Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Accidental Field Trip!

We had a busy weekend as a family! Sound familiar? We launched the weekend on Saturday by going to a Pumpkin Festival at a local farm. The kids had fun feeding the animals in the petting zoo. We walked past lots of booths challenging us to try our skill at the ring toss and many other such games. There was a guy who was making carvings using a chainsaw. 

Then we got to the crafty type booths. There were three "booths" set together that caught my attention and I made a bee line to them. The first was one where a couple were working cotton together. He was "carding" cotton using a cotton gin while she was spinning the cotton into yarn. We stopped and talked with them for a few minutes about the tools and techniques they were using.

Then we walked over to the next booth where the guy was a leather worker. He had a bunch of hides which he had tanned. Most of them seemed to be deer hides but there was also a buffalo. He explained to us how the process of tanning works.

Next we walked over to talk to a guy who had a bunch of old guns and sabers on display. Most of these were from the Civil War era. We stood and talked with him for probably over an hour. I could have talked with him for many more hours! This guy was just SO fascinating! 

He explained and showed us the difference between a flint lock and a percussion style rifle while lacing his narrative with details of how the soldiers fought and the wars in which each style rifle was used. My kids got to hold some of the guns and sabers and even had their pictures taken holding them. This is the kind of learning that will stick in their minds forever and in homeschooling that's what it's all about!

When we got home, MyHero and ManBoy went back out to get pumpkins and then the kids got to work carving them. This is the first time my kids have ever carved pumpkins so they had a LOT of fun doing it!

We all got up super early the next morning and headed out for my race! Yep, I ran my 2nd 5k on Sunday! Since this was a Halloween themed race lots of the racers were dressed in costumes. I met up with a few other people from my running team but most of them were serving as volunteers for the Half Marathon portion of the race. When the race started and we all started moving forward, I found it extremely difficult to keep myself from wanting to keep up with everyone else. As a result, I pushed myself too hard and eventually realized that if I kept going at that pace, I wouldn't be able to finish the race. They would have had to send someone out to rescue me! LOL I DID finish the race and even half ran, half limped across the finish line. 

We are trying to get back into our normal routine for the rest of the week. As usual, I'll probably at some point find Fashionista sitting at the computer working on one of her many stories. I really should get her set up with a writing tutor and take advantage of all this writing she's been wanting to do all on her own!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life is Interesting!

Life just stays interesting, doesn't it?? Hopefully I'm learning from my many mistakes and getting better about having a balanced approach to life and working out!

I have another race coming up this weekend. I really wish that I'd read the information more carefully. I thought I'd signed up for a Saturday race. Turns out it is on a Sunday. Bummer! We will have to miss church. Don't like having to do that. There will be other team members at the race which means that they will also be missing church. Technically, we could attend on Saturday night and therefore still get to see the service.

I'm feeling totally unprepared for this race. But if I really think about it, I'm actually better prepared for this one than I was for the last one! So it will be interesting to see how things go! Pictures to follow next week!

Have you ever heard one of your kids use a word in the correct context and wonder to yourself, "Where in the world did they learn THAT word??" It seems that I'm constantly doing that with my kids. Maybe they are playing vocabulary match when we are not watching! It's too bad we can't include these times in their homeschool portfolios!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Balance Needed!!!

I'm in need of some balance here! I have a tendency to go overboard. For instance, this week I've already burned 1431 calories and I haven't worked out today! My friend and personal fitness coach reminded me that my body is a living organism, not a machine. My body is reminding me of this fact as well! Last night I was having severe leg cramps in both legs. Seriously, they reminded me of being in labor! Yeah, I think it's time to pull back and find some balance.

So I'm taking it easy today. My kids are helping me to get this house clean since we are supposed to have a houseful of friends here tonight. I'm thinking as far as school goes today, this is a great day to have my kids play free games. We might even watch an educational video or two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Feeling Challenged!

