Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Things

It's getting to be that time of year again.  Well, normally for us it tends to be a year round thing, not 365 days year round, just not a complete stoppage because it is summer.  School is about to start up again!  I am ready for it too!  Not because I'm going to have some adult time to myself or because Elijah is about to drive me insane (he is), but because we are ready for home school to start.  I read this blog today and have to agree wholeheartedly with it.  So, while I finish getting my year planned out, I can rest assured that I am far from the only home school mom to feel inadequate, over-worked, tired, and insane.  I can also feel that I am doing what God expects of me, teaching my child in the way he should go.  Oh, and I can also be assured that no matter how much planning I do, it will change at least weekly.  So much for planning.

3 Things Never to Say to a Homeschooling Mom
Rebecca Capuano
It’s not easy. Homeschooling, that is. We homeschoolers are forever going against the flow, paddling upstream against the current of tradition in an effort to give our children the values and education we deem important. Some days are great; some days are…well, not so great. But either way, we persevere in commitment along the homeschooling journey because we believe we are doing what is best for our children and our families. But it’s often a challenge to do things “differently”; to choose a path that is contrary to the “norm”. Add to that challenge the tremendous responsibility for your child’s educational development, and it’s not surprising that most homeschoolers are in need of a bit of encouragement!

For those non-homeschoolers (mother-in-laws included!) who seek to be a support for home educating moms, there are a lot of ways to lighten the load and provide encouragement. Making a meal, providing free childcare, or helping with transportation are just a few of the things that come to mind. But sometimes the best support can come from what you don’t say. Even well-meaning non-homeschoolers can stick a pin into the home educator’s balloon of optimism with a few uninformed comments. When a homeschool mom is feeling unsure, stressed, inadequate, or just downright exhausted about the homeschooling experience, the last thing she needs is to have her chosen path questioned. Here are 3 of the top things guaranteed to transform a typically unflappable homeschool super-mom into a crazy madwoman:

1. Aren’t you afraid that you won’t be able to give your kids everything they need educationally?

The simple answer? Yes. It’s a question many of us homeschool moms wrestle with every day, stay up late agonizing over at night, and feverishly work to combat during schooling hours. We often struggle with a sense of being overwhelmed that we cannot do it all, and we sacrifice time and money on a daily basis to make sure we are covering all the bases. But we also know that we have a higher investment in our own children than anyone else on the planet does, and that we have the freedom to individualize our instruction to the personal needs of each child, rather than fitting the child to a curriculum. And we recognize that we are not doing it alone; we have support networks, co-ops, online teachers, community college classes and endless resources at our disposal to help us give our kids what they need.

So what we need is to not be questioned about whether or not we can do it all. We need to be commended for the educational efforts we do provide every day, and directed toward and encouraged to use the resources available to us, so that we do not feel like we have to do it all.

2. Are you concerned about your children’s socialization?

Aren’t you? (Oh wait – did I say that out loud?)

Homeschoolers don’t generally have time to ponder this question, with all of the transportation to homeschool soccer leagues, piano lessons, co-op meetings, part-time job, church activities, choir, art classes, summer camp, mission projects, dance practice, swim team, service activities, family business responsibilities, and volunteer projects. As we participate in all of these engagements, our kids are surrounded by people of all different ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds, which helps to prepare them to live in the real world (one where people are not segregated according to age and geographical locale) and know how to interact with individuals from all walks of life. By the way, with the statistics on bullying and school violence being what they are, many of us also question the wisdom that the optimal socialization experience for a group of 12-year-olds is another group of 12-year-olds. I’d like to give a longer answer to this question, but we are going by our local nursing home to play the piano for some patients, and then we have baseball practice and violin lessons after that. You’re welcome to come, if you’d like to see our children’s socialization in action.

