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Showing posts from 2012

Time to talk...

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As usual, in the wake of Newtown, there has been a lot of blah blahing on FB about gun control, putting God back into school, and other various "let's fix this" items. And at the risk of losing friends, I have a few things to say about that.

First yes, Newtown was a tragedy. I lost my father in June of this year and honestly, I didn't want to talk about or anything. I still don't. I can't imagine what losing your 6 year old would be like. I don't want to imagine it, but for the love of Pete, please leave those people alone. That's all I'm going to say about that.

The first thing I heard was "get rid of all the guns". Um, I don't think that's the answer. Since only the honest, law abiding citizens would actually turn in their guns. I consider myself to be an honest law abiding citizen and I wouldn't give up mine. So now I'm a baddie with a gun. Not saying I'm perfect - but I don't exactly fit into that category eit…

First half of the year

Goodness, I can't believe it's almost Christmas! Our year has been going pretty good though. Some things we're having problems with though:

Getting my boy to remember anything about history. I don't know if we need something more hands on, more heavily invested in writing, or just some books to reinforce. Granted, the Middle Ages is sooo long ago for an 11 year old. To him, the 1980's is more like the middle ages. No computers? No video games? *gasp* how did we even survive he often wonders! One day he asked if we even had cars. Um yeah, no sweetie, we rode dinosaurs everywhere. Or Fred Flinstone cars. pshh

We are backtracking through some missed, or not learned, math concepts from grade 5. He's still struggling with some of them, so I think that is right where we need to be.

The middle of the year also starts the look to the next year. What's working for us? What isn't? What are we willing to change for the next year. After all, he will be in 7th grade ne…

Ups and Downs

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In October, my husband quit smoking. I'm not a quitter though. At least that's what I always said when someone would ask me about quitting. But, I decided to give it a shot after the incessant nagging from my boys (and the always stuffed sinus', and the nagging sore throat, you get the idea). So, I went to my Doctor - he always said "Whenever you're ready call and we'll make a plan." So we made a plan:

Chantix

O.K. I don't know if any of you have used this. One of the big side effects is "vivid dreams". That's the big one everyone talks about. Another side effect, "may cause difficulty sleeping". Bingo! That would be the side effect I got. After a week on them I would have welcomed any dream - vivid or other-wise. Even taking my sleeping pills offered no sleep.

So, off the Chantix - I need a plan B though. I didn't have a plan B. I'm most certainly not a cold turkey kind of girl. Hubby used Wellbutrin (which I tried be…

Slacker Blogger Returns

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I'm not just a slacker because I haven't posted in a while. I'm also a slacker because I'm posting without pictures.

After drinking two glasses of wine and taking my sleeping pill.

And going two days without a cigarette.

Yeah, this is going to be a nonsense post if I ever saw one. Read one, typed one, whatever. You get my point, right? Of course you do.

So we've been doing good. We are about 9 months away from Erik's retirement. He's starting to get a smidge crabby. And by smidge I mean iceberg size crabby. Unfortunately, I'm sure that will increase exponentially as the months move past us.

I'm still trying to talk him into becoming an expat. I thought I might have a leg to stand on after the election, but he's still resistant. When will he realize that I'm like the Borg - resistance is futile? I've even opened the pool to other Central/South American countries, but he's not rolling with it yet.

(I must remember gentle nagging only)

Working Together

I follow Hip Homeschool Moms, both in blog form and on Facebook. I love them. A group of homeschoolers helping out other homeschoolers. Let's face it, we all need that sometimes! If you don't follow them you should! I love how on their FB page they will throw out random questions that make you think, laugh, or whatever. I also love that people message them (I'm just guessing here) and ask questions which get put out there for all the other page fans to see and hopefully help the stressed out, stumped homeschooling parent.

I wish I had a chance to follow all the updates, but if I get on FB then lets face it - my schoolwork doesn't get done! My son's always gets done (um well, usually always). So when I saw an update the other day that said something to the effect of "play nice" it made me upset. I don't usually offer any tips if I have no experience. Sometimes I say 'we tried such and such, but it wasn't a good fit for our family' or whateve…

When is it Home?

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Growing up in the military, spending 20 years in the military, and currently being the spouse of military member makes it hard to have roots. Home was always where we were at the moment. When I was in the military home was either Salt Lake City or Lansing. I've never lived in either of those places - that's where my parents had settled down so 'home' was where they were. Ask any adult military brat where they are from and they will say "I'm a military brat." or in my case I say "I'm a Navy brat." We are rootless nomads.

