Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Week In Review–October 29, 2011


So, this homeschooling while trying to help PWM run a business while having lots of migraines is a real challenge.  But, there are lots of good things happening despite the “challenges” (including a messy kitchen and undone laundry). 

On Monday, PWM and I went on a date to Olive Garden, Home Depot, and Woodman’s.  The romance level may not have been so high, but it was nice to be together outside of the house and the shop.

I had significant migraines on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I spent very little time at the shop.  Bummer.

Wild Man was sick Thursday and today.  He’s seriously bummed about not being able to sleep over at a friend’s house tonight, but we’re hoping that he’s feeling better tomorrow and can go to Haunted Hollow.  We’ll see.

Rosie Girl wanted to have a friend sleep over tonight, so she actually turned in her weekly paper yesterday!  I’m impressed.  And she and her friend made cupcakes – Yummy!

Here’s what the academics over the last couple of weeks have looked like:

Wild Man

  • History/Science – He finished the Weapon and Warrior books as well as The Samurai’s Tale.  Right now, we’re listening to The Three Musketeers on audiobook and Wild Man has been reading about the Musketeers and French medieval history online.
  • Math – Wild Man is starting to feel held back by his not having his math facts memorized completely, so he’s been motivated to practice them in addition to doing his regular ALEKs work.
  • Music – Wild Man is playing percussion in the public school band and alternates between drum kit and bass guitar in the youth band at church.
  • Writing – I’ve had Wild Man dictate his story to me.  Then, I’ve had him take each paragraph (one per day) and do the dress-ups that he learned last year.  It’s actually working well.
  • Spelling – This is generally Wild Man’s nemesis, but  I think we’re starting to see some real improvement.  It certainly seems less frustrating to him.

Rosie Girl

  • Rosie Girl got a job!!  She’s working at a business here in town, so she won’t need to worry about gas money.
  • Social Science – She just finished the 1920s and wrote a nice paper summarizing the events of the decade and how they related to the 1910s and 1930s.  This isn’t her favorite subject, but she’s doing the work diligently.
  • Natural Science – This is her self-directed “Science of Music” course.  Rosie Girl is still not quite sure exactly what her research question is going to be.  We’re working on that.
  • Literature – The poor kid has had to read The Metamorphosis and Brave New World in the last few weeks.  She’s ready for something a little lighter, I think!
  • Writing – I’m generally happy with her weekly papers, although I’ve asked her to provide more concrete examples for her main points.  She’s also starting the research paper writing workshop through WriteAtHome.  This may require much prayer.
  • Japanese – She finished the first semester Japanese with an A-.  She started this semester’s course this week.
  • Music – Rosie Girl is not only taking piano lessons, but learning some basics of composition from her piano teacher.  She’s also been practicing her ocarina and acoustic guitar a good bit.  She has a method book for clarinet, but she hasn’t practiced in several days.


So, that’s where we are academically.  I’m very thankful that Rosie Girl works pretty independently.  Wild Man needs a little more direction from me, but that’s OK. 

How was your week?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been up to!

7 Quick Takes Friday–October 28, 2011


1. So, the Cardinals won the World Series.  Of all my Facebook friends who follow baseball, I think there are a total of 4 who wanted the Cardinals to win.  I have at least 20 friends who were pulling for the Rangers.

2. Migraine update – I still have migraines.

3. In a new twist, Wild Man has been sick for the last two days with fever and intestinal upset.  He missed sleeping over at a friend’s house tonight, but he’s perking up so there’s a chance he’ll be able to go to the Haunted Hollow with them tomorrow evening.

4. I actually played some piano yesterday.  Naturally, it was Christmas music since that’s about the only thing I can still play.  Rosie Girl played along with her ocarina.  It was a pretty special moment.

5. Rosie Girl has a friend sleeping over tonight so they made chocolate cupcakes with white icing and then painted flags of different countries on the tops.  Why flags?  It has something to do with one of the animes that they watch.

