I’m back!

I gave up my laptop for Lent, and essentially that meant giving up blogging too.  Honestly I’m not even sure I’m going to get back into it – I haven’t missed it that much, and it’s not like I’ve built up much of a following.  I’ve also cut down on the number of blogs I read, which has honestly been pretty refreshing – there are so many great blogs out there, but it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all of them every day!

I must confess that I wasn’t entirely technology-free during Lent – my husband got me an iPad2, so I had that to keep me somewhat connected, and we do have a “big” computer in our bedroom that I use to pay bills, etc.

I still feel like I’m working to find my place in the homeschooling world – we’ve enrolled in Classical Conversations for the fall, and we’re still participating in an extracurricular co-op one day a week.  I recently attended the local Catholic homeschool conference, but I came away from that experience reaffirmed in my belief that I am not conservative enough to really fit in there.  Politically I identify as a Libertarian, and for the most part I describe myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal – I just don’t fit in with the uber-conservative homeschool crowd where the women focus on “dressing modestly” and the idea that I support gay marriage (and think the entire concept of the “homosexual agenda” is utter crap) and go out with friends at least two nights a week in order to keep my sanity (and my husband – gasp! – supports this idea, as he knows I need my own outlets) would be frowned upon – especially if they knew that at least one of those outings is a weekly D&D game that I just adore.

I am Catholic, but I’m a geek girl too, and I don’t see that as something to overcome.  I’ve never been a cookie-cutter anything and I’m not planning to start now.  I guess if I do continue writing in this blog, the focus may change slightly – it might become less about just the homeschooling and more about my story.  We’ll see.

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I have so much to write about!  But sadly, it must wait until later in the week – or possibly next week.  The hinges on my beloved MacBook Air are broken, and DH is going to take it to the Apple store tomorrow but he thinks it will not be a quick fix; they’ll likely have to order parts or possibly ship it off for repairs.  We do have a desktop too, but it’s in our bedroom and therefore not as easily accessible throughout the day, so I’m not likely to be doing much blogging til I get it back.

However, I did want to make a note of a few things I want to remember to write about in more detail when I have the time:

  • Beginning tomorrow, I will be homeschooling not one but two preschoolers; I’ve withdrawn little T from our parish’s preschool program.  It’s a bit of a long story, suffice to say after much thought and prayer I feel this is the best decision for our family at this time.
  • We started our Jesse Tree today, and it was met with much enthusiasm!  I hope the kids continue to be excited about it.
  • I’m also doing Elf on a Shelf with them this year – which reminds me, I need to move our elf before I go to bed tonight.
  • I still want to record for posterity the titles of several great Thanksgiving picture books I found, even if we didn’t get to read them all last week due to my laryngitis.

And now it’s late, and I really must get some sleep…

Cleaning house

I am a terrible housekeeper.  I just can never seem to get organized, and as a result I have a tendency to let things get so out of control that I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  Finally I decided something had to be done.

I’ve tried to get into the Flylady groove, but it’s too regimented for me – plus I just don’t feel like I really need to clean my bathroom every day!  So instead I decided to get the book Sidetracked Home Executives from the library.

When I finally sat down to read it, I was positively inspired!  I made a list of the supplies I would need to implement the system (mainly 3×5 cards in various colors, dividers, and a file box) and went to Office Depot the very next day to get them.  I set up the system nearly two weeks ago and I’m pleased to report that it’s working!  I’ve made a few adjustments, but for the most part it’s really kept me on task.

I’m surprised that such a low-tech system is what I needed – my husband is a techie and I’m fairly tech-savvy myself, so I would have thought something higher-tech would appeal to me; but the card file system is working, and I like knowing those cards are waiting for me every day in the kitchen.

Here’s hoping I can maintain this system in the long run!

Costumes!

We have two sets of costumes this year – first we have the traditional Halloween costumes, which the kids wore to the Halloween Hike  at the Chattahoochee Nature Center last Saturday and which they will be wearing again to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night.  This year, Mr. S is a monkey and little T is a cowgirl:

This was the first year we did saint costumes as well.  We went to the homeschool co-op’s All Saints Day party this morning, and Mr. S dressed up as St. Francis and little T was St. Clare:

They were so cute sitting through mass in their costumes!  Thank goodness it was a short mass today, usually I take candy in my purse to entice them into silence, but I forgot today and had to hope for good behavior.  They held up well for a three and four year old!

