Saturday, January 31, 2009

A weekend with brilliant children

This weekend was not super easy. But looking back it may be one we remember for a long time. The day of the chocolate chip pancakes was a big one for me. Alex taking on a job like that and actually doing it start to finish felt like a small triumph for me and my education process. It feels like he is starting to learn how to be a self motivator, or at the very least, learning to respect himself again.

Don't get me wrong... I don't think that it is all fixed and perfect just like that... just this afternoon it took him 4 hours to finish two sheets and read one book. BUT... things are going in the right direction. And quickly, with momentum. That feels really good.

Speaking of the pancake incident... he finally made them. With eggs. lol! But he made them all by himself and yesterday morning we woke up to this:

And this:

I have myself a regular little food artist here. :) He was SO crazy proud of himself! Mine wasn't quite done, but Don's was perfect so we finished it together and discreetly disposed of the other.

Soon after we had our wonderful breakfast in bed served to us by the most loving of hands (complete with drinks and bill stating that for this service we should give him an hour of free video game time... good luck with that one buddy.) Cyan noticed a 'new bird' in our backyard. I consider myself rather knowledgeable now, since I have the Audubon Society in my backyard and all, but on this one I am stumped. Anyone else know what this beautiful little thing is?

Today started off with Cyan's dance class. She enjoys it so much! They are rehearsing for her first recital in May and she has never been so happy! She says she is a little nervous about wearing flippers on stage (and I have no idea what that is about, so I just sympathize) but that more than anything she wants me and her friends to be there to watch her dance.

It makes me very happy that I can so easily fill one of her dreams.

This afternoon Cyan's little friend Autumn had a birthday party. So Cyan and I put our heads together and made this:

It goes with this book:

Fairy Houses Everywhere

I hope it goes over well with the birthday girl. I know that Cyan and I had a BLAST making it and will be making more soon for our own yard for the fairies to dance and play in.


And last but not least, I got home from dropping Cyan's things off so she could spend the night with the rest of the party girls and this is what I found on my couch. I have to admit it is just about the sweetest picture I have ever taken.

And Logan is drooling. ;)

Friday, January 30, 2009

On the road again...

For a long time now I have slowly been cutting things that could be cut out of my life. I have been pulling in, and slimming down the things on my to-do list... and last month I started to realise that the things I had been getting rid of to make my life easier were the things I was doing on my own... The things that didn't have anything to do with kids, family, etc.

I would spend time taking pictures, I would garden, I would play my guitar, I worked for a farm that had standards I believe in, I would work with wood, fabric, and paper and make beautiful things, I had chickens (in the city), I cooked good food everyday and took pictures and bragged about it all right here.

Slowly, oh so slowly, I got very overwhelmed. While I was doing all of these things, life happened. My kids started doing badly in school, I got pregnant, Don got a job that he had to commute too... so I adjusted. I pulled Cyan out of public school, had a baby, pulled Alex out of public school... and all of a sudden I was drowning in things I couldn't do right... because I didn't have time to do anything all the way. I hated where I was going with my life. Felt like I was in the middle of the ocean perched on a very precarious rock and I would either fall to one side (rage) or fall to the other (despair). I fell both ways a couple times before I realised it wasn't working.

When we decided to move, I thought that this would be my opportunity to get rid of a few 'extras'. I let things I believed in go... not for lesser things... but for different things. Things that I couldn't necessarily control. I got rid of the chickens. I let my beautiful garden move on to another persons hands. I haven't opened my guitar case since we moved...

Some things ended that were completely out of my control: Logan broke my camera lens. My farm work ended because the season was over. You can't be mad about it... you can't hold on to it... but one day, I looked up and every activity I had done 'just for myself' was gone.

Some of it makes me very sad. But some of it is a relief. And a lot of the time, I can't figure out which is what. I loved doing all of it... but if I wasn't doing any of it well, what should I pick back up now that my slate of things I do in my ten minutes of spare time has been wiped clean?

