Friday, September 28, 2007


Homeschoolers have plenty of stereotypes thrown around about them. In our own circles we have the different types of schooling. Here are some that I've seen... The unschoolers who of course do nothing. The textbook users who only use textbooks and are trying to recreate a traditional school setting. We have those that plan out their lessons and follow a rigorous schedule, they aren't flexible at all and their kids always go to college when they are 7 years old. We have homeschoolers that give the rest of us a bad name (whoever they may be). I could go on but I think you get the point.

From the outside we have those stereotypes that say we are all hermits who are hiding our children at home. These kids never see the light of day and are unsocialized. We've all heard the dreaded question, "What about socialization?" from those outside of the homeschooling world. The answer most people throw at them is that there are park days, field trips, boy/girl scouts, sports, co-op classes, college classes, support groups, church youth groups, 4H, etc. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that even that is a stereotype. In our quest to prove to the world that our kids are socialized we are assuming they need any and all of those opportunities not to become what everyone else thinks they are. By listing all those things, what are we saying about those homeschoolers who either aren't involved in any of those thing or don't have access to groups and classes and such? I think we are giving the impression that those who aren't involved in outside activities of some sort are still unsocialized hermits. Maybe these are the homeschoolers who give the rest of us a bad name...

Our family falls into this category. We aren't involved in much of anything. I used to shy away from these things because I didn't feel comfortable and the groups I happened to find were too much into religious beliefs that didn't match mine and wanted me to believe the same way they did. Now we don't have access to any of these things because of where we live and the fact that we only have one vehicle. I can't even pull out that old favorite that the kids are out in the world with me when we go shopping because I don't do the shopping anymore! What I've realized is that this doesn't make the kids any less socialized. We haven't turned into the dreaded hermits that people must imagine when they ask about socialization. We still talk to one another, have conversations about politics or current events, and once in awhile talk to other people on the phone. When we do go out the kids don't stick out like aliens with 2 heads, they can still speak and be polite (although that does tend to make them stick out a bit). With school just having started up people's favorite question is, "What grade are you going into?" Followed by, "What school do you attend?" They wouldn't bother asking if our kids stuck out like unsocialized hermits because they would automatically know that we must homeschool. They always seem to be surprised that we do this homeschooling thing. We must not look like what everyone assumes homeschoolers look like. I have a hunch that homeschoolers don't look like anything specific. Of course most of us homeschooling moms wear denim jumpers with Birkenstocks and have long hair...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reevaluating our schedule

As I was looking at other people's blogs and such it made me realize how little fun stuff we do for school. When we first started hsing we did fun projects like paper mache and crafty stuff. Over the years that stuff has gradually been replaced by just getting through the day. In an effort to introduce a little more fun and creativity into our school time I've decided to take Fridays off for projects.

This week we will just do some coloring and salt dough. I have all these worksheet books left over from teaching and Lorna is interested in trying a few. It doesn't sound like all that much fun to me but she's excited. The sheets involve solving equations, coloring the figures, then cutting them out to make 3d shapes. Malachi is on a painting kick right now so he wants to make salt dough figures and paint them. I've ordered a book on volcanoes from the library for next week.

One of the things I always see people suggest to moms just starting out hsing is the idea of going on field trips or to the park or the library. We used to do those things. I miss being able to pick up and drive to a museum or the library but having only one vehicle in the family doesn't allow that. The one thing the kids remember with great fondness about living in IN were the times we drove to Chicago to go the Field Museum. They still talk about those trips. It makes me feel guilty that we can't do those kinds of things here. I'm hoping that these Friday project days will help to brighten up our school days.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Sundays are the hardest day for me. I get up in the morning feelings like I'm missing something and of course I am missing something, church.

We are still searching but haven't got past the calling stage. The problem is getting calls back. We have finally given up on one church, Paul's left 3 messages over the last 6 weeks. He explained each time that we are looking for a church for our family and he had a few questions. We called another church 1.5 weeks ago. The answering machine said the pastor only picks up the messages on Sunday so we were prepared for a little bit of a wait but were hoping for a call sometimes this past week. The last church we called only had a generic message so we think it was the church but we aren't totally sure. All of these places are over an hour away so we need to verify service times and make sure they use a hymnal before we drive all the way there.

This would be funny if it wasn't so important.

Paul has been working almost 40 hours at the grocery store at night so I'm very limited on the amount of time I have access to the truck. He got home this morning at 8:20 so any church we try has to be late enough that I have enough time to drive there. So far that hasn't been a problem since we can't even get one to call us back and most places have service times of 9:30 or later. Maybe next week we will have better luck, Paul is off next Sunday so at least I don't have to worry about drive time.

Friday, September 21, 2007


We have had internet problems this week, first our dish couldn't get a lock on the satellite and then the power was out. Today I have cause to hope that we will have more problems.