6. PWM and I had a date on Monday.  We had lunch at Olive Garden, bought light bulbs for the shop at Home Depot, and then went grocery shopping at Woodman’s.  The grocery bill was staggering, but I think it’s the first time we’ve done a full shopping trip in the last couple of months.  Wow.

7. Our family likes watching several of the reality/competition shows, particularly Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, Next Iron Chef, The Amazing Race, and Top Shot.  This week was the final episode of this season of Top Shot (on History Channel) and it was a great one.  The guy who won is a young guy who isn’t formally trained in marksmanship.  He and his family run a Christian camp in Texas, so he said the prize money would go a long way toward some expansion of the camp.  What is so cool, though, is that this guy seemed to just be having a blast the entire time!  On the very last challenge, he was almost perfect.  It was just fun to watch!

So how was your week?!  Anything exciting?!  Check out what others are up to at 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extravagant Grace

Please pardon the “stream of consciousness” style of writing this am.  It’s 1:04am and I can’t sleep because my head is killing me.  I’m so not fond of migraines.  But, you probably knew that.

I’ve been thinking about purpose, my reason for existing, etc.  The Westminster Catechism says that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  [I need to insert a little explanation about the word glorify.  The words “glory” and “glorify” get tossed around a lot in Christian circles without anyone really knowing what they mean.  According to my dad who is way smarter than I am about these things, the word “glory” implies reputation.  When we are told to “glorify” God, it means to give HIm a good reputation.  If this is incorrect, Dad, please let me know.]  Back to purpose.  We are to glorify God and enjoy HIm forever.  You know, when I read that it sounds like our job as Christians is pretty easy.  We are to give honor and praise to God, our Creator.  We are to enjoy him forever.

Somehow we make it complicated.  Either we get so caught up in the little steps and looking for confirmation from God every five seconds or we look only at the big picture and completely ignore what is right in our path.  Either way, we end up living a very stressful life.

That’s not what God wants for us.  In Matthew, Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon us for his burden is light.  Of course, it’s light!  He’s GOD!!  But, when we give Jesus our burdens and cares, we can now walk beside Him and live in a more comfortable place.

God wants us to enjoy HIm.  He wants us to be content.  How do we wake up in the morning and feel content with life?

I think that the key is to see God’s extravagant grace.  Not only did Jesus die for our sins and then conquer death through His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to live with us and show us God’s grace every day.  Whether I’m working as a family doctor, as a mom, or selling yarn, I can experience God’s love and grace.

Tonight (or this morning), as I’m writing this with an icepack on my head and a pounding against my skull.  Physically, I’m feeling pretty rotten.  Emotionally, I’m also kind of down.  But I’m starting to learn to be content with each day.  God gives me the grace (the love that I can’t even begin to earn) to get through each day.  Today, I didn’t do much “productive”, but God doesn’t need me to be productive to love me.  I hate having the headaches, but the headaches have given us the chance to open a yarn shop.

My purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  And I pray that glorifying God and enjoying Him shows to my children, my husband, and our customers.  God loves me extravagantly.  Because  of that, I am free to love others without worrying about their response.  No matter what, God has said that He loves me.  Hopefully, tomorrow, I can really love the other people I see.  (And, hopefully, my migraine will go away so that I can get out of the house and see someone other than my kids!)

Shaun Groves’ new song “All Is Grace” expressed these ideas well.  Check out the lyrics here.

Monday, October 24, 2011


1. This would have been “7 Quick Takes Friday” except that it’s early Monday am instead of Friday.

2. I’m having a serious craving for Chick-Fil-A.

3. The nearest Chick-Fil-A is Racine or the Chicago area.

4. I’m not sure I can convince PWM of the need for a road trip just for Chick-Fil-A.

5. Rosie Girl has a job!!  And it’s right here in town, so it doesn’t involve driving and spending all the money she will make on gas!

6. Wild Man cleaned the bathroom this week – and it actually looked clean when it was done!

7. Somehow, we managed to run out of fuel oil yesterday.  The tank is getting refilled tomorrow.

8. It feels almost like the 1850s except that we have electricity and we don’t have the possibility of keeping warm by a fire since we don’t have a fireplace and I’m on a computer.  So, maybe not.