I want to be successful. I want to have self worth that isn't wrapped up in other peoples achievements. My husband, my kids... I want to have just a little something of my own. Wrong time of year for most of my hobbies... but something I was thinking about tonight.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

with a dash of chocolate chips...

Last night when Don and I retired, we found a note on our door that said "Notes on your end tables." We followed the notes to our end tables and on there were two little notes that said

"I will make breakfast. Sleap in. Love Alex" (Yes, the typo is authentic.)

This morning, blissfully, after a day of cramps and total uncomfortableness yesterday, I wasn't woken up until 9am. And then, it was because Alex said he couldn't find the eggs. I told him there weren't any... and he went back out. About 10 minutes later he came back, baring a eggless pancake recipe fresh from the printer. See, Alex could not find a pancake recipe that did not include eggs in any of my cookbooks and was dedicated to making pancakes. So he used the all knowing Google to find one. Thought that was pretty ingenious myself. :) BUT... the recipe he found was all wrong. Eventually, by the time I dragged my lazy butt out of bed, Alex and Don had made bagels and hot tea because the pancake batter looked like milk with flour in it. Which sadly, is about what it was.

To honor Alex's effort I had him save his pancake batter and decided to see what I could do to help fix it this afternoon, (after I had gone to get eggs.) We added two eggs to that recipe, and a cup of WW flour. Then Alex cooked them on a hot griddle with some butter to keep them from sticking and added little bits of semisweet mini chocolate chips here and there... making them into all the fun shapes that made him so dedicated to pancakes in the first place. Little kitties for Cyan, tiny griddle cakes for me, and even a x wing fighter from Star Wars for Don.

They were SO good.

It was so sweet and cute... and he did it, start to finish, himself. Follow through isn't his strong suit. Usually he has me hold his hand the whole way through something. It really showed me that homeschool has been really great for his confidence... which is why I pulled him out of public school. Anyway you slice it though, today my son was learning to be a kick ass husband.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spontaneous Gratitude for today

I had a hard evening. Logan is still very upset about it... so I thought that I would post my gratitude for the day.

A sunny morning.

A hot cup of tea.

From the new tea shelf.

A beautiful, and very normal, two year old.
(saying "CHEESE")

A new cookbook to play with.

My favorite Goodwill candle.

Veggies, frozen from a time of plenty...
added to a mix of red and brown rice to make fried rice (recipe).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Logan's Owl Party


A link to the slide show of 'ok' pictures of the party.

The party was great! You really can't get a perfect capture of a nighttime party in Jan... unless you have a pretty darn amazing camera and a lot of patience (and time!). I tried to get as good a pictures as I could with my camera and very little time so most of them are fuzzy... but the party was so much better than the pictures. A little scattered because of some technical kitchen difficulties, but all in all I think it turned out so wonderful!

The kids LOVED the twilight treasure hunt! I had put candles at each station (Alex helped a LOT with this set up) so they could tell where they were going and the stations were spread all over my yard. Each little spot had a treat to pick up... all night time bird themed stuff too. Cricket Clickers, gummy worms and frogs, chocolate coated sunflower seeds, bubbles (ok, I stretched, but the kids loved them!), LED flashlights (for pure toddler pleasure), a set of three 'eggs' (speckled candy rocks), and a braclet I made with bells on it that I thought they would like. It was great and they had so much fun! I really enjoyed watching them run around the yard yelling at their parents, who were following with the candles, "Hey mama! Look at what I found over here!" and "There's another one!!" So cute!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Logan is TWO!!!

Birthday Dutchman is a tradition in my house and was in the house where I grew up. Logan just got introduced to that today, and he was SO excited! We decided, since he was going to have his party tomorrow that he should practice blowing out candles. When he actually blew the candle out, he was completely shocked... He looked at it for a minute, and then quickly wanted to do it again. It was adorable!

Happy Birthday to you little man!

After breakfast we quickly moved to the giving of gifts.

At Christmas time he was still kind of confused about gift opening. He had never opened gifts before. He was 11 mos at his first Christmas, and then his first birthday where he really didn't care about anything but the cupcake he devoured.

