Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They arrived

This is what arrived just a few minutes ago.

It always feels a little like Christmas when I unpack the school books. The wonderful smell of new books. The pretty new covers that will look great for about 3 weeks...

I told each of the kids to pick their favorite thing.

Malachi absolutely loves encyclopedia type books. He has looked over our Usborne history and science books so much the covers are falling off! He wanted to show that he was crazy about history. I think the fact that he is crazy may have come across really well.

Lorna loves science kits. This year I splurged on a Chemistry kit that looks like it will be a lot of fun. Can you tell she hates having her picture taken?

I admit just seeing the books makes me a little more happy about starting school, although I did cringe a little when I took the writing book out of the box. I really do think the kids will learn to write just fine by reading lots of good books. But I caved into the pressure of buying something a bit more structured :(

It's funny, this will be our 8th year of homeschooling and each year my orders get smaller and smaller.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't want to!

I just don't want to start school. I put off ordering books until last week, they should arrive either today or tomorrow. At least I ordered books this year, last year I never got around to it! I'll have to spend a whole day doing the planning for the year once they arrive. I figure we will have to start the third week of September after we return from visiting my mom in Washington.

This is the first year I'm just not excited about doing school though. As I read various blogs in the morning I have to say I feel so guilty. Everyone seems to have either already started school or they have these really intensive schedules. I've really relaxed the way we do things over the last few years, so it takes 2-3 hours to accomplish everything I plan for a school day.

Here is our short list of subjects per kid:


Dictation (this is a new addition for him)


Vocabulary (new this year)
Writing (new this year, although I have doubts that I'll actually follow through)
Logic (new this year)

I don't count reading or exercise as part of school since I don't generally do anything special. The only structured thing the kids do is ride their horses once a month in gymkhana. They ride at home just about every day so I figure that's enough exercise. We all read constantly, I do add certain books to the kids' piles but that's as structured as we get with that. Lorna would like to start learning more about singing and music so we may work on those things on Fridays (our free day). You'll notice there is no foreign language in those lists. Lorna has done Latin for the last 5 years or so but she just doesn't want to continue and neither do I. Every year I have these hopes of studying famous artists or composers but we never get around to it, I'm not even putting it on the list this year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Farmer's Market

I've been lamenting the lack of a Farmer's Market in our valley for a couple of years, so when I saw the notice in the paper last week about an informational meeting to get one started I had to attend. I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted one in our valley! There was at least 40 people there and they've decided to start one this weekend. We already had plans to expand our garden for ourselves but this gives up that much more motivation to expand it a bit further next year. Also they are looking for people to sell handmade crafts that are "green" or eco-friendly. I have doubts about whether the items I sell on my store would actually sell but I thought I might give it a try in a few weeks. I'm thinking that reusable cloth grocery bags might be a good thing to add to my line-up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I wanted to share a link to this recipe for pitas.

I tried them a few days ago and they are wonderful! I've made 2 batches and they are almost gone. Malachi and Lorna have used them for pizza crusts and I've filled a number of them with fresh veggies. I love the fact that they are so easy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What now?

Why does finding a church have to be so difficult?

I think we must be too picky but I don't have any idea how to change that. The church we've been attending for the last few months just isn't working. The past 2 sermons we have heard have contained things that just aren't Biblical. There is always little to no law and lots of fluff. That combined with other less important things is just too much. None of us want to go to church anymore, we all dread what will be said or happen next. We are already driving over an hour and I don't want to even consider going any further. Our best options are 3+ hours away but when church starts at 8 or 9am that option becomes too much for even once a month, and that's not even taking into consideration the cost of fuel. I know I'm whining but I'm just so frustrated!

Caffeine Free!

I've been caffeine free for one whole week. This is a major accomplishment in my life. It took 4 days for the headache to go away but it's finally gone. Yeah for me!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The following images my be a bit disturbing, so don't say I didn't warn you...

Have you ever wondered what apathy looks like? Have you ever driven by a house and thought to yourself, "How do they live like that?" If you have, then you may have driven by mine. Here are some pictures so you can get the full effect, I didn't pick up anything so it looks just like it normally does.

Does it look like no one in this house cares? I do but I need help. We don't have a garage which is a big part of my problem, there is nowhere to store those things I would normally put out of sight. Beyond that I just can't seem to keep up with both the inside and outside. The inside of the house is somewhat cluttered but clean. I can see the surface of all workspaces and there are no piles of papers or books. It is all the energy I have to just keep the inside looking that way though.

It never works for me to tell the kids to go outside and pickup trash that has blown on the property. I can give specific instructions to put the stuff in the carport away but it is just thrown somewhere else. The front "porch" is only as clean as it is because I've made a concerted effort to keep it cleared off the last 3 weeks. To be honest I can't even step into the shed you see in one of the pictures because something fell over in there. I've cleaned out that shed at least 4 times this year but it seems that it's impossible to keep it clean.

So I need some constructive thoughts on what I can do to get this place cleaned up. I'm having a difficult time motivating myself and my family. I would love to build another shed or something to contain some of the mess but we just don't have the money right now. We have to get the washer into an enclosure by winter so all of our monetary resources need to go towards that project.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Catching up

Why is it that when you get sick for just a few days it seems to take a week or more to catch up?

Not much is going on around here but sewing, cleaning, sewing, and sewing. You notice I only mentioned cleaning once :) The house wasn't in the best shape before I got sick so I'm only attempting to get it back to that "okay but not great" level. Once things slow down in the sewing department I have some major cleaning and decluttering I want to get around to. It's probably just wishful thinking that I'll ever get this place to be uncluttered since it's so small.

We got our first cucumber out of the garden but the skin was really bitter. I'm not giving up, this is the first time I've ever had a cucumber actually grow in any garden I've planted. There are now lots of little green tomatoes all over the plants which is also really exciting. I know that in town people have already had ripe tomatoes but since we are 1500 feet higher in elevation we are slightly behind them in the ripening process. We still haven't had any green beans and the plants seem to be dying so I think I may have to give up on the idea of ever growing them here :( The squash plants are limping along as well which may actually be a blessing since I have way too many plants. We are getting just enough squash to keep us happy but not so much that I'm stressed by some of it going bad.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I spoke too soon...

We spent the last week without internet. We had our new system up and running for one whole day before it went down. Last Thursday night the modem just suddenly stopped working. We were able to finally get a new modem yesterday only to find out the problem was with the power cord not the modem. The installer was able to get us a new cord today.

I learned some things about HughesNet...

They outsource all their tech support to India. I spent over an hour talking to various people who couldn't help me. It was more than a little frustrating to have to decipher what they were telling me. I spent lots of time asking them to repeat what they had just said since some of the accents were so thick.

The company cannot overnight parts because all their tech support people are not in this country. There is a really long convoluted process that takes place when they need to order spare parts.

They don't really care whether or not their service works. At least they were willing to credit us for the time we were down.

I learned some things about myself...

I spend way too much time on the Internet :)

I can get lots done when I'm not sitting here wasting time, like I am now.

It's really difficult to pay the bills when you don't have access to the internet and you have opted for paperless billing.