Monday, September 26, 2011

School went much better today. I got advice from a friend Sunday that some kids just shouldn't even start reading and math until 8 or older. Of course her kids are smart, as are all the kids of my other friends. Would be nice to have someone in my boat. But anyway, today we moved on in lessons, but instead of the 2 pages that went with the lesson...we did one. He did really well. I think the fact that he was threatened with not going to his field trip to the Everglades this week if he didn't pay attention in school, might have helped. 

I think...I hope I'm not jinxing myself in saying this...but I think he is getting the concept of numbers over 20. He did so well today. He acted like he understood it and I feel like we've made some progress. After about 45 minutes mind rest from his first math paper I brought out his second. He did it and did it well. Homeschooling success.

I am just so thankful he is grasping reading pretty easily. He knows more sounds than he knows names of the letters....but whatever. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Please pick your head up off the table" "You aren't going to find the answer staring off into space"  "No it's not 15, don't say 15 again."  

Have you ever had an experience that drove you to change everything about the way you think? I have, his name is Kaleb. My fourth born, he is 6 1/2. I have just started him in school this year because he refused to write his letters and numbers until the past 8 months or so. I learned early on in my homeschooling years that it is better for everyone involved if they start school when they are ready and not just because they turn 5. So most of my kids are a full year behind other kids their age. It bothers me and makes me feel like a failure of a Mother. But I can't help that their genes just aren't the smartest.

I have never had a child that paid so little attention. He is in and out of his chair, on his feet in his chair, half sitting half standing, laying his head on the table, staring at the ceiling, staring out the window, listening to the other boys do their school, paying attention to Ellie or Isaac, talking over me to tell someone else to stop distracting him...I give up. 

He wouldn't last one week in school. His teacher would have him diagnosed as ADHD in a heartbeat.(seriously he has like ALL of those symptoms) So why can't I? 

I am so anti medical intervention..I delivered all my children without so much as an Advil. I don't always give them the antibiotics that are prescribed for an ear infection. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for years, but I just couldn't ever take anything for it. It's just not me. But this child as pushed me to my breaking point. I just want to drag him into the pediatrician and beg him to make my child sit still. 

I just feel like I've paid my dues.  I've taught my children how to behave like civilized human beings. We can go out and I know they will be quiet and obedient. They aren't going to dart across the parking lot in front of your car. They aren't going to throw a fit at check out because I won't buy them candy. You can sit next to them in a restaurant and not even know they are there...mostly. 

I've successfully taught 3 children how to read and even Kaleb is doing surprisingly well. I've battled through teaching a very dyslexic child to read. I keep my children home because I feel that is what God would have me do...besides from hearing what friends deal with having their kids in public school it wouldn't be any easier. It's the sheer volume of kids that makes this so impossible. I can't give one child my undivided attention without distractions. I already make Ethan wait hours for my help because I have to spend 1-3 hours JUST DOING MATH with K. 

So what is the hang up right now in math to make me break down and post on my blog again? Double digit numbers. Not adding them, just learning them. I've never come across this before. Once they've learned how to count and write 1-20, the rest have just been easy. They just did it. Why can't he? Filling in a 100's chart is taking an hour. AN HOUR. It's not even missing ALL the numbers. And I keep telling him what comes next. 44, 45, 46...then it takes 15 minutes for him to write 47. The whole time crying hysterically because, "it's so hard". Finally he writes "47". "What comes after 47?" "46?" By now I just want to jump through the window. I don't know how else to make him understand. He can count by tens, he can look at a completed 100 chart and count them all without mistake. How can I make him understand numbers 21-100? We do counting tens and ones, tens place, ones place, trading pennies for dimes. 

Really the problem is our ridiculous system of counting. Who thought it was a good idea to teach numbers 0-9 one way and then start calling them something totally different sounding for numbers 10+. I mean really why would anyone think 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 were a good idea? 

And all this while my 2 year old screams and claws at me for attention. And you people wonder why I don't want any more kids? 

Just come live a day in my shoes. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

A contest!

Not mine, but another blog I read. You can see the details here

A summary. Go to her blog, read the rules and follow them. She is giving away a custom boutique Pillowcase Dress or Peasant Dress to a lucky winner! The winner will have their choice of style, fabric and size.
Check it out! If you do please use my name/e-mail( as a reference so I am given another entry! 

Friday, January 07, 2011

You know what doesn't stink? 

Homemade fabric refresher. I LOVE the smell of fresh clean sheets and towels. But lets be real, who washes their sheets and towels EVERY day? Not me. My sheets get it once a week and towels twice. (switch between 2 sets of towels). But in between washings I want my sheets and towels to smell just out of the dryer.

