Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Who Are You and What Have You done With Sweet Potato???

As I dragged my coughing, sleepy self from my bed, and made a smoothie for breakfast, my pajama clad child came down and announced she had only TWO! wait I mean three! subjects left in school.  She had gotten up at precisely 6:11am and went into the school room and did her school.  Whoo hoo...

She rattled off how easy science was and that school is easy today. Picture me rubbing sleep from my eyes and pinching myself to see if I was still sleeping... Is this the child that I forgot to give schoolwork too on Martin Luther King day thus making the transition back to school icky....  Tuesday was horribly long and lasted till 10:30pm!  Well not to look a gift school day in the mouth, I finished off my breakfast and trotted upstairs to check out her progress. Yes it was all getting worked on and the books she had finished with were on the book shelf!  They were not piled on the floor desk and chair like usual.  *happy dance*  I need to give her a big reward, a really big reward for this. Maybe I'll take her to Sonic for lunch...

I did have to hand her back a few quickly done bits and pieces but this... this is progress.

We did talk about a lot of things yesterday,
What are my goals for you, and What are your goals for yourself?
What do you want to do with your life (this changes daily)?
What tools do you need to be able to choose your career?
and I can see that some of it stuck,  for today at least.

I really want her to realize I'm on her side. I want her school done early enough that she has free time.  Lets face it if she is free, I am free as well! School traps me as much, if not more than it does her.  It reminds me of the car example in the Speed of Trust where the son gets a speeding ticket and the parents are in mourning because they had to ground their extra driver.  Now Mom and Dad are stuck having to play chauffeur again when previously the older child could be the chauffeur.

I'm glad to see her have a good day with good patterns, here is hoping it will stick!

Friday, January 23, 2015


I had a talk with Sweet Potato about creativity today. She had turned in a hurried essay on the Holocaust. You could tell it was done in a rush and was done for "doings sake" not for achieving merit in school.  I'm really struggling on how to foster creativity in this "entertain me" child.

I asked her what did creativity mean to her? At first all she would say was "I don't know." I pointed out there was no right or wrong answer to the question. I just wanted to know what did she think when I said creativity. After a few moments she said all in a rush "Drawing and stuff like that, and I'm not a good drawer."  The answer was exactly what I suspected it would be. How often do we get caught up in the thought that creativity is only regulated to the muses, the arts, and never to applied to work or relationships?

To me creativity is in all walks of life. The cook who makes substitutes to the recipe and it tastes better, the manager who figures out who is best suited to each task and has a smooth running department. The janitor who figures out an efficient way to clean the floors and happily hums as he works. The child who piles all of the pillows under the blankets and declares a dinosaur is sleeping.

We delved deep into this idea that creativity is not just art but for example; her pursuit of Star Wars videos via apps on her iPod is creative. I think she got it because she said "Wait creative writing I have a book called creative writing, so writing is creative too! You know Mom it was that other school - my teacher that told me to only be creative in drawing."  I'm sure this statement taken in context would totally make sense :-) but I'm not sure I like her interpretation of it at this time.

Fostering creativity in this child has always been a struggle for me. When I try to teach her the skills needed to excel at a task where she can be creative, she just wants to learn the rote way. When given tasks that need problem solving she sits and waits for it to be solved for her.  Sadly she did learn "If I wait long enough someone will come and fix it." mentality in special education. *sigh*

My current prayer is to foster creativity and problem solving in her, how I do not know. I'll keep casting my net out and trying new ways till the spaghetti sticks to the wall. :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Homeschool 2015 January

I'm so happy I have allowed other kids to come be schooled in our schoolroom. The benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.   I'm happy because I love to fill my life with people. I know it doesn't look like that from afar but its true. I get warmfuzzies from serving others. Sweet Potato is still not pushing as many of mom's buttons because well other people are there and she doesn't do that when other people are around. I rather like it, it's nice to not be on watch all the time. I'm sure it is good for us all. It falls into the getting it right the first time category.  I love that bit, laying down neruo-pathways of doing it right.

I am getting pushback from Sweet Potato but it's not really bad at all, kinda normal and I'm glad she is defending herself and her actions. That shows a spark we need to see in her. Now if we could just direct it to positive school energy... well may be not, but I can hope right? 

Little Miss Sunshine is doing well and plugging along with school. I belive she likes having a companion to do school with. Her best friend has also come to share our schooling space but I'm grateful they are not in the same program. I'm not sure any work would get done if they had shared books. Sadly right after "best friend" joined us she had to run of too another state for a family emergency. Happily she is homeschooled so her work could be packed up in a carry on and traveled with her. I do love the portability of HOD. Many support trips we have just taken school along with us. 

The dynamic of the small one room school house feel makes my heart happy. I can cover one topic they all are learning about and then I can work one on one with my kids where they need help. It is taking longer and I do need to supervise the chit chat but I'm happy they are such diligent kids they stick to their work. Sometimes all it takes is a *ahem* from me to have them realize chatting is for Lunch time. 

