Thursday, September 30, 2010

Small Successes

1.  Flexible!  Took my kids to Underwater World a the Mall of America this week since we could get in for home school days for $24.50 (otherwise it would cost $84 and we would NOT have gone!)  The day got totally off schedule since I planned to arrive at 9 am to give us enough time to enjoy the sights before leaving at 11 am for a nearby appointment.  But, I hadn't planned ahead, the place didn't open until 10 am.  I was getting frustrated looking around the MOA (I seriously dislike the constant background noise of this mall).  I saw Nathan there with sort of a sad look on his face, and he had been so excited to come, I realized my attitude was ruining it.  So, I decided to forgo all my afternoon school/cleaning plans and come back after our appointment, pay the price of mall lunches for 8, and get home at 4:00.  It was a good choice.

2.  Found my Righstart math manipulatives.  I've been working around them for a week and was actually on my way to order them when Terese asked me to help her with a math question.  I sat down to help her and there it was - the box of manipulatives and cards - someone had cleaned and shoved it under the desk hutch behind the CD's).

3.  Filled out my home school form and accompanying letter to send to the school district this morning.  It's due before tomorrow.  I'd been putting it off because I need to have a letter notarized to go with it. I have NEVER been this late with the form.  I guess I'll be heading to get the letter notarized and then directly to the district office to hand deliver it.  Oh joy.  

I seem to be stuck in an "always behind" rut the last year or so.  I used to have this stuff done way ahead of time.  Sometimes so far ahead of time I actually had to set things aside because it was  too soon to mail them ( and...I didn't lose them in the process either).  I know I'm adding extra work (like driving to the district office today) and extra stress.  I am working hard on changing this.  Maybe a couple cans of Jolt will give me an extra 8 hours (overnight) to catch up a bit and get ahead.  No, that always ends badly.  Maybe a 2 hour movie some night for the kiddos, yeah, and that will help my 9 year old get his 5-7 hours of TV time that we find so hard to find  (OK - eye patch time - but unless he is absorbed into TV land it's really bothersome for his weaker eye to work so hard - and it was the ophthalmologist's suggestion).  Or...I could have spent this last 5 minutes organizing my bills instead of's enjoyable and I only spend less than 10 minutes a day on it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Successes

1.  Took all kids, except our 5 year old,  to Mass Monday morning when my ds served.  And...I didn't complain that I spent most of Mass in the hallway with my 2 year old.

2.  Packed a lunch and schoolwork for the kids when we had an appt. across town over lunch time.  Usually we grab fast food to eat in the van on the way home so we don't lose more school time at home making a late lunch (yeah yeah... I could have had the kids pack the lunch except they were busy doing their schoolwork and I was listening to one of my kids read his reading lesson to me.)

3.   Read an entire book in one week!  Insomnia has a way of making time.  It was a child's book (hey...when I have insomnia I am so not into reading something that takes effort!) about Albert Einstein.  Did you know he played a key part in WWII and without him the outcome could have been significantly different?  I'd have my kids read it but I was so excited to share the information with them this morning I am sure I spoiled any interested in reading the book.

Monday, September 20, 2010


OK - but I expect Crunchy Mama to chime in with her list too.

10 odd things about me most people don't know:
  1. I have my very own pair of 2 buckle boots
  2. Early to bed and early to rise (unless I have insomnia!)
  3. I would rather scrub toilets than grocery shop (I do both)
  4. I have always lived within a 20 mile or so radius
  5. I am not a cradle Catholic.  I was baptized, received my First Communion, and was confirmed on Easter Sunday when I was 18
  6. I married my high school sweetheart and have 7 kids on earth and a bunch in Heaven
  7. I have a BA in Math with a minor in Quantitative Methods and Computer Science
  8. I was thrilled when my oldest started Algebra - she wasn't
  9. I played Cymbals in our high school marching band and marched (backwards) in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Mackinaw Island, and Canada
  10. I don't understand writers but love them anyway

Writers...who knew?

So, I am driving Anna home from soccer one evening along with a guy  from her team.  Little did we moms know when we set this carpool up strictly for our convenience that both of our kids were writers.

It's been interesting listening to the conversations back and forth.  In fact, on our very first ride home this kid was telling me about a Catholic trilogy he is writing.  Seriously.  The reason this is so shocking is because my Anna is nearly done with the massive editing faze of her Catholic trilogy (she has many editors).  Next faze?  Trying to publish!

But the best conversation by far was this...they were talking about how the story just progresses as they write.  They don't always know where they are going but the characters lead them there.  Then Anna says something about how the characters in her story fell in love....and that made her so mad because she hates it when characters fall in love in stories and it messes up the whole plot line.  And...this other kid totally agrees.  Seriously.  In fact, he just scrapped a story he had been working hard on because the characters fell in love and that was NOT in the plan.