9. I’m pretty sure that I would not do well in the 19th century.

10. We’re also out of groceries.

11. I may go grocery shopping because the stores are heated and I won’t have to wear 5 layers of clothes.

12. I’ve discovered reruns of “Mad About You”, one of my most favorite sitcoms of all time!!

That’s it.  What’s going on in your life?  Is the temperature inside your house above 60 degrees?  If so, I’m jealous.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I woke up about an hour ago with a migraine.  I’m not having a good feeling about today.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some blog fun!  And by blog fun, I mean that I’ll write about my life and you, hopefully, will enjoy reading it.  So, let’s get started.

1. Yes, I still have chronic migraine and, no, we still haven’t found a cure.  It does provide me with plenty of surprises, though.  I’m never quite sure when the headache is going to get rip-roaring bad.  I’m having to pretend to be a Boy Scout – “be prepared”.


2. When I have a bad migraine but still need to interact with the world (which I try to avoid), I have taken a clue from the penguins from Madagascar – “Smile and wave, boys, just smile and wave”.  It kind of works.


3. Rosie Girl writes a paper every week, with the topic varying among Bible, History, or Literature.  She wrote a very nice essay explaining why she didn’t particularly like Murder on the Orient Express.  She spent all day yesterday writing a short story.  She said that it’s kind of like fan fiction with some Hetalia characters (don’t ask, I don’t keep up with all her anime and manga!) that takes place during the great fire of Peshtigo, WI.


4. Wild Man has been using voice recognition software (apparently, it’s part of Windows 7) to help him with spelling when he is doing his daily journals.  It’s great because it requires him to articulate which was hard enough before braces, but has become a real challenge with that palate expander in place.  It also means that he doesn’t have to ask me how to spell every other word.  Pretty cool.


5. Our family’s favorite football teams, the LSU Tigers and the Green Bay Packers, are having great seasons.  Apparently, the WI Badgers are also doing well, although we only pay attention to them tangentially.  Sadly, we decided last night that we should support the Brewers since they had a chance of going to the World Series and all of our other friends are huge Brewers fans.  It was a short relationship.  I’m sure the Brewers did their best, but it just  didn’t work.  We’ll have to see about whether we’ll try again next year.


6. In two weeks, we (as in, The Knitting Nest) will be participating in BooFest on Main Street.  We’ll give out candy, teach finger knitting, and wear costumes.  Actually, I think PWM will take care of that while I hide in the back room from all the children.  I need Xanax to handle large numbers of kids.  PWM loves it, though.  I’ll just keep an eye on that extra candy.  We wouldn’t want the kiddoes to eat too much chocolate, now, would we?  Of course not.  So, I’ll take care of that.


7. Have you heard the new Shaun Groves album, Third World Symphony?  What are you waiting for?  This is a wonderful album that I’m sure you’re going to love!  Check out Shaun’s website!


Since 7 is the number of completion and perfection, I’ll be done now.  Besides, my brain is a little fuzzy from this migraine.  I’m off to knit.  I hope you have a wonderful day without migraine, but with lots of fun and love.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Days Go So Slowly . . . The Years Go So Quickly


A few days ago, I called Wild Man’s phone and got his voice mail.  It was the voice of a child, recorded not six months ago.


Today, Wild Man said something from the other room and I heard a young man’s voice.  Where did that time go?


Just a few months ago, PWM and I were ferrying Rosie Girl to her activities.


Now, she drives herself not only where she wants to go, but also to run errands for me and PWM.


Two months ago, I was taller than Wild Man.  He’s now two inches taller than me.


Rosie Girl has a job interview on Wednesday.  When did she get old enough to work?


Some days are so long . . .  I almost look forward to not having to supervise their education, to not making sure that they have adequate winter clothes, etc.  I wonder if my house will ever be clean.

But then a catch of glimpse of my babies and want to hold them to me forever.

Just a normal mom, I guess.