3. If homeschooling isn’t working out, you can always just put them in public (or private) school.

We are homeschooling because we believe it is what is best for our family. It is sometimes difficult, and sometimes does not go well. But we do not want to be encouraged to give it up; we want encouragement to keep going. We want you to respect our choice to homeschool as the right decision for us, and not deter us from that path. Just as a family who has chosen public school for their children does not want to be told “Well, you should just take him out and homeschool him” when their child struggles in school, homeschoolers do not want to be told to throw in the towel when times get hard. Homeschooling is a long journey, and moms need support in seeing the big picture instead of getting bogged down by the small details and frustrations along the way. If you hear, “I don’t think I can do this anymore” from us, think of it not as a desire to abandon the homeschooling journey, but a cry for encouragement and support along the path we’ve already chosen. Point out how great a job we’re doing, offer to watch the kids for awhile, give us a night out on the town with friends or our spouse, and let us know that you believe in us. And then tomorrow we’ll wake up with renewed energy to tackle the most exciting, challenging, amazing task ever put before us – homeschooling our kids.


Monday, July 25, 2011

It RAINED Last Night!!

What I wouldn't give for this right now.  Scenes from last summer.  The first week of July, 2010 was when we received our last significant rain fall.  It was downright cool on July 4th with a threat of fireworks displays being rained out!  Up to that point, we had gotten some record amounts.  Nothing like that this year.  I'd like to talk to all those who were complaining last year, but it wouldn't be very nice, what I have to say.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What do You do When the Kiddo is at Grandma's?

Last Saturday evening I took Elijah out to my mom's house for the week.  Cruel, yes.  But I had fun and that is what really matters!  Okay, she loved and so did he.  She also put him to work painting!  Funny, because that is one of the things I did this week.  In Elijah's room, there were three large windows.  One facing out to our front yard, the other two facing the interior wall of Jeff's shop.  He called them the snow-windows when he was little.  When Jeff built his shop onto the house, these window were covered up from teh shop side.  We had the wall insulated by a company that does blown insulation to cut down on the noise.  As Elijah sat in his room and watched, it looked like snow falling and covering up the windows, hence, snow-windows.  That was about 6 years ago.  This week we finally covered them up with a set of shallow shelves.  So while he was gone, I painted.  His room is officially complete.  Of course being a little boy from Oklahoma the theme is OKC Thunder and OU Sooners. (I did manage to get in a Texas Longhorn reference.  He went to KD's basketball camp a few weeks back and he was in the "Longhorn" group.  His team won the most games in the group so he has a certificate with a beautiful, burnt orange Longhorn right in the middle!  I do expect to come in some day and find the certificate displayed upside down.)

Windows behind Elijah

Now they are useful and look MUCH better

The Dunk!

That's about all the Sooner I can handle

The other thing we did was have a few dates.  Since Tabitha went to college last August we have had a total of two.  I had become quite spoiled to almost weekly dates before that.  (Man, I miss those days.)  Most were just getting a bite to eat and a movie but we did do one that was really fun.  We went to a shooting range and shot a handgun.  Now, you don't need to actually own a handgun to do this.  You can rent them for use at the gun range.  They have everything you need: goggles, ear protection, ammo, and guns.  There was about a 15 minute instruction period on the particular gun we used.  Safety and operation and a little good natured ribbing.  Somehow I struck the man as a girlie-girl.  Not sure why, but he was a funny man and former police officer.  After that we went into the range and dry fired several shots to get the feel of the gun. Let me just say that even with the ear protection, it is LOUD!  And be sure to were closed-toe shoes, no sandals allowed.  Then we got down to business.  having never shot anything other than a pellet or nail gun, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was used to the noise by the time I shot so that didn't bother me.  I just braced myself and fired.  Our instructor said I didn't even flinch.  I also hit right where I was aiming! After we emptied one box of ammo, we got another and our instructor fired a couple  of rounds.  Right through the forehead, same hole.  Very impressive.  We did pretty well for never having shot a .9mm before.  In one picture you can see several holes just to the side of the target's head.  There were supposed to be in the ear, but Jeff isn't as good of a shot as I am.  Hey, I gotta be better at something!