You think I am making this up?  Seriously...this is what happened!  At that point I looked over and said something apparently very stupid, "um, guys, if you are writing the stories how can it just happen?  They aren't real.  YOU are writing it.  Change it!"  They both looked at me in shock.  "But it just happened.  The characters are so real it just happened.  We can't change that!"

OK - I guess I am seriously NOT an author.  I'll stick to algebra.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Small Successes


For more small success stories click on the link above.

1.  Accepted my dh's offer to run the Monday afternoon soccer carpool and stay home Tuesday morning when I down with allergies and a sinus infection (not accepting help and pushing it probably got me to the point I was).

2.  Did NOT laugh as I was cleaning up a public bathroom floor when my 2.5 yr old, while sitting on the toilet, couldn't wait any longer for me to get a little toilet paper properly positioned.  For some odd reason I found the whole thing quite comical, but I don't want him to repeat that experience.

3.  Let 8 families into my house on T afternoon for science and art classeseven though it was embarrassingly messy.  (A sick mama has that effect on a house). Or should the success really be that I chose not to scream and bark out orders at my kids for the hour before the class so I wouldn't be as embarrassed. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Small Successes


For more small success stories click on the link above. 

This is the back to homeschooling version.  The successes look pretty small

  1.  Went to an Opus Dei Recollection for the first time in a long time.
  2. Cleaned and dusted 1/2 of the master bedroom.
  3. Remained flexible during our first week of school and am making some revisions to our schedule.
    1. Allowed my 1st grader to be the art assistant to my 6th grader while she does art projects with the K and pre-schooler.  This was supposed to be the time where I would be teaching my 1st grader and 3rd graders their reading lessons.  I forgot my 1st grader thrives on projects (hmm...I smell an incentive here).
    2. Did only 1/2 this weeks planned history lesson to make room for an extra geography lesson after my kids asked for more (isn't this what it's all about?!)  It will all get done in the end.  (another incentive here.......)  BTW:  For Geography we are reading Paddle to the Sea and working on the accompanying lesson plans and map pack.  There are 4 or 5 books written by Holling C. Holling in the set.  I'm hoping the excitement continues, it does seem fun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Potty Training

After 6 other kids...I've finally learned the secret to potty training.

1.  Buy 2 giant boxes of diapers from
2.  Wait until your dryer breaks and your washer is having issues. has very good diapers prices if you are tired of filling your cart up with those boxes, and there is free shipping after spending $49...hence the TWO boxes.

Logan is the only one here who is proud to see his undies blowing in the wind.  (The rest get sent to Grandma's or along with my dd to her babysitting job).

The diapers are going to my cousin.


Little Logan is doing great - I'd say he's 90% daytime trained.  He was just ready.  We only had one other child be this successful at 2 1/2.  The rest were all 3.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Small Successes

"The secret of all progress and of every victory is, in fact, to 'know how to begin again', to learn from a failure and to try once more."  G. Chevrot 


For more inspirational small success stories, click on the link above.

  1. Created a new chore list for everyone.....and crunchy mama is already adding to it...which means I will be incorporating those new ideas.  I think every excel spreadsheet we've ever created (and there are many) have gone back and forth and improved upon.  Thanks Crunchy
  2. Got most of my school schedules complete.   We are trying something a little different this year.  The kids are 11th, 7th, 6th, 3rd, 1st, K, and a 2 year old.  Logistics get a little more complicated each year and it doesn't work if I wing it.  I need a plan, it's just me, and the fact that 2 people cannot be using the computer at the same time......and I am utilizing my 6th and 7th graders as student teachers for a subject each.
  3. Brought my focus back INSIDE the house after spending a lot of time on our outdoor projects.   I've spent a lot of time on #2 above as well as directing some cleaning efforts, and digging through bills and paperwork.
School officially begins next week....back to what will appear to be very very small successes....but they'll be huge to me.  And that's when I need this the most!

BTW:  Someone asked about our outdoor projects...they consisted of removing a backyard pool, regrading the backyard (so the water flows AWAY from the house),  replacing the driveway and garage floor, and making larger patio spaces in the front and the backyards.  We've been saving for this for years (both in time and money).  In the middle of that we still headed up north to visit Crunchy Mamma and her family. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cribs aren't for animals

We haven't used a crib at our house for the last 4 kids.  I'm not opposed to using one, they just don't fit our needs.  So, we were out this morning at a different church and my 2 year old spotted a hotel type crib in the corner.  "Is that for a Sir Kate (our rabbit)?"  he asked excitedly?