Sigh of Relief. Again.

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Show me the person that is homeschooling children and is totally, without any doubt, confident that they are learning what they will need for the years ahead. I dare you. That person does not exist. If you do meet one then I believe they are lying.

At this point in time I have two children still at home. Three others have flown the nest. I cannot say the three that have left knew it all. They did not. They have had times of struggle. I have had times I wished that I taught them this or that. Over all though, they are fine. They all went to high school and did very well. They all got into college. One graduated. The other two have decided that it was not worth their time. Or money. They are working, living, having fun. They are bright and relatively happy.

Recently we have come to the point in my eldest daughters life where she desires to meet new people and do something a bit different than homeschool. This happened with all my sons as well. She will attend 8th grade at the Jr. High School in the fall. She already knows a few of the kids from Strings class and from softball. I believe socially she will be fine.

I had a meeting with the guidance counselor to see what classes she would be taking and to gauge the level of study from these classes. My daughter wanted to see how behind she was. This is typical too. I do not us a curriculum. My children do not want one. They are very happy with the way we do things here at home, that is until they are about to go off to school. Then they start to question whether they have gotten enough.

The guidance counselor was very nice and sent me a link to get into the curriculum of all the subjects for 7th grade. With the exception of a Holocaust unit and Poetry she was at grade level. Hmmmm. Not too shabby! So as I did with the first three I blew a sigh of relief. Again.

We will most likely read about the Holocaust more in depth this summer. We will also study some poetry. My daughter will finish her math for the year. She will be fine.

The other day I was walking with my youngest daughter out in the woods behind the school while her sister was in Strings class. I started thinking how this youngest daughter has not had the academic attention she needs or thrives. I started doubting my abilities. Again. But then I stopped. We were walking in the woods. We were seeing fungi, and flowers, and trees. She was telling me what certain trees were. We stumbled upon a hole in the ground and uprooted a woodchuck. She immediately tried to follow it and discovered five other holes around the knoll. She told me that tunnels were probably all underneath us. She is fine. She will be fine. I will still have my doubts every once in a while but for the most part, this homeschooling thing really is working.

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere

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The busiest time of the year is here. No other time during the year am I being pulled in so many different directions. I am appreciating each morning here at home because by 10:30 I am out of the house and sometimes don’t return until night time. Suppers are a real challenge. They must be easy, quick and healthy! We did have hot dogs last week though. Sometimes it is the only way. One day this week we may have to grab something out!

I went to visit my son last week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and spent the night. It was so nice to see the things he is working on. I even worked on one of the boats!  Everyone was very welcoming and I was quite comfortable.

I went on a knitting retreat in Portland. I had the best time. Who wouldn’t? Yarn, knitting, wine, chocolate. We went out to eat. We knit. I learned how to double knit. We had a party with door prizes and yarn swaps. We knit. We had cocktails together and knit. It was really fun to be around so many like minded women.

Softball season has begun. The girls are on different teams. One is playing through the school, the other through the recreation department. Pretty much every night there is softball. One in the afternoon, one in the evening.

This is gardening season too. I have been out planting early things like greens and peas. I went to the Fedco tree sale and picked up some tomato seedlings. I wanted to get blueberry bushes to replace the ones that were damaged this year but they were all out! My asparagus is up and the garlic too. Next week strawberries are being delivered! So excited about that.

We are trying to keep up on our homeschooling too so we don’t have so much to catch up on during the summer. Both girls are on the last parts of their math. We are reading about the ancient empires right now. Just finished reading the Iliad. Now we are reading the Odyssey. We still have to finish biology. Waiting a bit for that. It is all the summer things like caterpillars and frogs. I went for a walk in the woods last week and found some owl pellets. The girls couldn’t wait to dissect those!

We have started our daily walks again. Last week we even got a bike ride in, dodging all the rain drops. Boy has it been rainy!

This weekend all my sons came home for a visit. One had just got back from a road trip out in California! I wanted to see pictures. I did and it looked like he has a wonderful time. Another son helped me put my flower garden back together. It got ripped up during some pipe work. That is how the blueberry bushes got damaged too. He helped me see that it is still pretty and all will be well.

In between all the running around I have put together a quilt block. Quilted a block or two on the picnic quilt and finished a sweater. I will show that in a future post. I have to make time for my crafts. It is for my mental health.

So things are pretty busy. I know it will settle down after softball ends. And the garden is all planted. Then I can sit outside, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax.

