Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Today would have been my father's 84th birthday.  What I wouldn't give to be able to visit my childhood home and find him on the corner seat of the couch watching All in the Family or Star Trek and see his smile, watch his very blue eyes twinkle and give him a big hug.  He was a vibrant, fun loving man who was crazy about his daughters and his grandchildren.  He made some mistakes in his life, but he was learning from them as he got older.  He loved the fire department.  He loved bowling.  He had so many friends!  He was Lou Boeh!! and sometimes he was larger than life.  He was a good time.  He lit up a room.

Sigh.  I want to write about alot of memories I have of him.  I want them to be here for my children to see because my girls were young and I am sure some of their memories have grown fuzzy and my sons and my grnaddaughter have no memories of him to cherish at all, but I don't have the time right now to add them.  I know that I could spend hours reminiscing.  How I loved that man and how I could use a hug and the chance to snuggle up to him and be Daddy's little girl for a few minutes.. or hours!  I resolve to do that, on this eve's eve of the new year.  I will write a memoir of my dad for my children.  I will put in print my memories of the man he was.  Maybe I will even start that memoir of my own I have wanted to for years.  I have so many memories, so many things I don't want to forget. friend and my enemy.

So Happy Birthday, Daddy.  I hope your day in heaven is full of John Wayne, Star Trek, bowling alleys and good friends who have gone on with you.  I love you so much and I hear your voice and your laugh and feel your love every single day.  I miss you.


I have been thinking alot about resolutions lately.  It's that time of year, but my reflection this year is much more intense than in years past.  I have had a tough year emotionally and I have learned many things about myself.  I am strong, but not as strong as I had thought.  I have found my strength depended alot on other people and that this is not a good thing.  Other people have other agendas.  Children grow up.  Spouses are independent of you and may have ideas that differ from your own.  My most important of resolutions this year is to get a little bit stronger every day so that when I need to stand on my own two feet and take care of me, myself and I, I can do it.  I love my family and I am devoted to them.  I have nurtured them for 28 years now and I am proud of who they are and who we are as a family.  This year I realized that I am not proud of some of the things that I am without them.  They look to me to be strong and independent and with them surrounding me, I am.  Without them...well, I found that I am not.  I remember how I felt as a teen when I knew that I was becoming independent of my mother and she and my father were divorced and her long term relationship with someone ended.  I felt guilty when I wanted to lead my own life and scared for her because I was moving forward and she was alone and lonely.  I don't want that for my children.  I want them to know that if something goes wrong in my life, I don't need them to hold me up.  They needn't feel guilty for living their lives and growing and moving forward.  I want them to always be there to love and support me, but I don't want my weight to be overwhelming for them.

So what else do I resolve on this eve of 2013?  I want to reduce clutter.  I want my life, my homeschooling day and my home to feel organized.  I want to conquer a "to do" list....I want to MAKE a "to do" list.  I want to parent confidently and calmly.  My little son is a great challenge.  He is sarcastic and rude...something my other children were not until they were teens and still not to the extent that he is at age eight.  I want him to understand my consequences and learn that what I say I mean without the tug of war that is so common.

I resolve to take a few, at a shop, where ever I may find them.  I want to learn how to make a good web page for an idea I have on homeschool curriculum.  I want to blog, daily.  I want to journal, daily.  I love blogging, but I need a place to journal privately where I can write down my innermost thoughts without fear of reproach from my family or friends.  Writing soothes my soul.

I resolve to read more.  More than magazines!  I miss reading novels.  I will NOT feel guilty about calling a personal "time out" in the evening a few times a week and going to bed early with a novel (and locking the door).  I resolve to coupon more and get plenty of freebies.  It's a great help to the budget and it's something I truly enjoy.  I love a good bargain and it's satisfying to me to get a good deal.

I want to get mind and in body.  My health is good, but I am lax in going to the doctor and very bad about routine tests I should be having done to screen out problems.  I will schedule them and I will go.  I will lose weight by eating healthier.  I want to make good meal choices and good snack choices.  I haven't really mapped out my route yet, but I am thinking about it.  I am not going to make any hard and fast rules that I know I won't follow.  I just want to include more fresh food, less processed.  I want to make different meals for my family and get my recipes into some sort of organized and useable form.  I want to be proud of myself when I look in the mirror for a myriad of ways.

There are more.  My family is waiting on brunch and my Sunday is waiting for me.  I will add to these resolutions as I think of them.  It's important to me to see them here in writing so I can come back to them and remember why I wanted to make them.