I'm sure lots of you have bought or use Febreze. Am I right? I hate that junk. It smells so chemical. I hate chemical, which is why I make all my own cleaners. 

Are you ready for how simple it is? You'll slap your head and wonder why you've been wasting money on store bought garbage or worse living with stinking towels and sheets. :) 

Get a small spray bottle, add a teaspoon or so, I never measure anything, or your favorite fabric softener or laundry soap. Add a small "glug" of rubbing alcohol, several drops of your favorite essential oil, my favorite is lavender. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water, shake and spray. I spray my curtains with it also. 

Your sniffer and the environment will thank you. 

Disclaimer - Of course laundry soap and fabric softener aren't very "earth friendly" so you can skip that step if you are especially environmentally conscious. 

Don't forget to pick up some lemon or sweet orange essential oils as well for your counter and wood cleaners. 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New chicks stink.

After losing our chickens we didn't want to start over again with chicks. We raised our other chickens from 1 week and 5 weeks. Five weeks isn't a bad starting place because they are old enough to go straight into the coop, although maybe not so much when it's in the 20s and low 30s at night. But chicks? Ugh. They stink.

We got our first batch of new chicks Saturday morning. They do nothing but poop and eat. Kinda like a baby with less sleeping. They NEVER stop peeping. It's non-stop until they are like 12 weeks old.

They spent the first night in the laundry room, but by morning the stink was creeping into the house, so they were moved outside to the garage. Right now the weather is mild enough that they can stay there and during the day we bring the cage out into the grass.

We got them off and they were called "dark brahma". Which would have been wonderful. Brahmas are one of the largest and a very sweet breed of chicken. Dark Brahma's are beautiful. We had to buy them straight run, which means male and female alike. It's really hard/nearly impossible to tell rooster from pullet at this stage. We got 15. Maybe 4-5 are actually Dark Brahmas or at least partially, thankfully they appear to hopefully be pullets.

The rest of the chicks are a big stinky mystery. They appear to be either Jersey Giants, Black Australorps a mix of the two and some mutts. Hopefully they will just lay some eggs in June!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's been very busy around here. Saturday we woke up to all of our chickens dead in the backyard. We lost 13. No one locked up the coop that night and coons had their way with them. They were spread all over the backyard. I am still sick about it. They were our pets and we really miss them. They used to sit at the backdoor while I was on the computer and beg for treats. They would jump onto the outside window ledge to say, "Hi" to Ellie when she was standing there. It has been so quiet in the mornings without our Blackbeard greeting us with his morning song. And they gave us the most beautiful and yummy eggs. We only have 5 left, which we bought from my Sister and Brother-in-law when they moved. But since they've been here they only lay 1-2 eggs a day and we don't have a real connection with them. They are just chickens. We raised our others from babies and really miss them.

So Saturday was spent in town. We went to a pawn shop to raise money to replace our flock. We also had to do some other things, including part 2 of last Thursday's shopping. We got home around 4:30 and were having people for dinner. After dinner was cleaned up I had to go to my sister, Kelly's house to help her make her shopping list and print her coupons. I got home after 8:30pm. A busy day.

Sunday we were up at 5:20 and out the door for church at 7:00AM. We had lunch in town with some friends from church, left their house and got home with just enough time to heat up my casserole and head back out for our Life Group Christmas party. We got home after 8.

 We leave town tomorrow around noon and I waited until yesterday to even think about packing. Why do I always do that?

This afternoon I need to pack the things that came out of the laundry this morning and clean the house. I haven't wrapped any presents and I don't even have any tape. So I'll be trying elmers this year.

This morning I took my sister shopping. It was her first time using coupons. None of my favorite cashiers were there, but the one we got wasn't too bad. My sister did well and stayed way under her normal budget so I think she was happy. It has been fun to spend more time with her lately.

I didn't need anything today because I did all of this weeks shopping last week. But some new high value coupons were printing this week so I did get more. Four more boxes of cereal, 4 Mrs Buttersworth syrups, 14 boxes of pasta, 4 I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, 2 loaves of bread and 2 bags of turnip greens for around $7.

I also did my weekly CVS today, which is so much easier without the kids in tow. I was able to get: 2 Pantene shampoos, 1 Physicians Formula eye palette, 2 bottles of Listerine, 2 packages of Bandaids, 1 Theracare Heat wrap and a Schick Hydro 5 razer for around $5. And I left with $6 in ECBs. Not bad.

This will be my last post until after we get back into town.

Have a Merry Christmas!