Yea, right.

Photo Op Our Way

Quick post – The photo I picked for my card! Also a funny one. It was really hard to get everyone to smile at the same time. Or stop making funny faces. Or stop complaining. Hard to believe three out of the five are adults.

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The next picture has only 4 of them because he was ready to quit. Thankfully he came back in time for the good picture. I keep thinking back when we tried to take the three oldest boys to Sears for a photo. Crazy!

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I am thinking of moving the blog to a free hosting site. I have paid for this last year and I don’t see any differences other than I have much more spam than I ever did with blogspot. I will be in and out while I figure it all out. I know my look and theme will be different. Good timing for a new year anyway but I hope all my content will move over easily.

Thanks for reading!

 

Thanksgiving Week

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Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I am not posting a menu this week. We are pretty much grabbing what is available while I prepare for Thanksgiving. My two sons will arrive on Wednesday some time. One may not get her until the day of. One son is home already and of course the two girls, my husband and I.

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I will serve a turkey and all the fixings. Pretty traditional. Mashed potatoes, squash, chuck wagon carrots, apple cider, stuffing, rolls, and gravy. I plan to make two pies, apple and pumpkin. I have a strawberry-rhubarb in the freezer made in the summer. I may take it out, maybe I will save it for Christmas.

It isn’t all about the food though. There will be catching up with each other. There will be music, games, fun. I am sure there will be an occasional spat. Can’t avoid that when you put family together. There will be naps, and walks in the woods.

I know this is the season for being thankful and finding gratitude. I will enjoy my family and will as always be thankful I have one. I always stop and think at this time of year why we all don’t make a bigger deal about being thankful at other times of the year. We should always be thankful. We should always show gratitude. We should always think of others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

I know I am fortunate. I am never hungry. I am never cold. I am never thirsty. At least not in the way that many people in this world are. I do not live in fear of anyone or anything. I am free to say or do pretty much anything I want. If you are reading this you are one of the fortunate ones too. People who are cold and hungry are not thinking about blogs or the internet.

Maybe Thanksgiving is the kick off for the rest of the year of thinking of how fortunate you really are and being thankful for that. I will try and carry it with me the whole year long.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

A Special Birthday

We celebrated my daughter’s 13th birthday yesterday. On Friday there will be bowling and pizza with some friends. One special friend cannot come because she lives too far away! You are missed Chloe! It is an extended birthday, as many of them are around here.

I remember the day I had an ultrasound and was told I was having a little girl. I was so happy. I love my boys. No question about that. I had not always dreamed of having a little girl and tried and tried until I finally had one. No, it wasn’t like that at all. Each and every one of my three boys was welcomed with love and thankfulness for their health and being. But, I do remember laying on the examination table and was so very happy that I would be having a little girl.

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I was 36 years old when I had her. Not really old but as far as the doctors and midwives I was in that age category that made things a little risky. I had a friend/midwife take care of me for my prenatal visits but had a doctor at a hospital deliver her. It was in a time where I couldn’t have her VBAC without a doctor. Weird the way the hospital rules are. One more year later and I would have had to have a C-section. Since then they changed that rule as well, thankfully. Anyway, I suffered from a lazy cervix and had to be induced. I had heard horror stories about that but really it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I had already had one C-section due to a breech baby, and two VBAC births. This induced one wasn’t worse than those. I am so thankful that I had a trained medical staff to be there to help.

Thirteen years later she is still my baby girl. She is a thoughtful person, smart, and talented in many things.  She is beautiful inside and out. She loves deeply. I love her dearly.

Happy Birthday my daughter.

 

We’ve Got the Uglies

I wonder how many people regret doing a home renovation project once it is started? I am regretting it right now. Not because it is turning out badly, because it isn’t. We are pulling up wall to wall carpet and putting in a wood laminate floor. It looks great. The side that is done anyway. We have furniture piled up on one side of the house. There is dust and grime everywhere from under the rugs and also from installing the floor. I am getting a little worried because Thanksgiving is next week! Yikes!

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The carpet that has been on the floors is over 20 years old. Maybe even 30. It has a pad and particle board under it. There are so many ugly stains on the floor from other spills and from me trying to spray the carpet clean. We also noticed that there may have been a leak from the upstairs bathroom at one time since all the water marks are all in one area.

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It is a slow process. My husband is doing all the work himself. My son helps when he is needed. It really isn’t anything that could be done by many people. I had a lofty goal of getting it done by Wednesday of this week but I am realizing that it cannot be. Maybe by the end of the weekend. Then I can clean and get ready for Thanksgiving.