Since both my parents are gone, home is neither of those places anymore. Home is here - where I live. Not that it hasn't always been that way. I just had some nether world I could call home, while we were in our temporary place. Until the military moved us again.

Now we've lived here, in South Carolina, for over six years. In the same house. At the same exact place. How does that happen? How do you stay in one place f…

I'm Thankful and Sad

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A lot of my friends on FB are doing the 30 days of thankfulness (or whatever it's called) and that's cool. I have a lot to be thankful for - my boys, my friends, a roof over my head, etc etc etc.

What I'm most thankful for is the election is over. Although I'm not glad with the results, what's done is done and it's time to move forward. I'm going to be honest though, this was not my first thought. Not by a long shot.

Thought #1 - I'm going to vomit

Thought #2 - Well, the Mayans did predict the world will end next month, so maybe it will end up ok

Thought #3 - I wonder how long it will take to get passports and blow this lemonade stand?

Thought #4 - Montana is pretty big - I bet we could buy a piece of land and fall off the grid.

But, the end, I'm proud to be American. I love this country, even if I'm not sure where it's headed. I know I can't defend my rights if I'm not here. But most of all I know we must all now stand united and make sur…

November?

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I can't believe it's November, I'm not sure where October went! Goodness, Christmas is almost here!!
We've been doing good here. Enjoying some unseasonably warm weather for fall.

Getting pictures taken for the school year. 


Hitting up the pumpkin patch where we not only enjoyed the corn maize and picked our pumpkin but also got to make Erik jealous by checking out an old firetruck



We didn't get many trick or treaters on Halloween. Zach doesn't trick or treat. Not because we don't let him - goodness, I'd love it if he went and collected tons of free candy for me - but because he doesn't eat candy, so he doesn't think it's right to take something he won't eat. Sometimes he's too nice!! He is my candy hander outer and likes to see all the different costumes. I guess since that works for him it works for me too. He did ask for a Boo (from Mario) pumpkin, and Erik did his best without a stencil or anything. The picture is pretty dark, but th…

Science? Really?

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Well, I've been terrible about updating this blog - my other blog also sits on the sidelines waiting for me to update.

We've had some setbacks in the last month. I finally realized my son was missing important math skills, so we've put our 6th grade math on hold and have moved back to 5th grade. We are moving through it pretty rapidly, focusing more on the things that he missed in public school. I'm not sure why this surprised me since I had to do this the first year we homeschooled too. I could just kick myself for being silly enough to put him into public school for those two years. I hope we can get on track and be at grade level by the end of the year.

The bain of my college classes right now is Science. I've never been good at Science. This strikes me as odd since it is the one subject my son excels at. He took one of my pretests (not official, just in the book) and scored way better than I did. A college level test - one that sadly had me stumped. Plus I got th…

Welcome!

So, after getting rid of all my other blogs, here I am starting a new one. I must be crazy!

This one is for all our homeschooling stuff. Not just the boys, but also my journey through WGU, where I'm enrolled to get my teaching degree.

Parents can balance working at home, working outside of the home, and homeschooling - I figured I can learn and teach my little man at the same time!


More to come....


Homeschool Update

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I missed connecting with Hip Homeschool Moms this week on their Tuesday Hip Homeschool Hop. Boo!

We are about six weeks into our school year and we've made some changes (who's surprised?), but that's how it goes around here.

Remember this picture?

















Yeah, well the only thing left that we're using is actually the math. And little man is complaining about how it repeats, but we are staying the course with math. I know he needs the spiral approach with math, so he's just going to have to deal.

So, what are we using know?

Well, we are using Horizons Math. It works, and if he gets it, I don't assign every problem. That's helped calm him down a lot about the repetitiveness of it all.

We really love Alpha Omega products. I know a lot of homeschoolers think they are not advanced enough, or whatever. The small sections work great for Zach, who is ADD, so I can't say enough good things about them.

We switched from the AOP lifepacs in History, to their online offer…

My Favorite Things

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Homeschooling works differently for everyone, which is the beauty of it. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite homeschool things.



I'm not exactly sure how I managed to keep track of everything before this little wonder. I tried all kinds of planners - online, homemade, you name it. This just works. I balked at the cost at first, but it's well worth it. There's a place for grades, report cards, tear out shopping lists, and of course schedules. Since I have to prove what we taught all year having this in one spot is awesome.







Colored pencils. These are more for me too. I grade with them and sometimes, yes, mom makes a mistake. Instead of crossing it out and making the page look all nasty and sloppy I can erase these. And I can choose any color I want. Yes, sometimes moms need to have some fun too!