Those are clouds! We've had rain the past 2 nights and we have hope for more today and tomorrow. It's amazing how much you appreciate the smell of rain when you haven't had any since last year. We had one or two small snow storms at the beginning of this year but we hadn't had any rain until 2 nights ago.

The kids and I even went outside yesterday evening and washed the truck in the rain. I figured we might as well take advantage of the water!

Along with the rain has come chilly temperatures. It's amazing the difference the colder weather has made in my outlook. The oppressive summer heat seems to be finished for the year. Even before this storm moved in, the temps were down in the low 80s and we all seemed to have more energy. Now the temps are in the 60s and we are all enjoying it immensely! I'm hoping that we will have no further reason to wear shorts this year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shopping locally

I'm all for shopping locally except when it seems the local store is trying to take advantage of people.

We have an authorized Cingular store in town. When we were looking to get Paul a phone a year ago we went to them after looking online. We walked in and asked which "free phones" they had in stock. Cingular's site offered the choice of almost 20 phones free with activation. The store closest to us didn't offer any, the cheapest one they had in-stock was $50 with a 2 year contract. Needless to say we signed up online and received the phone in the mail in 3 days.

Paul needs a new battery for his phone. We did a little bit of research online and found a number of batteries that will work, the price was between $4 and $20 depending on the brand and strength. I called the store here in town, they want $50 for the $4 battery I found online! We've decided to just order the battery and pay shipping since we will save ourselves around $40.

I really don't know how this place in town stays in business!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What color crayon

I saw this on a number of blogs I read so I decided to give it a try. It's a pretty accurate representation of how I see myself.

You Are a Red Crayon

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors.
You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself.
Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming.
Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships.

Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Something I never thought I would say

Lorna came in laughing and out of breath. I asked what she had been up to and she said she was trying to hit her brother with horse manure. When I asked why, she said he started it. My reaction to both of them, "We do not throw manure!"

I couldn't help but laugh. I never would have guessed I would have to tell my kids not to throw horse apples at each other!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's done

I finished the chemise last night and overall I'm pleased with how it came out. The directions were really quite good and easy to follow.

Here is an up close view of the gusset. I really like the way it looks and fits.

I think I might have reversed the front and back pieces but I'm not sure. I guess if I can't tell for sure it's not the end of the world! I made this one of muslin even though the pattern calls for a lighter weight fabric. I couldn't find anything that was still breathable and this seemed to be rather thin anyway.

We've decided to get some fun pajama type fabric to do a few more for Lorna to wear to bed. Right now she sleeps in big, holey t-shirts and cotton shorts so I'm all for making more if she will wear them!

Friday, September 07, 2007

A chemise and flat felled seams

I've been working on a pattern I received from Sense and Sensibility last week. I purchased both the underthings pattern and the regency gown pattern for Lorna. I thought it would make more sense to start with the chemise since it goes under the dress. I'm really hoping that it looks better on than it does off. Right now it looks about 5 sizes too big. I measured her 3 times before deciding on a size and the arms should fit perfectly but the rest looks too big. It's possible it's supposed to be really loose since the pattern calls for a drawstring around the neckline.

The pattern had a gusset that goes underneath the sleeves. I couldn't picture how this was going to work so I just followed the pattern one tiny step at a time. The whole thing is so neat looking!

The most tedious and frustrating part of the pattern in the flat felled seams. The result is really nice but it seems like such a waste of time for something that goes under a dress. I just keep thinking that this is the reason I own a serger! When I do another one I'm going to see if I can figure out how to finish the seams on the serger and save myself a lot of time and frustration.

Once I finish the neck and hem I'll post a picture on Lorna 2 (the duct tape dummy).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Duct tape dummy

One of the most frustrating things with sewing is trying to fit things so they look good on our bodies. The patterns are a good general guideline but as Lorna grows I'm having more trouble getting things to fit well. I gave up sewing for myself a long time ago because the outfit never looked quite right once I had it finished. I looked into dress forms but found them to be a bit pricey. So I decided to take instructions I found here and I would try to make one out of duct tape.

Since I used the freebie instructions I had to kind of wing it as to how to place the tape so it didn't wrinkle too much. I'm pleased with how it turned out and it should make sewing for Lorna that much easier. Since it came out so well I'm going to have Paul tape me up next so that I can attempt to sew something for myself!

Break from School

Most people only had Monday off but we are taking the whole week off!

You might think that is a silly thing to do since we just started school but that's one of the joys of homeschooling, I make the schedule. We have finished 4 straight weeks of school with very few interruptions. I really dislike having 4 day weeks because it throws off all future weeks. We start school early so we can take lots of weeks off during the year and still be finished in June.

Of course I thought it would be a treat but the kids were bummed because they thought they would be bored. No one is allowed to be bored in this house, I can always find more chores to do. It's funny they seem to be finding plenty of things to do around the house when I reminded them I had work that needed to be done :)