It is going to look so good when it is done. I can already tell how beautiful it will be from the area that is done.

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It is exciting. Stressful for me. I am not one of those people that is good at waiting. But, it will be worth it.

Here is the weekly menu!

Monday:  Lentil Soup (Last Sunday we had Subway instead because of the flooring job)

Tuesday: Shrimp Jambalaya

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Meatballs over spaghetti

Thursday: Black Bean Quesadillas

Friday:  Haddock chowder and crusty bread

Saturday: Pork Tenderloin, onions, sweet potatoes, and green beans

Sunday: Stir Fry and rice

Four Years

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I voted on Tuesday, as many of you did. I was not happy with the results, as about half the nation also wasn’t. It was a hard decision. No person running, in my opinion, was a great choice.  I am trying to keep it all in perspective. In my own heart, and mind I feel not much will change for me personally. I don’t anticipate my life changing much in the next four years. I am fortunate. I am white. I am middle aged. I am a straight married woman. I am no longer of childbearing age. I won’t have to go to war. I am not disabled.  I do know that that isn’t so for many of the people in America. There are many people in our nation that could suffer greatly with this new president elect we have.

We cannot think of only ourselves though. I always wonder what can I really do to make changes or to help. I honestly don’t believe the little people like me really have an impact. I think it maybe makes us feel better to do something but is it really working? Is it really making an impact? Real change has to come from deep into the system. Corporations are really running and ruling our country. Money and the need and desire for more and more of it is at the root of the problem. I feel sometimes like just ignoring it all. It makes no sense to me and it makes me mad. For example, during the night on Tuesday as state and house results were coming in the reporters would say how much each candidate had spent on their campaign. Tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The presidential hopefuls spent much, much more than that! The only thing I kept thinking about was how that money, even a small part of that money, could have helped so many people that don’t have homes, beds, medical care, medicines, food, clothing, and basic supplies to keep themselves clean. Do those candidates even think about that? Do they realize that all that money that they are sinking into ads and signs and social media could be used for actually helping someone. I know, they will help people once they get into office. Yea, right. The system is not only broken but it is rotted out and about to fall over. Sometimes I feel the only real way to have change is to start over. Unfortunately the only way to do that is for something catastrophic to happen.

I may be naive. I want to believe that there are checks and balances in our system of government that will protect us all from disaster. I want to believe that things will be alright. I want to think that this new president will not be as bad as a lot of us think. Half the people of this nation believe in him. Half the nation can’t all be uneducated and uninformed. I want to believe that our new president will do his best. I am not sure I can believe all that but I want to.

I am scared for my children. I have a daughter that in four years will be of childbearing age. I have sons that could be called up to fight in a war. I am scared that my young children will learn to hate people because they come from a different country or are of a different color or ability. I am afraid that this earth will be worse off for my grandchildren.

Then I start thinking that really I need to settle down. It could only be four years. Lets see what happens. In four years maybe things don’t go that badly. If they do then probably people will rethink who they want in office. In just four short years we could possibly have a different president elect. Maybe a woman. A different woman that most of us can stand next to and be proud. Four years is not that long. Hopefully.

Yes, many of us are mad, sad, and some are outraged. Most will forget about it in a few days. Some will still be fuming for a few months. Some will really attempt at a real change. As for me, and this may sound trivial, I feel that for now all I can do is love my family, my neighbors, my friends and myself. I can teach my children and I can try and raise awareness to the ones I love. I can counteract hate by love. I can hope. I really like this quote:

“My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds. I cannot marry all of them, or bear them all as children, or care for them all as I would my parents in illness or old age. Are not the here, the now, the individual and her relationships the casualties of modern life? The present is passed over in the race for the future, the here is neglected in favor of the there, and the individual is dwarfed by the enormity of the mass. America, which as the most glorious present still existing in the world today, hardly stops to enjoy it, in her insatiable appetite for the future.

It may be our special function to emphasize again these neglected realities, not as a retreat from greater responsibilities, but as a first real step toward a deeper understanding and solution of them. When we start at the center of ourselves, we discover something worthwhile extending toward the periphery of the circle. We find again some of the joy in the now, some of the peace in the here, some of the love in me and thee which go to make up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

We are all humans. We are all in this life together, for better or worse. We are all the same in the end. Let’s make the most of it.