Thursday, October 24, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Reindeer farm edition


The sun breaking out behind the mountain at the reindeer farm.


Tait loved the baby bunnies. He tried to talk me into bringing one home. I'm afraid bunnies would be bound for the stew pot at our house...


This moose eats bananas from your mouth! I was laughing so hard when Tait's preschool teacher did it that I nearly missed the photo...And apparently, I did entirely miss Ollie taking his turn!
Moose kiss, anyone?


Look at my couch, yo! This was a freebie last year when we moved. It didn't come to us with its arm flapping in the breeze like that, mind you. It did have a teeny tiny threadbare spot on the top of the arm. That my darling 2 year old discovered she could wiggle her teeny tiny little finger into and enlarge by degrees until shazam! One day she could get her whole hand in there. And then with one quick downward motion, she ripped that baby off! I'd like to say it happened just a few days ago, but since we're keeping it real here, I'll *blush* admit it was 2 months ago. Eek! Maybe it's time to find that roll of duct tape...

Linking up at Like Mother, Like Daughter today.

Monday, October 14, 2013

In which I confess that I am not, after all, superwoman

{Part 1 of 2}

Would you believe that I heard this exact phrase--or nearly so-- more than 3 times last week?

"I think homeschooling moms are either Superwoman or they are crazy!"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume these women were not lumping me in with the Crazies. (Or maybe they were, but for now I'll pretend they were standing in awe rather in terror...) I think they were suggesting maybe I'm of the Superwoman variety. *Blush* How kind of you. And how very wrong. I am not Superwoman. Most homeschooling mamas I know are not Superwoman. The vast majority of us are just regular mamas with faults and shortcomings that homeschooling actually highlights and brings into sharp focus.

Oh, I've learned much about myself along the way, and it hasn't all been pretty. Contrary to your vision of me donning spandex and a cape each day, most mornings find me scrambling to print out that day's math assignment and figuring out just what we are going to do for writing that day. If you interrupt this process or try to talk with me before I've finished my cup of coffee, you may get your head bitten off. Fair warning. I'm organized enough to have a general idea of what we're doing for the week and a skeleton of what this year might look like, though that's subject to change--but I'm nowhere near as organized as a classroom teacher has to be. I don't have daily lesson plans. I don't have lesson plans at all. I don't do art if I can help it. Messy science experiments I prefer to save for the summer months when they can be accomplished purely outdoors.


And please, I beg of you, in the name of all that is Holy, do not unexpectedly drop by my house unannounced at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning, or you will be greeted by something resembling the following scene, which will dispel once and for all the notion that I am superwoman, (but may serve to solidify the crazy part of the equation): The 2 year old is standing at the sink washing her hands, which she has been doing for the past half hour. She is soaked, and water puddles on the chair she is standing on and on the floor beneath her. The floor also happens to be littered with nuts and raisins from her previous activity, sorting trail mix. (That's what I like to call it, anyway, as it sounds better than "picking through to find the M&Ms.") The nifty little table activity I set out to keep her busy while I did 2nd grade math has long been abandoned for the greener pastures of free-ranging in the kitchen.

The preschooler has erected a massive fort in the living room, with blankets strewn everywhere. I'm pretty sure he's inside one of those tents because I hear the sounds of Minion Rush on the iPad coming from that direction. The 4th grader keeps trying to sneak over there to watch, abandoning his work on the computer. After a couple of fits of temper, the 2nd grader and I finally make it through an entire math lesson with only a few tears being shed. (Mine or his, I'm not sure. Depends on the day.) When I finally get up to dry the toddler and the kitchen floor, everyone else seems to think this is code for "quick! hit the Legos! It's free time!" I'm pretty sure I've given each of them a checklist for the morning, and I'm pretty certain those haven't been done and even more certain they don't contain the imperative to "play with Legos." In desperation, I put on a video for the under 6 crowd--something "educational", of course-- so we can have half an hour to work on Geography.

So if this, dear friend, is your vision of what Superwoman looks like, then I'll accept your compliment with thanks. And if it's your idea of crazy, well, sometimes it feels that way to me, too. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go remove this cape. It's time to make dinner.

Friday, October 11, 2013

7 quick takes ed. 1: end of fall, wacky schedules, and dog poop

Jen over at Conversion Diary hosts 7 quick takes Friday. You can click over there if you'd like. I'm not linking up over there, but wanted to give credit where it was due. 


My dog is pooping in the house. And in the car. Aside from being disgusting, it's sad. He's 14. We may be facing the end here, folks. I'm sure when I'm the ripe old age of 98, I won't have very good control over my bowels, either. *sigh*


The trees went from green to yellow to bare in the space of 2 weeks. Fall is nearing its end here in the far north. The snow is steadily creeping down the mountains surrounding us. It's a matter of weeks or days before we are locked in winter's grip. I'm hoping for weeks. The kids are rooting for days...


My husband's new work schedule--3 weeks on, 1 week off-- gives our family a little mini-vacation every month. Which has its ups, don't get me wrong. But you know that readjustment period directly following a vacay? Those few days (or a full week) when everyone is a little grumpy and things are a little off? Yup, I think we have that to look forward to once a month, too.


We joined a gym. I've actually been going faithfully. I have found a new love for spinning. Except the seats on those bikes are, in my opinion, unneccessarily hard. Do you think anyone would notice if I wore bubble wrap under my shorts?


My wonderful husband has taken over all of the laundry. All of it. I've never been very good with laundry. Well, I've always been pretty good about putting dirty clothes in the washer. Not as good at getting those transferred over to the dryer. Let's just say I had to usually sometimes run the same load through a second wash to get rid of the stale washer odor they accumulated from sitting there a wee bit too long. I was even worse at retrieving clean, dry loads from the dryer and folding them. We often had to hunt down clean socks from the dryer. But now my dear husband does a load each night. And if it wasn't enough that he gets up at 5 am for work, he now gets up at 5 am, throws clothes in the dryer, and has them folded before he leaves before work and, I'll admit it, before I'm even awake for the day...Whata guy!


Quite possibly, Bob the Builder may be the only reason I'm able to get more than just a little school work done with the older boys on most days.


I think perhaps the fact that I now have all 4 of my children sleeping mostly through the night mostly in their own beds has spoiled my ability to function on little to no sleep. I've had a few sleepless nights over the past few weeks with the kids and husband keeping me awake with this terrible cough that just.keeps.hanging.on and I find my ability to function well and maintain a pleasant demeanor has been severely impaired!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


The tundra in fall. Our fall colors are a little closer to the ground.


Enjoying a sun-filled fall day.


Well, okay, not so much funny. More like cute. I love how she's pulling on her dress while big brother reads to her. 


Our 2 new appliances. The coffee maker broke down months ago and we finally got tired of boiling water to use the french press. And our Crock Pot got lost in last year's move, and I wasn't prepared to go another winter without one. I've been putting this one to use making luscious steel-cut oats for us while we sleep. All the ingredients go in a steel bowl that goes inside the crockpot, which gets partly filled with hot water--creating a "double boiler" effect that perfectly cooks those oats overnight.

Friday, October 4, 2013


A montage of our summer days spent at Oma and Papa's house. We were there for 4 months while we waited for Daddy to get back from Afghanistan, and I had a new camera, so there are many, many pictures. And I'm just getting my feet wet with processing and editing and uploading and downloading... I think after this labor of love, I need a nap! Or a glass of wine.

*edited to add: if you click on the image, the collage will enlarge.