Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up: Humility and Half Schooling

Monday:  Monday was a day off from school for the kids in our school district so we had an abbreviated school day and a long play day.  Is this allowed when homeschooling?  I sure hope so because Tuesday is a ... get this ... a furlough day for teachers in our school district.  How crazy is that?

Tuesday: another play day/sort of school day.  Some teacher I am!  The weather was beautiful and the kids played and played and played outside.  I sure will miss this home.  Here is a picture of our kitchen window... that window really should be open!
Wednesday:  Can you cram three (okay maybe two and a half days) days of homeschooling into a morning?  I guess that would be a newbie thing to think.  I'm so list oriented.  I really don't think it's very helpful being so list driven.  In fact I think I'm kind of creepy that way.  I'm really going to work on that ugly bit of me.

We also went to see our Educational Facilitator from our Charter School.  She calms my list driven soul and encourages me to try on my more flexible self.  I love her.

Thursday:  Oh, what a day.  I'm so, so broken hearted.  The realtor came over today to  give us a to-do list before we officially put the house on the market.  As we walked through our home room by room, I started to walk down this sappy memory lane.  Our realtor was thrilled with our home, which is a good thing, but only sort of.  Sort of because I started wondering why it was we were leaving.  Oh yeah.  Then I remembered....We. Can't. Afford. It.  Humility sucks.

Friday:  We managed to almost finish the week of school.  We received a package from our charter school filled with goodies I had ordered.  They have this giant resource center with an online catalog.  Every once in while when I'm feeling as though I have a handle on things (not often, if you really want to know!!), I'll peruse their catalog and order games, books, or even different curriculum just to see what's out there.  When the package finally arrives it's like Christmas because I've invariably forgotten all of my clever choices.   This time my choices were Sum Swamp (an addition/subtraction game), some Handwriting without Tears paper, and some short stories related to The Story of the World.  Too much fun and entirely distracting!  It's all good!!
I hope you all had wonderful weeks!  Don't forget to visit Kris to find out what everyone else did this week at the Weekly Wrap Up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Belated New Year!

I know I'm a little slow to post this about our Chinese New Year, but ... well... life's been slapping me around a bit.

We had so much fun today celebrating Chinese New Year!  We wore red (even though none of us were born in the year of the Tiger).  We made tigers out of egg cartons and the girls loved their red envelopes.
We had fun getting new Chinese names (you can call me Kong Man Lun now, thank you very much) and colored lots of tigers today.
We also made our favorite orange salad (it was all I could do after seeing that Jimmie ate "wild cat" for her celebration!).  It's super yummy, the salad I mean (although Jimmie said the wild cat was tasty, too -- I kind of think "Ick").  All that is in the salad is oranges, bananas, and marshmallows.  The marshmallows get kind of soggy with the juice from the oranges. Mmmm mmm.
We tried our best to make Bakerella's cake balls (she calls them "Cake Pops" -- because she's way more coordinated!) with a Tiger twist.  The decorating didn't quite work out for us...but there were no problems in the way they tasted!  It was worth making them if only for the opportunity to ask if the kids wanted to try "Tiger Balls!"  *I'm so mature!
Jimmie is the best!  Her blog is full of inspiration!  Jimmie is hosting a contest about celebrating Chinese New Year.  Be certain to visit to see how everyone is celebrating this year.

WFMW: The Big Bonus of Being Supportive

I cannot believe how much a happy attitude brings blessings.

Things are pretty dire here in the financial world of our home.  We still can live for quite awhile sucking more and more money from our retirement, but how can you do that with a happy heart?

We are thinking that we will sell our *wonderful (I really do need a sarcasm key!) SoCal home and rent for a few years.  Weird the way we place such importance on "owning" instead of "renting."  I really never thought that I was so stuck up that way.  How snotty/snooty of me!
In selling and renting, the goal is to pay off all of our debt (credit cards, business loans) and only be left with the cars for debt.  THEN, we'll leave California and find somewhere more reasonable to live.  Where?  Tennessee?  Arkansas?  Colorado?  Any suggestions?

How did we get in this bind?  How did we accidentally (again, where is that sarcasm key?) get so caught up in keeping up with the Jones?  We got worldly, greedy, and coveting.  So NOT cool.  I am embarrassed at our financial state.  I am embarrassed that we got so caught up in this world that we have to recreate ourselves at this stage of the game.

And yet, my motto for this new year still rings true, "It could have been worse!"  Thank God that our daughters understand.  Thank God that we are ALL committed to T continuing with homeschool and me staying home.  Thank God that we are still in control (semi) of our options.  Thank God that we can listen, be reprimanded, and move on.

But here's the amazing part...I'm worried, but I'm pretty peaceful about this decision.  I have relayed this to my husband.  I truly feel our time together is precious and I'd rather have him stress-free than have this house.  We'll make a home anywhere!

Who'd a thunk that a positive attitude would turn him on?  Apparently being supportive and positive can be an aphrodisiac!  I have never felt more wanted and cherished than I have since we've made the decision to sell.  Try being supportive of your husband and see if it works for you...because it's totally working for me!! (*giggle -- I know, I know...too much information!)

To find out what works for others, pop over to We Are That Family  and check out Works For Me Wednesdays!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2010 Go Away

I have not yet had a wonderful 2010.

I have been diagnosed with major blood clots in my legs.

We had a major leak in our main water line.

My favorite dog (I swear she thinks I'm a rock star) had a seizure or stroke or something. She walks sideways now. The vet gave her vertigo medicine. Weird.

We are out of work (well, not totally...but not enough to make all of our bills).

On the other hand, it could have been worse!

I could have found out that I had blood clots by having a stroke.

I could have found out about the big leak by having a big sink hole in my driveway.

At least I have a dog that thinks I'm a rock star...even if she has to walk sideways to me.

At least we have the opportunity to find some work.

AND I still have this bizarre hope that this year will be a good one. I may be delusional.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WFMW: Taming TV

Since I'm new to blogging, I really have no tips to share.  However, I do have a confession to make.  My kids watch TV.  Sometimes it gets a little out of hand.  Especially this past month.  We have gotten into the habit of T watching TV as a little break while she would eat lunch.   It's not as though I didn't appreciate that time to get my own things done (bad Mom moment)!  Well, as you could imagine, lunch turned her into a TV Monster.

When the TV Monster appeared there wasn't a whole lot of productive work done after lunch.  My initial solution (that just sort of evolved) was to try to get everything done before lunch.  I wonder how that made any sense to me; rushing through school so she could veg out with TV.  Hmmm?

Well, I did come to my senses.  We turned off TV (shock!).  I started to read to her during meals.  What a change!  The transitions between meals and schoolwork is smooth now.  She is staying more focused on her work.  Her imagination is in full bloom again.  She is excited about independently working.  I really think I was deadening her progress by letting her turn on TV.

So, yeah, that's my totally enlightened tip of the week:  Turn off TV and open a book!

I know, I know... I'm pretty slow sometimes.  It may take me awhile, but at least I finally figured out what worked for us.  To find out what works for others, pop over to We Are That Family (this link sends you to the first installment of her powerful "He Said/She Said" series) and check out Works For Me Wednesdays!