Tuesday, August 8, 2017


I have come to realize August is the beginning and the end.  The beginning of "cram it all in" for anything you failed to do this summer.  The beginning of youth and high school football.  The beginning of all the back to school planning and the beginning of thoughts turning to fall, Halloween and all things pumpkin.  August first is really the end of the lazy days of summer.  June and July are all about "we have all summer" and there's no rush to do much of anything because we have "so much time".  Then August 1st arrives and everyone realizes that in one month summer is over and school starts and where did our summer go?  There's a crazy sort of rush to relax.  Get in the amusement parks, pool days and meetings with friends.  But if you are like us, we have already lost every evening to football starting August 1st and all the planning for homeschool and my classes at Heritage must be done soon and I haven't even begun!

So here's to you August.  One more month of summer.  One more month to hang with friends and cousins during the day.  One more month to get curriculum chosen and lesson plans done.  One more month to "relax", except it seems that there's no time for that.  Now I'm missing July!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Different Kind of Summer

Tuesday is August first and I am waist deep in homeschool planning, which is nothing new.  I am also planning for three classes that I now teach at a homeschool tutorial so that's a bit different, but the biggest change I would say is that this summer not only am I learning what it's like to be off work for a few months and home again every day, but I also do not have any daycare kids in the house.  I think for just about the first time in almost 30 years I do not have any little people coming to spend the day with us for fun in the sun.  The good thing about that is that there is no alarm clock most days, Dakota sleeps in and I get much more work done.  It's quieter.  The hubby isn't on me for daycare chaos and I don't have to plan activities to keep anyone busy.  The bad thing is also that I don't have to plan activities to keep anyone busy.  Gone for now (until my granddaughters are a bit older) are the "summer camp" days of Koda and his friends doing art classes at Michael's, free movies, craft days at A.C. Moore, themed packets at our table, games outside, a weekly book club.  I so miss those things!  I don't miss the time involved or the bickering or constant need for attention, but I do miss keeping it fun for them and for me.  Now I have a soon to be teenager who is in his room a great deal of the time.  We do park quests now and again, but neither of us like the heat and money has been tight.  So it's been different, both good different and bad different.  I try to go with the flow and I am definitely looking forward to fall.  September is a clean slate and time to begin all over again!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sum - Sum - Summertime

Summertime - not my favorite season by far, but the best part is here!  It's almost over!  Seriously, that's how I see it.  The beginning of August means the beginning of the end and that's fine with me!  Bring on September with crisp mornings, cool nights, hoodies, clear skies and NO HUMIDITY!  It's been ridiculous here for the past few weeks with heat indices around 110 degrees and that's just rude.  No one wants to be out in that and my husband's high school football team and my son's youth football team have been practicing and it's hard on them and hard on me to even watch them!

So for now I'll sweat and swelter and try to enjoy the days that are free from schedules and demands.  I'll plan for homeschool and cooperative and hide out in my air conditioning, dreaming of fall and all the wonderful things that come with it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Death Of A Friend

On Tuesday one of the young men on my son's 100lb football team lost his mother suddenly.  She had been sick and had cancer, but had beaten it once.  It came back quickly with a vengence and her death was a shock to all.  I had to tell my 11 year old that his buddy's mom passed away.  This week has been one of my reflection.  He has asked a lot of pointed questions about death and about how his friend will adjust and how his life will change since his mom was a single parent and he had no siblings.  I answered him honestly when I could and we discussed things when I wasn't sure.  It gave me insight into the caring, thoughtful young man I am raising when what I usually get is often a snarky and rude kid.  

However, I have really traumatized my son today. We had another long talk about death in the car coming back from Ecoadventures before going to the funeral home. I was explaining the difference in a viewing and a funeral. He wanted to know why they left the "box" at the grave site and when did they throw the body in the grave.....What?? No, no, son. The body is buried in the casket! He was so surprised. The poor kid thought that your body just got tossed in a hole and they buried you!  That in itself had to be an awfully scary thought!

 Then his dad and I took him to  the funeral home and the first thing his friend tells him is he can't play football with them next year because he has to move to North Beach, which is about an hour from us. So Dakota is heartbroken about this news because he can't really grasp the whole reality of the other situation anyway. He just stands there looking at his buddy.  I tried to get him to speak to him, but he wouldn't say a word. 

Then we go up to pay our respects and there is no casket. Our friend's mom chose to be cremated. Sigh. I had to pull him aside and explain about cremation and ashes and urns. He was shocked and horrified. He lightened the moment with humor, saying "I am traumatized for life", but I could tell by his eyes that it was really a shock.   There is really no easy way to tell someone about that process, but we did talk all night about the reasons why some people choose that option. Now I'm afraid the poor kid is going to have bad dreams. He's worried about losing me since it happened to his friend and now he's got worries about how people are cremated. This week was full of a little too much reality for an 11 year old boy.

And now, a few days later, he has gone back to being his carefree self.  I am glad we got the chance to discuss things and that some of the truths that were revealed were calming.  I am sorry that he had to hear some of the more scary things, but life is scary and hard and at 11 and fairly mature otherwise, I felt he needed to hear the truth.  I don't think I could get much by him anyway.  

I look at my son and I am thankful for the normalcy he experiences in his daily life and my heart breaks for our friend's son who will now have so many changes and for whom nothing will be normal for a very long time.  Suzanne was a good woman who spent her time working hard and raising her son.  She was a proud football momma and I know she will be an angel on his shoulder forever more.  

Getting It Right

     Yesterday tanked after lunch time. Dakota was a beast, I felt defeated, Dad came home stressed and it just led to a tumultuous night with lots of grouching and arguments and tears. Yuk. Then to top it all off we learned that one of the kids on our football team lost his mom suddenly last night. Heartbreaking and shocking and of course it brings to light your own mortality. 

     So today I woke up ready to make this a better day. Dakota and I had a nice eggs and bacon breakfast and talked about what the problems were in our day yesterday and how we are all going to work to fix them. Neither of us likes when we are all angry at one another. After breakfast we got to work on morning chores, welcomed the girls and started our volcano, putting it together and then using paper mache to do the outside. He worked on a Scholastic News while the paper mache is drying.  While he paints it I am going to make witches brew with the girls.  I am hoping it turns out half as well as it does here  http://babbledabbledo.com/20-science-projects-for-preschoolers/ .    While the paint is drying I am sending all four of  them off to the trampoline because they have way too much energy to be bottled up inside.  I'll clean up and make lunch and they will come in pink cheeked and ready to sit down and eat.  That's what it's supposed to look like.....

And it did!  The experiment, Wizards Brew, turned out great and the kids loved it, from the 11 year old to the 2 year old!  They loved the glitter effect added in and we kept adding different colors and more baking soda and more vinegar and it gave us about 10 minutes of eruption!  Then they went outside to jump on the trampoline with my fuzzy socks on and their mittens and even though it was cold they got 20 minutes of exercise before coming in tired and happy to sit down and watch Magic School Bus together and eat lunch.  The kids all went down for rest/nap time after that and Dakota and I finished our day with Dad coming in and doing math later on.  Much better day for us and much better preparation.