and pillows that they drag out to the family room were still on the sofa and chair where they had started their wake up routine, cereal bowls sitting on the counter by the sink - waiting for me to come home to rinse and stick in the dishwasher.

Can you see where I am going with this?

Yep, I had to stop by between activities because I realized that I had left my wallet on the table. The dead bolt was locked - a dead giveaway. Yes - my house was shown in this state, this morning. I am so embarrassed. I have worked so hard for the last two weeks to keep it in shape so that we could show in a few minutes notice. And the one morning that I find I am incapable of doing this --- errrrrrrr! What is even worse I woke up this morning thinking - my house stinks - I will air it out this afternoon when I am home. Of course the fried eggs I ate (a strange craving that seems to hold off the neausea) didn't help with the "smell". I am truly thankful that I thought to put the dogs out today.

I doubt I hear anything good from this visit.

Lots of other things have been going on around here in my attempt to push this house thing to the side of my mind. I sat down the other night and figured out a "school map" for us for this spring and summer. I also tried to estimate our completion dates for some of our studies. I figure we will not finish MB's math book until sometime in October and we might finish SOTW 1 in December. Since we school year-round I don't stress too much about when we finish something - plus I will not be part to the curriculum rush next summer.

My big goal is to continue with improving MB's reading skills. It has finally clicked. Her reading is really flowing, she is very, very comfortable with Grade 1 level books. We should hit Greeks sometime in May or June with SOTW and I am hoping thatMB will feel comfortable enough to attemp The Odyssey series by Mary Osborne Pope with me then. This fall I am hoping that we will be able to move from phonics, sight words, word family work to grammar and I would like to introduce Latin.

In Science we will finish up the human body in April then go back to the Woods and Plants unit we left off in the fall, then late July we will start an astronomy unit to take us into next fall.

It feels good to have something own on paper especially to get us through the beginning of the pregnancy. Especially since it is only a "map" which means it leaves us open to taking some side roads as we come to them. In August I will reasses and map out the fall into the winter to take account of hopefully a new baby.

Better get back to the troops.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.