A Costly Mistake

It’s raining. Hard. And my roof has sprung a leak over my kitchen light. I had to make coffee in the dark this morning so I wouldn’t start an electrical fire. Note to self: Must get that checked out tomorrow. Oh, did I mention it’s freezing outside, too? Icicles hanging off my eaves like I’ve not seen in more than 6 years, or at least since the last ice storm. Our cats are holed up under the house where the dryer vents (I’m running all the laundry today, since it’s so cold – helps to heat the house and keeps the kitties warm) and our dogs are no where to be seen or heard — I wonder if they are under the house with the kitties? Newsman says more of the same – possible ice and sleet in the works for tonight. So that’s your weather forecast for Northeastern Texas, folks — I’ll spare you any more details, since I know our weather has been relatively mild compared to most.

So Floy passed his BIG test last week with an 80! (he failed one by two questions – but he’s retaking it Feb 6th) Our Regional Vice President made a HUGE deal out of it at our last meeting and recognized Floy’s accomplishment – it made him feel great and I was proud for him. Our RVP said that he would pay for Floy to take the entire family out to the nicest restaurant in town and have a celebration dinner, (just save the receipt for him and he’d pay us back) – there’s not a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse here, unfortunately. Sigh. So we opted for Shogun. Saturday night dinner and a show. We sat at the hibachi grill and the kids were amazed by the chef’s cooking skills. My son asked me why I didn’t throw the eggs up into my hat when I cooked. I told him it was because I didn’t wear a hat when I cooked. All in all it was a great time.

It was around 1:20 am when I sat straight up in bed and realized I had completely forgotten to get the receipt for dinner. A dinner that cost $125. We don’t spend $125 on groceries for two weeks! You can imagine how the rest of the night went. I had fitful sleep – if any at all. It was a costly mistake, for sure. I would have NEVER spent $125 on dinner. EVER. Sigh. My husband just looked at me and laughed. I asked him what was so funny – he said “you are.” Personally, I don’ t see how spending our entire grocery budget in one night was funny, but hey, different strokes…

Today, I must work with Katie on some issues we are having with homeschooling. She is not retaining important information and Floy and I have realized that she is just trying to memorize it to get it over and done with. Problem is, she doesn’t understand it or retain it and she won’t admit it. AUGH…sometimes homeschooling is just not fun for me. :o) This is a character issue that must be addressed. So off I go to do my motherly duty.

Hope everyone is well – I missed you this week – I have lots of reading to catch up on. Give me some time and I’ll be back in the swing of things.

Did you Know?

On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.

In 1994, electromagnetic interference (EMI) from a nearby cellular telephone captivated the power of a wheelchair at a scenic vista in Colorado, sending the passenger over a cliff.

More people working in advertising died on the job in 1996 than those who died while working in petroleum refining.

Babies are born without knee caps. They don’t appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head, before it starves to death.

On average people fear spiders more than they do death.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump.

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

It’s possible to lead a cow upstairs…but not downstairs.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

Four sunken nuclear submarines sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. One, a Russian sub resting in deep water off of Bermuda, holds 16 live nuclear warheads. Scientists and oceanographers are unsure what the impact of the escaping plutonium will have, but warn that corrosion could create the proper chemical environment for a massive nuclear chain reaction.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

All polar bears are left handed..

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

“Go.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

In the 1990’s more than 30 people were axed, hanged, burned and mobbed to death in the United States for practicing witchcraft.

The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime at night.

Unusual deaths have plagued the cast of the Poltergeist trilogy of films including 12-year-old actress Heather O’Rourke, who died of septic shock. The theory is that the set was cursed by evil.

A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.

Homeschooling With Dad…

Conversation I overheard between my nine year old daughter and her dad this evening as he was helping her understand some mathematical principles:

Dad: “You’ve got 1 Freaky = 2 Deaky’s; and 1 Deaky = 3/4 Artsy’s; and 1 Artsy = 5 Fartsy’s. Convert 23 Freaky’s to ____ Fartsy’s”

Daughter: “Um…mom doesn’t do it that way…I don’t get it.”

Dad repeats earlier sentence.

Daughter: “So you want me to tell you how many Fartsy’s there are?”

Dad: “Yes. Figure out how many Fartsy’s you get when you convert 23 Freaky’s using the mathematical equation I have given you.”

Daughter: “Um…Okay…well…I guess there are going to be 46 Freaky’s, which would mean I have to multiply .75 Artsy’s…no…wait, I have to reduce here…okay, so I reduce down and then multiply by 5 Fartsy’s…would it be….let’s see (furiously scratching on paper with pencil)….12 Fartsy’s?”

I guess he speaks her language.

You Know You’re A Homeschool Mom When…

~Author UnknownWhen a child busts a lip, and after seeing she’s okay, you round up some Scotch tape to capture some blood and look at it under the microscope.

You find dead animals and actually consider saving them to dissect later.

Your children never, ever leave the “why?” stage.

You look at every room in your home to try and imagine how to squeeze in another bookshelf.

You turn your china cabinet into book shelves.

When your teenager decides to take one community college course, and comes home and asks you why the teacher wrote “At” on his paper. (A+)

You ask for, and get, a copier instead of a diamond tennis bracelet for your wedding anniversary.

