Thursday, November 30, 2006

Headache woes

I thought my new meds were helping, but I've had a headache for about a week - not real bad, but disruptive to life. It wasn't a migraine until yesterday, and it was pretty mild until today. I'm feeling better, but not headache-free yet.

The kids are sick with colds, too. The combination of mom with a migraine and sick kids makes for little "school" work getting done. Today we watched "Survivorman" on The Science Channel. Our current science book is about survival skills, so watching a guy who is staying for 7 days in the Central American jungle seemed to fit right in! This afternoon we watched "India: Kingdom of the Tiger". It was more about tigers than India, but still fit nicely in the India unit that we're doing. I'm having to reschedule all of the kids' table work, though. They have very little concentration when they're sick.

Last night, L's cat jumped off her bed and broke a decorative stand. L was very upset. I agreed that I would help her clean her room, but no one's been up to it today. We haven't really cleaned and organized the kids' rooms since we moved into this house. Maybe this weekend.

Christmas is a tough time of year this year. The kids and I miss our old house - there's not enough room in this house for all the Christmas decorations. I've given a few to Goodwill and the rest I will rotate by year. I've also made a point of not committing to anything. C and I are supposed to go to a homeschool Christmas party tomorrow am, but I think we may skip it. I would like to have a day without a headache before I go to a party! There are some things that I won't miss, though. One of them is the jazz singer who will be performing at our church next weekend. I'll miss a lot of things, but her concert last year was amazing and I don't want to miss it this year!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29

I haven't blogged in 3 weeks because I couldn't figure out how to sign in again. It turns out that I was supposed to be signing in with Blogger Beta and using my Google password - Eek!

Anyway, life around here is going pretty well. L and C both have colds so we are doing a movie day today. We are watching a movie about Buddha and one about India. India seems to be taking a long time, but I think it is just because we had an interruption for Thanksgiving. The kids seem to be doing OK with the same history/geography curriculum. I'm not as frazzled, at least.

I had my IME (independent medical exam) last week. It seemed to go OK. He seemed to agree that my disability claim is legitimate. That was nice because I was starting to feel like the insurance people think I'm lying. I would have preferred if he had suggested a treatment that might take away the headaches, but he just said that my current treatment seems reasonable.

I had a migraine on Thanksgiving morning - Yuck! P went to the store to get paper plates, cups, etc. and put in the turkey. I felt better enough by noon to make the gravy and veggies. Another family came to celebrate with us and we ended up having lots of fun.

We did Christmas decorations on Friday. The kids were adamant about getting the decorating done! The house does look nice, although it is pretty messy. The Christmas stuff is pretty, but takes up lots of space. I've also had to keep some stuff in boxes because this house is smaller than our previous. We're excited about Christmas, nonetheless!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The first snow!

It snowed today - and not just flurries! We have about 3 inches on the ground, but we are afraid that it won't last. The high temps in the next several days are supposed to be in the 40s. Well, the kids went outside today and played while it was snowing.

Our week in school did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. I have been letting the kids sleep till whenever they wanted and we started school around 10am or so. The problem is that we were having to do schoolwork until 4 or 5 in the afternoon, but the kids wanted to be done around 2. Well, I decided that we are going to do most of our school in the morning, so they will have to get up and moving more quickly than they would like. Besides, we have so many afternoon activities that interrupt our day that it doesn't make sense to count on having all afternoon. And, no one likes schooling till 8 at night.

Otherwise, I have been very happy with just doing Core 5 and not trying to get C's science and history reading in. We didn't do as much work on C's reading curriculum as I would like, but he is doing some reading on his own. He actually asked his dad if he (C) could read dad a book. He read Curious George without too much help! Mostly, we're thrilled that C wants to read. He used to just find it drudgery, but he is much happier with it now.

I am starting L with her new writing program on Monday. Pray for us. She does not like to write, although she is quite good when she finally gets around to it. But, her writing is that of a middle schooler, so she still has to do writing in school. She hasn't produced Pulitzer Prize winning material quite yet!!

I am knitting myself a sweater right now. It is a tunic-style and the yarn is such a nice, soft yarn that the sweater is going to be beautiful. I'm also working on some Christmas presents for some friends and family.

The Weight Watchers thing has been going fair. I didn't lose anything this week. I get very frustrated with being hungry. But, entering the foods in the computer has helped me quite a bit. I've been trying to walk on the treadmill frequently, but my knee has been giving me trouble. I've been working on some exercises for it, trying to stave off physical therapy, but I'm not sure it'll work. I'm giving it another week before I call my doctor again.

My teenage girls' group has been going really well. We're starting to form some bonds and get to know each other. They are a great group of girls.

Well, it's time to get Patrick to read to the kids. We're working on Around the World in 80 Days. We have all enjoyed it a lot, although it is definitely building the kids' vocabularies! More later.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


The only word to describe this week is overwhelming. We use Sonlight curriculum and I have been trying to do Core 5 with L and Core 2 with C. In addition, I'm using an intensive phonics program with C, and he has once a week lessons with a learning specialist. So, I've been really frustrated in trying to get everything done this week, especially with a migraine on Wednesday. L has been giving me trouble about writing. So far, she has mostly been writing paragraphs, but it's time for her to start writing essays and research papers. Unfortunately, she is adamant that she does not need to use outlines. The last time she told me this, I told her that when she is a Nobel Laureate she can tell me that she doesn't need outlines. In the meantime, she has to learn how to outline and write papers. The good news is that Apologia now has a writing program for middle schoolers. It looks great - very non-threatening. L is already upset about it because it talks about learning to do outlines in the first chapter. Well, this may require much prayer, but I'm optimistic it will work.

I have decided on a total redo of our curriculum for the next 12 weeks (that's when we finish the Core(s)). I am going to have both kids doing Core 5. We will do the Eastern Hemisphere Explorer together (all three of us), which should be good because L really doesn't like doing it (it's answering lots of questions and doing activities about the countries that she's reading about). In addition, I'll be reading aloud everything, including science, except the readers. I'm also going to have L doing some of the reading aloud. That may allow us to work while I'm doing laundry, etc. In any case, I hope that this will lower some of the stress about school. L and C will still have their math curriculum to do on their own. C will continue his phonics and learning to read. L will continue her grammar, punctuation, spelling, as well as starting her writing program.

When we finish this Core, I am going to have them both do Core 6. I will, though, add in a good bit of stuff from Core 1 for C. Several moms on the Sonlight forums have done this successfully.

Our small group (from our church) is going through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. We started another course on money management a couple of weeks ago because our church has been working through the material. But, we found the DVDs to be very sleep inducing! So, we decided to do Dave Ramsey instead. The other couple in our group (yes, a very small group!) hasn't done either of these programs before, and they really like the Dave Ramsey stuff so far. It is far more entertaining than the other program!

C is doing very well in learning to read. He enjoys his supplemental reading help now that she told him that he gets points for doing a good job. At his last lesson, he was very focused for almost 45 minutes. The teacher also recommended that I have him do some reading that is above his reading level. I gave him "The Fire Cat" to read this week and couldn't get him to put it down. He only needs help with about 5% of the words. He still doesn't always try to sound them out, but it is improving.

Well, it's late on a Saturday night. I'm going to work a little more on getting the kids' lessons in the computer and then go to bed!