This week I'm feeling challenged in a number of ways! I've managed to get out and run three days in a row, but I'm really suffering for it! Must be pushing myself too hard and too fast because I could barely walk by the time I got home from my run today. My calves have been SO sore! They were even throbbing when I was trying to get to sleep last night. I can't help but think that this is part of getting my body used to this type of exercise, but not sure that it is supposed to hurt this badly.

It has been extremely challenging to get myself motivated this week. Not for working out, but for my other responsibilities. Perhaps it's partially because my legs are so achey, but it's been almost all I can do to make myself do laundry and perform my work responsibilities. The worst has been checking schoolwork. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't been keeping up with making sure the kids are doing their assignments. I know that I really need to get a handle on this or my kids will get lazy and do the minimum of what they think they can get away with.

I'm especially feeling the pressure since I'm high school homeschooling. ManBoy and I have been "reading" a great book called, "The Cat of Bubastes".  I actually finished it the other day. Learned much about ancient Egypt that I didn't know. Quite fascinating! ManBoy needs to finish this book this week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Turned 45 and MyHero Got a New Wife!

This past Friday I turned 45! I'm not afraid to tell my age. Maybe it's the Aspie in me, but it's just not that big a deal to me.

I had been telling MyHero that I wanted to go get my hair permed and cut for my birthday. He had agreed that I could do that. Then I started looking online and found a site where I could "try on" the hairstyles to see how they looked on me. It even gave me recommendations for what styles would look best with my face. After seeing some of these styles I realized that I really didn't need a perm. My hair has PLENTY of body and wave all on it's own.

So it was time to go get it done! The guy who did it was very nice, although very lost! Please pray for him! I showed him the pics of the styles that had been recommended for me and together we chose our favorite. Then he went to work making it work for me. I kept looking at the pieces of hair landing in my lap and commented that there was WAY too much gray in them. I was going to grab a box of color on my way home and do it myself. Then my hairdresser offered to do it for $10 less than the normal price. I thought, "Well, MyHero already approved the perm, but since I'm not doing that, I think I can do this instead!" So I went for it. I'm so glad I did!

This is me before my new "Do". I had not put any product in my hair so it was all frizzy.
And this is me after the new "Do". Granted the makeup helps a lot as well! hehe
So the next day we went to church. I got rave reviews on my new haircut and color. But what really impacted me was chatting with a dear friend. She was encouraging me to do my best to look nice for MyHero. She explained that our husbands are going out into the work world and seeing women dressed for business everyday. We want them to feel like we are putting effort into looking nice for them. So I've been working on this. MyHero seems to be greatly appreciating this effort on my part. He makes comments about how pretty I look with my makeup on. 

Note here:  If you are reading this and are the mom of young children, please don't feel any condemnation on this point! It was after my first child was born that I actually stopped wearing makeup on a regular basis. Really, who has the time for that when you can barely get a potty break or a shower without interruptions? If and when you have the time and energy, then by all means go for the makeup. But in the meantime, love on those babies and know that your husband loves you with or without the makeup.

Now that my kids are teens and pre-teens, I really have no excuse not to be taking a few minutes everyday for this. I believe that it makes MyHero feel loved and respected. Especially since he knows that I'm doing it for him. I'm finding that I like feeling "pretty" all day as well.

This weekend, with all the craziness going on, I neglected to get school assignments made. When I did try to get them done, at the last minute, I realized that my printer was out of toner. I needed to print out records of the kids' work for the week to help me know what to assign for this week. Fortunately, my kids can STILL do their work. They just won't have their agenda to guide them.

It's nice to see ManBoy taking the initiative and getting his schoolwork done on his own. He has even completed his history without needing to ask mom for help 2 days in a row. Usually, he comes to me to help him find the answers from the text. I'm thinking that we have finally found the homeschool learning styles that work for him. He seems to do much better when he can take his time and read it from a textbook. My other two are doing well with doing their schoolwork online.