A calculator. I wish I had one this big! I'm not a math whiz and never will be, so when figuring grades I have to use this. What a lifesaver!
Also recently I found …

Ready to Move

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I hate moving. I swore this move would be our last and we would just stay here in SC forever. But...

I really want to move. And not just anywhere - there are a lot of places I could go


Arizona, for example. I have family there, a sister, a niece, and a butt load of cousins for Zach. But "it's too hot there" my husband says
Utah - two nieces, some really good friends, and four seasons. "It snows there" says the old man.

Ohio - Hubby's family which means cousins for Zach. And well, family. Oddly enough, the snow here is not a factor. hmmm
And I'm not saying all those places aren't wonderful. They may even be the best states in Union. But I'm thinking I'd like to head someplace entirely new. A wild adventure that the three of us could enjoy. Where to though? Well, I narrowed it down to three places - but can I get hubby on board? Who knows? But here is where I'd like to spend the next four or ten years of my life


Honduras. Hubby has been he…

Knowing what works

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I'm so jealous of the folks who homeschool without workbooks. On our homeschool journey we've spent tried a lot of money on curriculum. Sonlight, Abeka, Unit Studies, Monarch, and on and on. It really can be an expensive labor of love when you are trying to educate your own child.

When I brought my son home again this year after two years in public school, all these missteps really came in handy though. I knew what would work for us, and what to stay away from. I wish I had been given the choice to learn a la Sonlight - I would have thrived, but I'm not the one doing the work. So, here is our curriculum for this year


Yep, as you can see, all workbooks. Workbooks of all different kinds. Another lesson from all our previous mistakes! Sometimes I feel like we aren't doing it right because we are a workbook family. But in the end, it's all about making sure my son gets the best education.

I've discovered that sometimes if you're not homeschooling a certain way…

Dear Dad

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Dear Daddy,

This month will mark the third month that you've been gone. How is that in less than three weeks you went from alive to gone forever? Why did you keep how sick you were such a secret from me? I'm so mad at you sometimes, I would kick you right in the butt if I could.

You knew you were sick in March when you visited, looking back I know that now. For six years we've been asking you "come down here" but no - Mr. Stubborn had to stay up in MI all by yourself and be all secretive about what was really going on. I'm so angry that your neighbor had to call me and tell me to get home - you would have rather died alone than think you were being a burden to me, your child. Stupid man. You were just going to sneak away in the middle of the night without saying anything to any of us that love you.

Yes, I'm angry at you - you would be angry if I tried to do the same thing. It's not fair that you gave all of us so little time to come see you and help …

No More Doubting

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Today I'm linking up with Hip Homeschool Hop hosted by Hip Homeschool Moms


I started homeschooling again this year. My husband and I both felt it was the right move for Zach and even though it's been a couple years I still remember what needs to be done. Best of all I know what doesn't need to be done!
Last time we homeschooled for two years (2nd and 3rd) and by 4th grade I had lost sight of the important things. I was so caught up in making it school at home, which honestly, I thought was what I supposed to do. Those parents who used every day experiences to teach their kids weren't doing it right! I wanted my son to be one of those homeschool kids who graduated when he was 16, scored perfect on his SAT/ACT, and got the awesome scholarship to Michigan State. I pushed until my son and I could barely be in the same room. I pushed until out of frustration I threw him into Public School and called it good.
When we started this journey again, I started to panic. "Ther…

Typical American?

I try to keep my political ideas and ideals in my own house. Not because I don't feel like arguing with people (shoot I love to argue!), but because honestly, I don't fit into a category. Now though, some of my FB friends are starting to make their intentions clear about whom they're voting for in November, so I thought I'd give my 5 cents worth on the subject.

1. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I believe that I should be able to have guns in my house. I do have guns in my house -all bought legally. I think that if you make it harder to buy guns the only people that will have them are criminals. Which would then make me a criminal because I can tell you I'm not giving up my firearms.

2. I don't believe in abortion however I do believe that women who want to have abortions should be able to in a safe environment. Just because I choose not to doesn't mean other people should think like me. That's just dumb.

3. I believe marijuana should be l…

Getting it Together Again

It's been a long time. There's been a ton of stuff going on. It's been a hard few months. Quick recap -

My dad passed. Not ready to talk about that, moving on...

I fell short of my required progress for last term. Now I'm on academic probation. I've never been on academic probation - ever. It's nerve wracking. It makes me feel like such a loser. But, at least the VA will cover this terms tuition but I've got to keep it together for sure now. No more crawling into bed for days at a time and just wanting to never get out again.