This time though... he had it down. He kept saying "Mama help!" and I would tear off a corner, and he would say "Mine" impatient to get it back and be able to rip the paper off. Which he did, strip by strip, crumbling my thoughts of keeping the adorable wrapping paper and making a huge pile on the floor of microscopic strips of paper... but he was so proud that I made a very fast recovery and let him do it his own way.

And finally, the wrapping paper that started it all.

Tomorrow you will see exactly what 'it all' is.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunny day and a bit of crafting

What a beautiful day it was! The days lately have started out with THICK fog that make it hard to drive and then open up into this blindingly bright afternoon of sun, until of course, the sun goes down around 4:30. lol! But while it lasts... it is so exciting just to see the sky!

Logan's birthday party gift bags. Recycled out of Trader Joe's bags from before I got in the habit of taking my own bags again when we first moved.

I sewed them on my sewing machine with bright green thread and added a felt flower and a little woodland animal brad to hold the flowers on. I thought they turned out especially cute.

Once I got the hang of sewing with paper, they were surprisingly easy. It does take a bit of planning, and so I had two trial runs before I got it right, but when I did, the construction was simple and the rest of the gift bags went pretty quickly.

And of course, I found these cute little brads! They match perfectly with his owl and nighttime animal theme we have going for this party of 8 toddlers.

It should be adorable!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Monday


Menu Monday.

This week on the menu are the things that I do for birthdays as it is Logan's second birthday on Thursday! Dutchman for a celebratory breakfast and pizza for his party are both included. The rest of course, will move around at will. ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taking a deep breath and putting it out there.

From the first moment you contort yourself to dip your elbow in 3 inches of water at the bottom of the tub, you try to figure out how to make this world gentler for your children.

I still find myself trying to save my oldest from the world... and then other times feeling like flinging him into the path of fate for him to make his own mistakes so I don't have to be the bitch anymore by telling him "No"...

NO, Don't take all of the cheese and eat it and forget to put it on the list when fajitas are on the menu. NO, don't hit the window with sticks. NO! Don't lock your little sister in the Yard Waste bin. And you start hearing yourself say unthinkable things. Mostly to yourself... things that make your husband say things like "Why don't you go get a cup of coffee by yourself this morning" as he tries to use camouflage to blend into the wallpaper. Flinching like you just hollered, as you say "Hell yeah. That's a great idea." Which of course just makes you think bad thoughts about him too.

At this point, I would take just a tiny bit of anything... a bit of joy, a bit of gratitude, a bit of even reluctance before the nasty words blurt out of my spawns mouth. He gives me looks that would make me want to punch a perfect stranger... but I know that this is my baby. My FIRST baby... and I know that I can't hurt him. But for a split second I know that I am mad enough right this second to not feel bad today... I would feel bad tomorrow.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "what did you just say?" looks where I heard what they asked, but I want them to say it nicely and so, (gracefully) I am hoping they get the hint without pointing out their mistake. But they use it wrong. They use it when they just knocked over their sisters castle of blocks... acting like they didn't notice what they were doing.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "how dare you!" look. The look I use when I walk outside to find my 7 year old stuck in the yard waste bin, crying. But they use it wrong! They use it when I say "I am so sorry it has gotten dark and you messed around today... you still have to get the jobs on the list done outside before dinner."

Then I realise that they have stuffed macaroni down my drain while 'doing the dishes' this morning and it has expanded because no one told me about it and no amount of plunging will save me from calling the plumber. And when I ask him about it, I get the 'what did you just say' look.

And I sit very still, and breathe very deep.

Thus is the life with a teenager. God, I hope we both survive.

Glorious Sun

The sun is out today.

What a beautiful thing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spontaneous Gratitude

This is a game I made up with the kids two months ago. I shout "Spontaneous Gratitude" and we all have to pick things we are grateful for... on the spot. At first, the kids came up with the most boring and vague things they could think of. "I am grateful for shelter", "I am grateful for nourishment" (thank you Alex)... but after a while, they were really being very sweet and cute about it, thinking of the details of life and having gratitude for those things.

