Wednesday, September 30, 2009

See you next week...

I've had so much to say and no time to say it, but I'll be back next week. Tomorrow, Tess and I embark on an adventure. We'll be taking the train from Denver to California. I've always wanted to do something like this. I'll have pictures next week. Right now, I'm busy getting ready. There's just so much stuff to bring when traveling with baby! I'm going to be wearing Tessie in the Ergo as much as possible. Maybe I'll be able to knit?? We shall see...Daddy will be home with the boys as I leave on my big train adventure!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Enchanted Knitting

It looks like February outside my window today. We're on day 3 of snow and Fall just started! Anyway, it's the perfect day for tea and scones and flipping through my new knitting book which arrived yesterday from Amazon. It's always a good day when books arrive from Amazon even if there's six inches of snow outside!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cooking Lessons

I couldn't leave my blog with such a downer post. I wanted to write about something that I'm very excited to incorporate into my curriculum this year. Cooking!! As I've written before, I left home for college without any kitchen skills. I could scramble eggs and toast things and I could slice up banana to add to cold cereal, but that was about it. Over the summer, I started thinking that I didn't want this to be the case for my kids. Sammy always asks if he can help in the kitchen and he likes to pretend cook. Luke likes to bake things like chocolate chip cookies, scones and chocolate chip muffins-essentially things he likes to eat. I started thinking that he was more than capable of making breakfast, lunch and dinner on occasion. So, I started checking out tons of children's cook books and I decided on a few to use this year. What I would like to have Luke learn this year is kitchen safety, basic meal planning and budgeting, and creating his own cook book. The final exam will include cooking dinner for the family entirely on his own. Doesn't that sound fun? It might make my life easier.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Needed: Serenity in September

Wow! a post without pictures! Well, we started school last week and we had a pretty good first day, but it seems that things fell apart by day two. To be honest, I had plans brewing in my mind all Summer for this school year, but they just didn't translate to a well-planned Fall term. My ideas were nebulous and unfocused at best and well, it's my fault. This isn't usually like me. I'm usually pretty excited for Fall and usually, Fall is our best term since Autumn is my favorite season of the year.

I'll admit it. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now. Sammy has been transitioning out of naps for the last six months or so and the baby isn't really sleeping well either. Now, I have a 5th grader and a pre-schooler and they've been clashing. I'm not very optimistic right now. Until a few days ago, I didn't know that I was experiencing burnout. It took me reading this and this to understand what I was feeling. I think that it is strange that I couldn't identify it myself. I mean, Burnout? It's September for crying out loud! Shouldn't this come in May or June as I'm about to wrap up a school year?? I've realized that Summer isn't three easy breezy months anymore. It's swim lessons, camping and reading programs and staying up later. It's more flexible and definitely fun, but we're still just as busy as any other part of the year. Needless to say, I didn't begin this year feeling refreshed and ready to go. At this point, I'm trying just to be comfortable with our choice of schooling especially as my son gets older. I've never second guessed myself before and frankly, this shocks me. I never thought I'd feel this way--running on empty.

I've allowed my life to get to full. I am just one of those people that wants to do and experience everything. I am an eager learner and I want to discover everything. There are just too many exciting things to learn. In a nutshell, I just want to pass on to my children the love learning and in so doing, I've lost my way a little. Ironic, isn't it? There's always this little echo in the back of my mind to keep it simple, but what is simple, really?? I think I used to know, but somehow simple seems like something that is far far away. I just looked over my never-ending to-do list and I have to make some cuts. It just has to be done. I realized I'm trying to make up for all those years I didn't know how to knit into one year. I have five knitting projects in the works. Knitting has become such a joy to me, but I take on too many projects at the same time. I won't sign into Ravelry until these projects are finished. How 'bout that? There are way too many books on the nightstand. I've started two different reading challenges this year and well, I can't say that I won't sign into my Goodreads page, but you see a pattern here? I think that I'm going to cut this reading challenge. It's not essential. I read plenty-- probably too much. I need a no-reading challenge! Oh, how sad that sounds! It's something I wanted to do, but if I cut out something I wanted to do for the sake of my family, then it's the right thing to do.

It's no wonder that my mind isn't clear and I'm so unfocused. I hate having to make cuts because it makes me feel that I have somehow failed by not accomplishing all that I set out to do. Just because I want to do something doesn't mean that I should, right? There are things that absolutely need to be done like getting the baby on decent nap schedule and transitioning Sam from naps to scheduled quiet time. I need to plan the Autumn menu. It will be a two-week repeating menu until the new year. I don't want to think about what's for dinner anymore. These are, without a doubt, essential to having our days move along in a peaceful fashion.

The root cause?? I've let a lot of my prayer time go replacing it with more unfinished projects which just increases my stress. This burnout is real and tangible and affecting everything in my life right now. How to get back on track without blowing off my entire Fall? How do I get my confidence back about my little home school?

I'll be taking a little blog break for a couple of weeks, but I hope to post something to lighten the mood around here soon.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How can he be 10?

Luke was born on Labor day (fitting, huh?) 10 years ago today. I still can't believe he's ten. It's just moving too fast. Don't grow up so quickly, okay??

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The First day of School

Luke's starting 5th grade today and Sammy is in Pre-K and Tessie has a few years before she begins (thank goodness! Don't grow up so fast!)

Smiling while working on Math- How long will that last??

Sammy seems happy to join big brother with his own workbooks.

Okay, I totally posed this picture. Luke really wanted to have a lightsaber fight with Sam, but I needed to showcase the learning room. Paul worked really hard on this room for us. We have a little Star Wars fan and hence, the Star Wars poster behind Luke. It has to do with learning so I gave Paul the green light to hang it in the learning room.
Sammy and Tess joined in the posed picture. Tess is playing with a puzzle.

Sam stands in front of my glorious wall-to-wall bookshelves!

We worked on getting Luke's desk all ready for a new adventure in learning!
By the way, in case you're interested, this is what the poster says:
All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Star Wars
Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no Try.
Anger, fear and aggression lead to the dark side.
In seeking your destiny, patience is your ally.
Always let the Wookie win!
When judging people, size matters not.
Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops.
There is no such thing as luck.
Don't underestimate the Force.
You must follow your own path; no one can choose it for you.
Keep your promises, even if they take you far, far away.
Pass on what you have learned.
If it smells bad on the outside, it's worse on the inside.
The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Wars do not make one great.
Faith in your friends is a strength, not a weakness.
In your pursuit of peace and justice, remember, the Force will be with you...always!