After a terrible year at school for Zach, I struggled for months about homeschooling again. I decided to go ahead and do it. Surprisingly there was no argument from Erik. I just explained we needed to make him academically competitive with students outside of South Carolina. So far it's been working well. We sit across the table from each other and work on our schoolwork. Plus my science whiz has helped me with my Science class. Ye…

Fathers Day

I'm typing this the day before Fathers Day, while I sit at my dads bedside at the hospital. He's resting now, and I'm glad I have my iPad (which means very little formatting folks, sorry). On June 4th I got a call from my dads neighbor. She felt I needed to get home right away. By the 8th Erik, Zach, and I were sitting at my dads house in Michigan, wondering how we were going to force a grown man to go to the hospital. OK, Zach wasn't wondering that, just me and Erik. Last Sunday he finally caved and said he needed to go to the emergency room. It's still touch and go, day by day, and I hope he gets well enough to be loaded in the car and packed to SC where I can take care of him. So, those of you who are lucky enough to still have your fathers please remember to call them. I'm grateful mine is still hanging in there. Until next time ~ Kris

Watch Out Middle School!

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It's official, Zach is a 6th grader. Well, after about three more days of school. Tomorrow he goes on the 5th grade tour of his new middle school, then a couple days next week, and elementary school is behind us. *sigh*  Do you think it was easier when it was Jr. High and parents got to hang on to elementary school for one more year?

I knew it was coming. I just can't believe it's arrived. And I always get a heads up. My bloggy bestie's oldest is one grade ahead of Zach, so when she says "an official 7th grader" I know I have an official 6th grader on deck. The time still goes so fast. But, I'm not here to have my eyes start sweating again - nope I'm here to tell you what a fabulous year Zach ended up having.

To say it was a tough year would be the understatement of the year. At one point I even thought about holding him back in 5th. But after conferences with the counselor, principal, and his teachers it was decided that would be, well, a dumb move.

Embrace the Camera 5.24.12

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Today is Zach's 5th grade promotion ceremony. He's excited, I'm a little freaked out! We will embrace that next week!

This week we have an awesome shot of my two favorite guys. Mr. Hubby looking all spiffy in his blues (which he NEVER wears!) and my not so baby boy!




And it wouldn't be an embrace without some shots of my boy and I! (me and the boy?) hmmm





Until next time ~ Kris

Time for a Change

It's officially official, my husband will be retiring.

This completely scares the crap out of me for several reasons.
1. Paycheck (I'm not going to lie - we have bills!)
2. Medical (I know we'll still have tricare - but it's different when you retire)
3. I've always been a military something - daughter, wife, active duty - and honestly, NOT being a military something is going to be a completely new way of life for me. After almost 45 years, yes that freaks me out.

We sat down and figured out a timeline (which I will keep quiet about for now because if you say it somehow the military will find a way to change it!) and a monetary plan to keep us afloat "just in case". On a side note here - people, don't wait for this! Even if it's $10 a month put something aside. All the financial guru's say this but I never listened. Here I am, a real person, saying do it!

So we have the when. Now for the where. We are still in negotiations about that. I know i…

Domesticated?

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I have been trying to be more domesticated. I'll wait while those who really know me laugh, rolling on the floor. Go ahead - I'll give you a few minutes.

I found a blog, through a friend on Pinterest (I think) called The Virtuous Wife. This lady is awesome. She bakes her own bread, makes these freezer meals, homeschools. Generally all those things I think about doing, but don't. Check her out - she's not snotty about her ways, it's just how she is and that's great.

So after checking out her freezer meals for weeks (or maybe months) I decided to give some of them a shot. Honestly, I get tired of cooking dinner - but if all I have to to do is thaw and throw it in the oven or crockpot, yeah, I'm on that. I made a few of them this past payday. So far all her recipes I've tried have been awesome. Next time we will do a little tweaking, just to suit our tastes, but there were none that we were like "Oh my this is disgusting!". That's a good thin…

Embrace the Camera 5.10.12

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Saturday we had one of those Southern storms. You know the kind - 5 minutes of rain, wind, and hail that seems to hit only your neighborhood (and the neighborhood across the street!) and then leaves you without power for 6 hours. Except for the no power I would have loved it - I love storms.

Hour 3 - hot and bored we decided to take a trip to WallyWorld. We ended up spending about an hour there. Yeah, it was hot at the house!


So we made our way home where power should have been restored and waiting for us! Nope - it was still going to be two more hours! So after some more boredom and lots of candles Zach and I decided goofing off with flashlights was the way to go.


Now run, get your camera and get your Embrace on with Mrs. Anderson!


Until next time ~ Kris