"I am grateful for soda pop!" Alex shouts on the way to the airport last month, and Cyan pipes in with "I am grateful for straws to drink it!"

It has turned into a very sweet game and even when we don't have the whinnies, we will sometimes pop up with spontaneous gratitude of some sort.

So here is my Spontaneous Gratitude for today:

A blank pack of Moleskine book covers (that were being played with).

My favorite (and very well loved) sweatshirt.

A new book.

A new (and not electric) hair color.

An inspiring picture (in the perfect frame picked by yours truly).

This baby.

This girl.

This boy.

Scissors.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anniversary

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of mine and my man's first date. We went out for Chinese food then, we ate Thai yesterday (I really do like it better).

Ten years is a long time. He is still my rock. He is still the best thing that ever happened to me. And I still adore him with all my heart (although he annoys the crap out of me).

This slideshow isn't the best, and many of the years we didn't have a camera, but it felt good to tribute 10 years together with this little 'story of us'.

Decade with Don Slideshow

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Menu Wednesday?


Sorry friends, the orange hair completely distacted me on Monday. I went back in and they fixed it. The manager was very sweet and she proceeded to turn my hair from orange to a nice dark strawberry blonde that even somewhat matches my natural hair underneith. It is lighter than I wanted. It is reder than I wanted. But I am oh so greatful it is not orange! Now that the hair is fixed (I did not end up getting a picture.) I have had a bit more time to think about what was on my to-do list this week. I did make the menu and chore charts on Sunday, before I went to the salon.

One thing I wanted to say about the menus for the household notebook: We almost never eat these menu things on their given days. This is just what I build my shopping list from and the kids pick their meals from. That way we have everything for each meal on the list. Dinners are more or less in the right order, but the breakfasts and lunches rarely are. The kids pick one, and I cross it off the menu. They wanted eggs and toast on Monday... so that is what they got and I crossed it off for Thursday because those items that I had bought had been used. As much as I would like to claim that I can read my families thoughts and desires for seven days at a time, I can not. lol... so I just pick things that will make good meals and they ask for the things they want (which, because of the menu, I know I have) and we move on from there.

The household notebook I have noticed, is almost a living thing. It grows and expands as you use it, adding needed things and realising that you haven't looked in that whole section in weeks, so you remove it. Very living and very good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The twelve days of New Years!

My idea here is to see how I am doing with the new year and see if there are any adjustments I need to make. Anyone who would like to join in with this I would love to have you comment with links to your twelve. :)

My "Goals" of 2009

#1: Eat the way I know is healthy. We are doing well. I made it 9 days without any fast food at all. Then we went on a field trip, and I hadn't planned to have Don come along. The kids and I could have eaten whatever was in the fridge... but my husband is my main fast food obstacle. But I sure wasn't going to say he couldn't go because I hadn't picked up things for him at the store. So we ate out that day... and we had Taco Time one night as well when we went to the movies. If I could have cut that one Arches experience, then I would have been happy with the twelve.

#2: Continue to not drink coffee. Three cups of decaf on my gift card I got for Christmas. It is working well. I did end up picking up some Oregon Chai. I haven't drank it yet, but I know I love the stuff... so that should help with anytime after my GC runs out. ;)

#3: Get back onto some sort of debt reduction plan. This one already sucks. lol! The first check of the year was a 'free' check (every other week paydays). We put some on debt... but some went to the horrible hair, and some went to camera stuff that got broken and some went to get the insides of the toilet I spent the day on... I guess it isn't awful. None of those are terribly unreasonable.... but none are great.

#4: Feel more pulled together. I have been taking a shower each morning. I have been making menu's and chore lists and things have been keeping reasonably clean. I have even done a bit of crafting, which I haven't done in ages. So I think this one is doing well.