So I will enjoy my last two days of 2012, but I won't be sorry to see the year end.  It was not a good one for me.  I am looking forward to an awesome 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two Weeks Before Christmas

Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the house not a present was wrapped up, barely one in the house.  The stockings are stuffed in the box in the hall, but the decorations they do hang up high on the wall.  The granddaughter has pushed every button around to get all the animatronics to make a loud sound.  And I in my pjs and dad in his jeans, are hoping to hurry and fulfill everyone's dreams.  With wrestling on Wednesday and basketball too, the shopping has waited and now it's a zoo! But when Christmas Eve comes and Santa drops by, I am sure that everyone will take a deep sigh. The presents will be tucked safely under the tree, I will head to my bed....Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Rainy Monday

We woke up this morning to another dreary, gray day so getting started was slow.  We finally got motivated to do morning work around 10am and then watched a Netflix video on dinosaurs while Dakota had some imagination time with his dinosaurs on the floor.  That's not something that happens much anymore now that he is older, so it was nice to see.  Afterward, he got to do a Dino Dig kit that I had gotten at the store.  It doesn't seem to matter what company I get these from, they are always harder than they look and the darned dinosaur bones are minute....putting them together in "puzzle fashion" tomorrow will be great fun...

After lunch we read/sang Christmas songs that we had books for and then read a review book on ancient Egyptians. We will be moving on to mummies and pyramids tomorrow and hoping to pick up the pace before the holiday arrives on this unit.  Some math, spelling and a Christmas Across the USA unit later, we were both done.  I am so ready for the holiday break and I know that Dakota is too.  We are ready for a break of all sorts!  I am hoping that the sun comes out tomorrow and gives us both a boost of energy so we can have a productive day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Low on Motivation

Today is a dreary, cold, rainy Friday and Dakota and I are just not feeling alot of schoolwork.  I am right there with him in the "I'm tired and feeling lazy" vibe so currently he is reading his Magic School Bus Dinosaur Detective chapter book and I am on the computer.  He has only painted a wreath and watched a Magic School Bus holiday video so far. Natalie just went down for her "long winter's nap" lol.  It's blessedly quiet save the thrum of the dishwasher going in the background.

Yesterday we got in alot of work.  He did all his morning prep work, we made a dino fossil out of plaster of paris from his MSB kit and read about Tyrannosaurus Rex.  We worked on a dino packet and some history worksheets, got in some math, wrote a letter to Santa, read a Christmas book and some other things.  I think today I am going to be a couch potato with him and start the weekend early.  Our house is decorated inside with lots of fiber optic trees and snowmen, Winnie the Pooh waving the same candle that he has for sixteen Christmases past and various knicknacks, wall hangings, bells and mistletoe.  I think I will light a few candles, make an early lunch, pop some brownies in the oven to celebrate tomorrow's National Brownie Day and pretend to be exhausted from the hard work I put in :-)  Now we will just wait for Brian David and Daddy to come home and live happily every after.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Schooling With Friends

Monday was the start of a fun new group learning experience for Dakota.  Sometimes it gets a little lonely being an only child homeschooling so we have invited a family with four kids, 8, 7, 5 and 4 and a little one, the same as Natalie to come over on Monday afternoons and work with us.  Yesterday we worked hard in the morning to get our Magic School Bus dinosaur science unit started doing a sequencing activity about fossilization,got our math and reading in, so we could be ready for an afternoon of history learning following the Story of the World, Volume 1, the first few chapters.

Our friends arrived at 12:30 and we got right down to learning.  We started with a group discussion about the Egyptians and the Nile, talking about the nomads, the fertile crescent and the story of King Menes.  Then we read Chapter 3 about hieroglyphs and cuneiforms and used another book to learn about Rosetta Stone.  I gave each of the kids a piece of tagboard that I had cut to look like a tablet and they wrote their name using our alphabet and then used hieroglyphs to write their names on the "stone". Then we did a quick paper craft for an alligator to use in our next project.
When we were finished at the table, we moved into the kitchen where I had a long piece of butcher paper divided into sections and each child made a section of the Nile River on their part of the paper.  Then they added some green crops, an Egyptian barge, their alligators and used a ruler to draw a pyramid.  Then the used a glue stick to make the inside of their pyramid sticky, took their section of the paper onto the deck and used sand to make the pyramid more realistic.  We left them on the deck to dry, cleaned up and then the kids got to go play together on the trampoline in the indian summer afternoon.

All in all, I think it was a successful experience for both families.  Both moms were tired,, but all the kids used up alot of energy and they learned alot about ancient Egypt.  I am looking forward to next Monday's adventure and I know Dakota is too.