However, the newsletter is just about complete. It'll be copied and uploaded tomorrow, and I can shift back into normal life. Ha! Ha! I'm never sure what "normal" really means. But I haven't come up with a clever word to use in its place.
Warning: Having not blogged for so long, I'm off and rambling, so grab a cup of coffee, a soda, hot tea, or something of your choosing, kick back, and relax, while reading the mind-numbing excitement found in my brain.
FUN NEWS: The Homeschool Lounge is up and running. It's a FREE online social network community for homeschool parents; the very first of its kind! You can create your own space, participate in the forum or groups, create a blog or promote your current blog, chat live with other homeschoolers, and invite others to join in. You can visit me here (in case you don't want to visit me here). Come on over!
LIFE WITH BOYS: It seems like there must be other things going on in my life. We're gearing up for the Klondike Derby with Boy Scouts this weekend. Naturally, the boys have outgrown much of their cold weather gear so we've been trying to pick up new stuff for them. So far, so good. I think bigger gloves are the last thing on the list. That, and I need new boots. I got some great Lands End boots last year, but they rubbed on my leg and I just can't wear them (that's them in the photo). Since they're black and gray (not girly colors) and my son's feet have grown, they became his this winter. And he loves them.
The son who inherited my boots seems to be catching a cold. I'm sure hoping that goes away QUICKLY. Otherwise, that will make a mess of our plans for the Klondike . . . and tomorrow's Bible study . . . plus he's missing bowling today. Phooey.
EDUCATIONALLY SPEAKING: On the homeschool front - my oldest son's math program is still missing! While it was loaded on the computer, it's no longer working and I cannot find the disk. He was using Alpha Omega's Switched on Schoolhouse for math. I thought it would be good for him to have something he could do a little more independently. Rather than suspend his math education until the disk shows up (which could be indefinitely), I've ordered the LifePac math from AOP. This is what he used in the past and he did well with it. The nice thing is that the LifePacs come in 10 booklets for the grade and subject. So I didn't have to buy an entire year's curriculum. I was able to just buy the booklet that picks up where he is in 8th grade math. It's also much less expensive this way. So we'll go this route for the remainder of the year.
I'm also starting a different math program for my other son from Charlotte Mason. Because Charlotte Mason believed in educating via "real life," in this program, your child gets to set up a store and run it (on paper) for an entire year. They have to learn how to track inventory, fill orders, pay bills, order more inventory, etc. I think he'll enjoy it. I also hope it will build some math-fidence in him. He's actually brilliant and can do so much in his head, but he gets these mental blocks and thinks that he can't do math. Hardly. So maybe this will be fun for him and help break down those walls.
HOLIDAYS: In the past, I've done some fun things for Valentine's Day for my family. I used to make personal pizzas (heart-shaped, of course),serve red cream soda in clear goblets, have red candles and napkins, use fun Valentine placemats I made, and have a little Valentine treat after dinner. One year, I actually used my PC kitchen shears to cut the pepperonis into hearts! I also made pink heart-shaped pancakes a year or two.
Now? A big, fat ZIP! A "Happy Valentine's Day" greeting, "I Love You's" throughout the day (athough that's totally normal!), and that's it. Sad, isn't it? No cards, no heart-shaped pepperoni on heart-shaped pizza, nothing. I was trying to figure out why I fell off the celebratory wagon, and I realized that it was because I spent a few years delivering flowers for a friend of mine who owned a florist shop. I was SUPER busy for 2-3 days, coordinating deliveries, making deliveries, and by the time I got home, tired and late, we just went to Taco Bell for dinner. I did get a bit of a reprieve today on the newsletter, so maybe I'll do something fun and sweet and loving for my family. They might appreciate that.
By the way - if you get flowers delivered to you, be sure and thank that person, knowing that they may be entirely bypassing their own celebration and family in order to help make your day special.
WRITING: In addition to newsletter editing and writing, I'm still writing a devotional twice a month at the Homeschool Blog Awards site. Today's is about the Little Things in life. It's a slightly edited version of a post here from almost a year ago.
I know that I've mentioned The Heart of the Matter (like when it's published each month), but I don't think I've said that I'm writing for that e-zine as well. Silly, isn't it? I write all over the place, but don't actually SAY that I write. I guess I don't feel qualified to call myself a writer/author. But that's okay, God's bigger than my insecurities about writing.
My column at Heart of the Matter? It's about balance and organizing. Most of you have NO idea how absolutely hysterical that is. God definitely has a sense of humor. I'm so out-of-balance and disorganized that I drive myself crazy. Oh, I really work at achieving those goals, but they just never seem to stick. I've read the books, I know the ideas, I know what to do and how to do it, but life and entropy always seem to interfere. I found out long ago that God takes us through the exact thing we struggle with. Well, he does that with me, anyway. Maybe some of you have it together and He doesn't have to do that to you. One year, I asked our women's ministry director if our next event could be about the blessings of God! LOL!! I didn't want to have to live another one about contentment or whatever else we had covered. Ha! Ha!
READING: Oh, I actually have been reading as a part of the Winter Reading Challenge hosted by Trish. That gets squeezed in before I fall asleep at night. Many times I have to use reading as a tool to shut my brain down. Otherwise, my thoughts bounce around like a few dozen pinballs, making sleep nearly impossible (a little like reading this post - although sleep might be entirely possible in this case). I'll get a couple of reviews up shortly. I've read The Oak Leaves, The Scarlet Thread, and am just about done with The Shop on Blossom Street. Only the first book was on my list, but I'm just as random and impulsive in reading as the rest of life.
Hmm . . . maybe I should've separated this into multiple posts. Then you wouldn't be dozing off, and I'd have something to post another day. Nah - that interrupts my flow of randomosity.
Thanks for sticking around if you read this far. Enjoy your day. Do something fun. Or funny. Just so you smile and/or laugh. Although personally, I prefer laughing - a lot!
p.s. - no laughing about the few little scraps of unintended color in the background of my Bunny. And I don't know how to get rid of the silly box, so it's just there . . . until I can learn how to deal with it. :-)