#5: Maintain rituals. I think this and #4 are very linked. On days when I am 'on', I remember all the little things that make life run smoothly. On the days when I feel like I want to cry my eyes out cuz I just dyed my hair orange... not so much. ;)

#6: Become at peace with my homeschool style. This is going great! I really feel like we have hit a stride. Alex wrote his first research paper and it turned out pretty darn well! I was really proud of him. And I didn't schedule anything on top of that. Just write and write well. It has taken me a long time to realise my son is not the natural writer I am. I, of course, had an English Prof for a dad... so that helped too. Alex hasn't had that... so I have been able to be way more patient, WAY more understanding, and way more helpful when I don't have to worry whether or not he is getting math work done that day too. Much more peaceful.

Thank you all!

Thank you guys for the encouragement... It really helps. I spent the better part of yesterday crying over it. I was just trying to pamper myself you know? I should have known better honestly... when things are going wrong like this, they continue to go wrong for a little while with me. About every two months I have a what I call "the week of suck". Things just DO NOT go my way, no matter what I do. I feel like King Mitus where everything I touch dies turned to gold. In the summer I can handle it usually with a laugh.... in the winter? It feels dark, heavy, and bleak.

This will be a great story. Next January.

I have decided to go back and have her do my hair again. I am going to call in a little while and see if I can get an appointment with the manager of the place. That should work... at least, even if it comes back darker... it won't be orange blonde with my natural color underneath... it is really bad. Blech.

My friend gave me a camera lens, but I am having a hard time getting a clear picture of myself... so I am going to go get myself a tripod. Then I will take my first '52' and show you all what they did to my head. lol!

Monday, January 12, 2009

So frusterating!

One of the many lessons I have to learn I guess. I have had a really hard week. Logan broke my camera lens. I have another, but it is a distance lens so very hard to use inside. In fact, the pictures in the last post were taken with it and I had to stand on a 3 ft stool to make the lens focus on the invites. Not a humongous deal, but it sucks. Then the toilet thing. That was the next day. And then I decided to pamper myself and go and get my hair done. Yeah. The woman that I got was, I am sure, wonderful. But she didn't speak English very well and communication was broken down to the point where I have orange hair. ORANGE. I haven't died my hair in 9 years. I usually just did it myself at home when I did do it. This is my first salon coloring experience. And I will never get another one. It is terrible people. Embarrassing, and awful. I am going to call another place to see if I can get it fixed. But I don't know if it can be fixed. It may just have to grow out.

I have reached one of those places where I don't think I am a very fun person to be around. I complain all the time because it seems like the world is crashing down. And then I feel like crap about it because when I look at it with my Aquarian brain, I know it is not. My life is really good. I have all the things I need to be happy... but I keep getting myself into situations where I am not happy. It doesn't feel like that is all me... can I control someone doing my hair wrong? Or that my toddler broke my last hobby tool? But at the same time I don't know. I just don't know. I am in a bad place. And it sucks.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Logan's birthday invitations

Can you believe it? Logan is going to be two years old in two weeks.

You pull the ribbon to open it and here is where the information for the party will be. Cute huh?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some cuteness for a terrible day

So last night, after I got done battling to the death with the toilet, I took the kids out for ice cream. It was great. Cyan had just gotten her 20 books read. Super simple books, but I am oh so proud of her! 20 books since Oct 19th. We had a chart she filled out and every time she read a book we put a sticker on the chart. And I told her that when she got to the end of the chart, she could get a library card and a banana split... and what better way to get over a terrible day than celebrate with a 7 year old. She was bouncing around the library, making no noise, just positively vibrating with excitement. It was adorable.

"Oh honey, your eyes are so pretty" says the librarian as she is filling out paperwork.

"Thank you." says Cyan, "I've had them since I was a baby."

Friday, January 09, 2009

Nevermind...



My toilet troubles are nothing. Our flooding troubles are nothing. There are people in my old town that are loosing their homes this year. Last year was bad... this year it will devistate.

Ugh...


This is where everyone says "What the heck is an evil toilet doing up on your blog Val?"