The saints costumes will be used again in future years – I bought them both on eBay and they are way too large for the kids, so I pinned the hem and the sleeves up this year.  Next year we can reuse the costume with different saint names 🙂

Happy Halloween weekend, everyone!

Not Wordless Wednesday

I’ve slacked on blogging, reading and commenting this week.  I have no one but myself to blame – I just haven’t felt inspired.  I’m still stunned by the news that my friend passed away; for the first few days, I kept waiting for her to call me and tell me it was some kind of sick joke, or a strange social experiment.  Alas, that is not the case – she’s truly gone.  Her funeral is this Sunday in Miami, and I’ll be there.  It’s going to be a crazy weekend – on Saturday, we have two birthday parties (for the kids’ friends) and a Halloween event in the evening; then on Sunday I’ll be getting up at 4am and driving to the airport to catch the earliest possible flight to Miami.  I’ll be flying back home that night, arriving about 9pm.  I fully expect it to be a draining day, but I need to be there.

Life goes on, even in the midst of sadness.  We are doing school this week, and we’re going to a local pumpkin patch on Friday with some friends.  I just don’t have the heart to write about normalcy right now.  Next week, I promise, I’ll talk about our Halloween books and crafts and songs, but this week I just need to be alone with my thoughts and embrace the melancholy.

Not just Mommy

I’m having one of those days today – you probably know how it is, you get wrapped up in motherhood and homeschooling and keeping house and then one day you sit up and think, there is more to me than this!  And although I am happy with being housewife and mother and home school teacher, today I’m going to write about my other interests.

First and foremost, I am a geek.  I love sci-fi and fantasy books and movies, I have played various MMORPGs over the years (though I haven’t really had time to indulge in that particular pursuit recently), and I even did a fair bit of table top RPG playing in the years before I had kids.  My husband has some geek tendencies as well – he enjoys Star Trek and Firefly, and loved the Lord of the Rings movies – but I’m definitely the geekier one of the pair of us.  So this weekend, I’ll be attending:

This is the first year I’ve attended, and I’m pretty excited!  I spent an hour this morning looking at the detailed schedule of events for the convention and deciding what I want to see and do while I’m there.  I’m only planning to go to on Saturday, though I might go on Sunday afternoon as well if The Man doesn’t mind (and he probably won’t, since he’ll be leaving the following Tuesday to go to Denver for a week on a business trip) since there are several things I’d like to see then too.   When the kids are older, I hope they’ll share my geeky interests and want to go with me – since it’s local, we don’t have to worry about hotels so it’s more affordable than attending other conventions like Comic-Con in San Diego.

In addition to geeky interests, I’m also an avid reader.  Since the kids were born, most of my socializing has been with other moms in playgroups, the church nursery, or home school events; and a few months ago I decided to look for a book club to join, just so I could have some periodic activity that wasn’t child-focused.  I was lucky to connect with a great group of women in my area, and now we get together once a month for great food and discussions of the book we read each month.  I don’t always love the books (this month, for instance, we read From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum, which really didn’t interest me much), but it’s still nice to get together with a group of women from different walks of life who all share an interest in reading.

And now I need to take a break from relishing thoughts of my non-Mommy characteristics and go wake little T. up from her nap, else we’ll never get her to go to bed tonight!

Meet the Family

I suppose I should briefly introduce the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in this blog.   Here goes!

Me – SAHM, which was  a hard title for me to get used to considering I have two Master’s degrees and a decade of professional experience in various fields, including one that I truly love.  Excited and terrified about the prospect of adding homeschooling to my list of duties…

The Man – my loving husband, who is extremely supportive of my homeschooling endeavors, even though it means that sometimes I am ready to walk out the door in search of an adult beverage as soon as he comes home at night.  He works in IT, and we met ten years ago while working for the same company.

Mr. Sensitive – our four-year-old son, who has this nickname because he is quite possibly the sweetest and most emotional child I’ve ever met.  He is my homeschooling guinea pig, as we are doing Pre-K this year with a curriculum I’ve hand-picked in the hopes that it will be meet his needs and not overwhelm him.

The Terminator- our three-year-old daughter, who is a darling but also a handful – not nearly as sweet and sensitive as her older brother.  She is attending preschool four mornings a week this year so I can work on homeschooling Mr. S with minimal interruptions; next year, I plan to teach them both at home!