Your kids think reading history is best accomplished while lying on the floor with their head resting on the side of their patient dog.

Your husband can walk in at the end of a long day and tell how the science experiment went just by looking at the house.

You never have to drive your child’s forgotten lunch to school.

Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.

The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.

You never have to face the dilemma of whether to take your child’s side or the teacher’s side in a dispute at school.

If your child gets drugs at school, it’s probably Tylenol.

Your neighbors think you are insane.

Your kids learn new vocabulary from their extensive collection of “Calvin & Hobbes” books.

Your formal dining room now has a computer, copy machine, and many book shelves and there are educational posters and maps all over the walls.

You have meal worms growing in a container….on purpose.

If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you’re having a PTA meeting.

Talking out loud to yourself is a parent/teacher conference.

You take off for a teacher in-service day because the principal needs clean underwear.

You can’t make it through a movie without pointing out the historical inaccuracies.

You step on math manipulatives on your pre-dawn stumble to the bathroom.

The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you put on your car.

If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.

Someday your children will consider you to be a miracle-working expert and will turn to you for advice.

Your kids refer to the neighbor kids as “government school inmates.”

You can’t make it through the grocery produce department without asking your preschooler the name and color of every vegetable.

You can’t put your produce in your cart without asking your older student to estimate its weight and verify its accuracy.

You live in a one-house schoolroom.


I have been playing hooky from the internet for the past week or so because I have immersed myself in learning how to teach something new to my kids this year. Homeschooling is so great, because I’m not confined to what the “state” wants me to teach – in Texas, there are no laws governing homeschooling as of yet, so I am free to teach the material I want the way I want to. I do check the State of Texas requirements by grade, but I have found that my daughter is actually way above many of the required elements, so I don’t sweat it too much.

I have made it a priority this year that we are going to ENJOY the learning process. Instead of looking at it as something I “have to do”…I’m trying each day to look at it as something I “get to do”. It’s a privilege that I am able to stay home and teach my kids from a Biblical standpoint – I get to read Scripture to them every morning, I get to take them to the park in the middle of the day, I get to take them shopping when no one is in the stores, I get to decide the things that I want them to learn and when I want them to learn them, I get to teach World History and Science from a Christian’s point of view!!! Do you know what that means, people? It means I don’t have to have a teacher (whether they believe it or not) telling my child that we “evolved” from some “primordial soup”. Thank. You. God.

I also have a confession. I’ve always wanted to learn how to read, write and speak a foreign language. So…this year, I’ve taken on the joyous task of “teaching” my daughter a course called “English From the Roots Up”. It was designed by a schoolteacher who wanted her kids to know the etymology (that’s history) of words in our English language. She thought it would be cool to introduce it when they were in early elementary school, since then the children would then be able to to get used to the Latin and Greek root words and their English derivatives over the course of many years — playing with them, trying them out in hundreds of situations, becoming comfortable with them, making them their own – and all before they even get to high school, let alone college. It’s supposed to give kids an incredible advantage over other kids who take crash courses in vocabulary just before sitting for the SAT’s.

Our word for today was “photos”, which in Greek means “light”. For instance, “photograph” is a combination of “photos” (light) and “graph” (write, draw) – so when you combine the two, you get “a picture drawn by light”. (Thought you would appreciate that one, Katie – since you are such an incredible photographer – I love your site!)

Anway…can you tell I’m diggin’ (that’s Texas slang for “I really, really, really like it”) school this year?

Home School Blues

Ask any mother who homeschools and I’m sure she will tell you that by the end of the year, she’s ready for a B R E A K. Such is the story for me…
I begin every year with the very best of intentions, new white binders, well-thought out lesson plans, and even WANTING to homeschool. This year, we joined a co-op and got together with them once a month for activities. As a family, we go on planned outings to local attractions to increase the kids’ awareness of our culture and art; and once a month or so – we even take a trip (completely unplanned) by picking a spot on the map and driving there for the day. The only catch is it has to be within a 3-4 hr drive. Along the way, we stop to check out anything “cool” or “interesting” as deemed by someone in the car. Once, Katie had us stop to study the mating habits of the horse…she thought the horses were fighting (Mom…why is that one horse beating the other one with his hooves?). Of course, I had to explain what was actually happening and then she was REALLY interested…it led to a unit study on horses.
At the beginning of the year, we begin our school day around 7:30 am…by the end of the year, I’m lucky if I can get her jump-started by 10! At the beginning of the year (when the curriculum is mainly reviewfrom last year), we LOVE it…because we know SO much. At the end of the year, when we are reviewing what we’ve learned this year, we HATE it…because we forget SO much. At the beginning of the year, we do science experiments with unabandoned glee….at the end of the year, we gleely abandon our science experiments.
Where have I gone wrong? I never wanted to homeschool my kids….it just sort of…happened. I’m glad we chose homeschooling. Really. I am. I know you probably don’t believe me. But it takes me back to being a kid in a way. I remember those feelings of restlessness…summer is coming. SUMMER is coming! Summer IS coming! Summer is COMING! My daugher has them. She knows. She’s a smart kid.
After all, she’s homeschooled. And we can DO it! Yes, we can!
Next year will be better, I tell myself. Only one week left….hold on, mom, you’re almost there.

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