Target #2-I tried to give him a face

Target #1-Not bad for our first time

Monday, July 18, 2011


Okay, so we have finally finished Elijah's room, but there is one problem.  We are doing an OKC Thunder(and OU) theme.  What's the problem?  He has lost his autographed Thunder hat.  We know exactly where, and about when, it is just that I  didn't realize until now.  He lost it in the bathroom outside Section 307 in the OKC Arena during the playoffs, I'm pretty sure it was the last home game against Dallas.  So here's where you might be able to help.  Tweet this link or Facebook it.  Whatever social media you prefer.  I know it is unlikely to bring any results.  The person who found it, he did go back to get it once he realized what he had done, has probably sold it or will want a reward ford it.  But maybe, just maybe a little boy's prayer (and his mom's too) will be answered!

The hat has his name inside, I think, and has been signed by most of the players, except for: Durant, Westbrook, Robinson, Perkins, and White (who is now with the Bobcats), Rumble, and two Thunder Girls.  Morris Peterson signed it twice and Nazr Mohamed is the only one of the new players to have signed it.

So, thanks in advance!

I'm sure I'm opening myself up to a lot of spam comments, but you can reach me by posting there.

Here's the hat brand new, not sure how we didn't get KD's autograph.

You may be able to see some of the autographs in this pic.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Lost My Pull-up and Can't Find It!

Well, what should I expect after 2 years of mostly off, off and on Crossfit? A broken wrist has not helped any either. Six months (to the day) on from falling while snowboarding and it is still pretty sore. I have been able to greatly modify my “pull-up”. I do them from a standing position, sway forward in a kipping movement, come back and jump up, letting myself down as slowly as I can, which right now is not very slow. I also do a lot of ring rows. In order to hopefully facilitate a faster gain in finding my pull-up, today I ordered some Iron Woody Bands. They are ginormous rubber bands that you can hook under your foot or bent knee that helps you to get the full motion of a pull-up, while providing the needed help in getting up. Can’t wait for them to come in! Yes, Tab, I will let you borrow one!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Last Fourth of July was a world away from this year's.  Like the difference between Venus and the Earth.

Last year was unusual in the fact that it was a very cool and wet day, especially for that calendar date.  We are usually in the mid to upper nineties, and more times than not, we have a burn ban in effect.  Last year we went to a baseball game and it was delayed due to the rain, and eventually cancelled.  We sat there not sure if they were even going to be able to shoot of any  of the fireworks.  It was only 75 degrees at 7:30 in the evening.  What a great day!

Here is what we did last year.

This year we really didn't do much. to celebrate.  I really don't like to admit that.  It is one of my favorite holidays for more than just the parades and fireworks.  It represents freedom and the fact that it is not free.  It is as much about history as it is the future.  One thing we did do the night before was to go watch four F16 Fighting Falcons from the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard fly over the campus of Herbert W. Armstrong College.  This is the college Tabitha attends.  The flyover was followed by a concert inside Armstrong Auditorium by Grammy-winning fiddler Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration.  We didn't for the concert, but the flyover, brief as those things are, was a stirring moment.  I really need to get a DSLR camera, there was no way my was going to get a good picture of that, but I did get a picture.

Due to the horrible temperatures we are experiencing right now (100+ for the past week and next week at least), I really didn't feel like doing anything.  So, I took Tabitha and a friend shopping.  I guess that would be another great thing about the 4th, sales.  We were planning on heading out in the morning to see their school's song and dance troupe in the Liberty Fest Parade, but they are getting ready for camp and had meetings at the same time as the parade.  So we hit town as the temperatures soared.  (Why did I buy a black car?  Why have I never had the windows tinted?  I digress.)  We ended up just cooking out some burgers and spending a nice evening at home.  From our rooftop we can see the shows from Frontier City, Edmond, OKC, Guthrie, and all of our neighbors.  It's good to be an American!