I have found I need to order my days more carefully and this week I required of myself a meal plan for the week.  I love to cook and just make what my fancy strikes me of our "regularly" scheduled meals but I know my days will be happier if I have a plan and stick to it. I'm trying to feed my Knight in Shining Armor a more Mediterranean diet.  Altho Monday I made his favorite P. F. Changs copycat lettuce wraps without the sugar they were so yummy! 

I'm debating whether to make lamb stew or moroccan soup... I have turnips to cook :-) I think it will be the soup, in actuality there is little difference between them, just a matter of spices and my menu says soup... using up lamb looks to be the order of the day. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Texting Rules When your Mom is a Gamer.

A few weeks ago when I had some free time I managed to get in a group of online friends and raided a dungeon. I really love the interactivity of this part of the game and I love playing with people I know, but I don't do it very often because it means I am not Present enough for my children.  I wasn't feeling great (Aunti Flo was visiting) so I holed up in my bedroom with my nice toasty warm computer and logged on to play and forget my troubles.

My daughter decided it would be a perfect time to text me non stop because well I must be lonely and not very busy since "You are only resting Mom!." After a bit I had to stop playing as I couldn't juggle texting and killing mythical beasts at the same time. Instead I put my tongue in my cheek and wrote these rules while replying to her nonstop texts.

feel free to laugh...

1. If your mom is in the next room go in and talk to her. Really! you are outside my door and you are texting me?

2. If you got your phone, iPod, or texting device taken away don't use your friends device to text mom while she is killing things... unless its an emergency wait then you should call me!

3. Make sure the right person is receiving your texts, if you become to annoying Dad will take the dinging phone that he can hear upstairs away from Mom because it is distracting him...

4. Make sure the back door is securely closed so the dogs don't get out, or mom will have to AFK while her 4 friends wait as she answers the door, and has to holler for anyone NOT wearing a bathrobe to go chase the dogs back in the house. 

5. If she says "I'm killing the boss", or "I'm in a dungeon" realize she is playing with real people... yes you are real person too, but texting one word at a time so Mom is distracted is not funny for the 4 other people counting on her to heal and fight beside them.

6. Stop being weird... texting your mom phrases you want to try out to see how she will react read how angry she will get, while her mind is engaged in killing a boss will most likely lead to you loosing your texting device for even longer periods of time.

7. Texting your mom "is it ok to breath......."  which you have never asked permission to do before because you know it is vital for life. Realize I know your texting just because its fun to text. It is ok until you find out mom is killing a boss. Then please stop texting as is very distracting and can get your mom killed in game.... Mom getting the loot is a happy mom. Mom dying in a dungeon is not a happy mom. It won't break my heart but it does effect my xp! 

As for real life texting rules...

8. Don't text me when you know I'm driving, I want to live to see you graduated high school.

9. If I don't reply right away it doesn't mean I don't love you. It could be one of these reasons:
I'm working.
I didn't hear my phone because Dad turned it on vibrate. because you were texting me so much it was bugging him.
I left my phone in the car again and can't find it.
I'm taking a nap.
Its in my coat pocket on the other side of the room and I'm actually talking to a real person and didn't hear it. 

10. Don't assume I'm mad.

11. Texting is a tool not a toy.

12. Texting is not a replacement for a real conversation or relationship.

13. Saying I LOVE YOU in person has far more meaning than "I heart U"

Monday, January 19, 2015

He is Home

So my dear hubby left me again and when he goes he likes to keep it off social media. I totally understand his request, its like posting; Hey I'm at a restaurant 150 miles from home go rob it :-).  I think there are even a few spoof sites called robmenow and so forth.

It was a good time Hubby was happy to be in India and I was happy to let him go.  We ate lots of carb based meals and food we usually don't keep in this diabetic friendly house.  This was one of the best Daddy's not home times.

I kept trying to practice Stephen Covey Jr's Smart Trust on the kids.  Allas Sweet Potato is not yet ready for her iPod all night long long. I'm so amazed at her persistence and ability, to get at Star War Videos on You Tube. Of course this behavior only shows me the depth of her will. She really does have what it takes to push through when it matters to her. Now the first time she "stayed up all night" watching videos it was not a school day afterward. She felt horrible and I let her sleep most of the day.  The second time it was a school day, and well she had to do school and chores and she slogged though the day.  I didn't even bat an eye hey darling look you feel icky and you can barely think all because you lived out a fantasy.

I had the fantasy as a child, I thought my parents stayed up because... well because no one was there to tell them to go to bed. They ruled their life they could stay up ALL night! as I got older and experienced the needs of adulthood I soon discovered bed time is a privilege reserved for the young and responsible-less.  I'm glad she choose to watch videos till 4am and have a horrible day... I'm glad she choose to do it second time. What better place for her to experience the ahem *joys* of sleep deprivation headaches, feeling sick and unable to eat well, and dozing off as soon as you sit down, than in her own home.  I'm not sure she has figured out this is not a good idea, but I do see glimmers of hope.

I think she is becoming aware of all that is required of an adulthood that is responsible, and productive full of good character qualities.
Consider: as parents can we do any better than helping our children to be productive members of society in what ever skills God has bequeathed them?