Well friends, that is the bane of my existence at the moment. The pentacle of my scorn.

"Oh, are you sick?" you say, oh so sweetly.

Nope. I am livid. At the toilet.

I spent the last 4 hours working on the toilet. It required wrenches. It required sweat... eventually it required chisels because the wing nuts were rusted on to the bolts that hold the toilet on and so therefore I spent an hour with two wood chisels and a hammer, hammering through the bolts to get them off. And after replacing EVERY SINGLE BIT of the mechanics of the toilet, removing and meticulously cleaning the entire tank of the toilet inside and out, removing the crazy blue crap that was left in the tank by the previous owners, and nearly smahsing my thumb off with a hammer (did I mention the chiseling???) not to mention using every bit of my leisure nap time and more... it still doesn't flush.

Oh holy hell, I wish I could tell you how angry I am at that stupid toilet... but really, I can't even describe it. It has been such a pain for the last 6 weeks to have a long awaited second bathroom, but not want to use it because it requires three or four flushes to flush anything...

I could just spit.

But... I think I am going to get out of this house and I am going to go take my kids out and do something fun.

Right now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Not quite working as expected... but working.

You know, how most people say that a budget is a general idea of what you should be doing and if you are right on then 'great'! But don't expect to be right on all the time. Be close... and then be happy.

Yeah... a household notebook is the same. It is true, we have done much better at keeping on task, getting things done, and everyone pitching in without the threat of death since we started the notebook. Because we have the notebook. But in all honesty, there is rarely a day that goes just as written in the notebook.

Take Don's chore calendar for example. We were out all day yesterday, he had court Tuesday morning (which ended up getting canceled, but still throws a wrench in) so nothing on his few weekend chores got done. NOTHING. Which was annoying. Until I realised that there were completely logical reasons why he wasn't getting things done and beatings were not necessary. I asked him, (without a whole lot of piss and vinegar, thank you very much) if he had seen the things I put down for him to do this weekend and he said that he hadn't... but he would go look. Yeah. I went to work out and 4 hours later 75% of them are done. Considering there are not many husbands that will deal with a weekly 'honey-do list', I consider that great! Go Don! lol...

So far, I consider this to be a success.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Blissfully quiet, and menu monday

Ahhh... the kids are asleep. :)


With Don gone for most of our dinners per week now (he just switched to swing shift for the year) I have no one to be referee between me and the kids for dinner hour... and therefore I have to plan, or we just may end up eating crackers and cheese at every meal. I have decided to join in Menu Monday. My friend Katie does this and I think it is a great idea as it gives me a deadline to have all my meals planned for the week... which means shopping is more streamlined and everything flows smoothly. This is week three. I have started to add important dates on the menu so that Don knows the parts of our calendar he may have to be involved in. That has worked out well too.

I have started keeping a whole household notebook. And let me tell you, in these days of Tae Kwan Do one day, Jazz/Tap the next day, homeschool PE and swimming in the middle, along with everything else? It has made a HUGE difference in how our household runs. We all have chores, and they are all in the household notebook. Even Don has things he needs to do each weekend and I put them in the notebook, and then on the fridge so he can have a quick reference to what is required that week. Haircuts, car repairs, things I need his help with... they all go on there. Then, instead of us rushing 5 different directions each week, he asks me if I have done such and such, and if not, it still gets done. How nice is that? It has only been since Dec 24th that I have been doing this... so I am still very much perfecting my technique... but if I continue to do it this way, I will start documenting so others can see it. It has been wonderful so far and I would love to share that if it works in the long run.

What a day...

"My mother gave me that look. The one that meant she knew she would go to jail if she killed me, but it just minght be worth it.

At such a moment, a parent will say very softly, one syllable at a time "get-out-of-my-sight". And any kid with half a brain will get up and go.

Then the parent will sit very still."

A exerpt from Robart Fulgum's It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It that just about discribes my day.

I love my children. I love my children. I really really love my children.

Sigh. I really do.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Resolutions

I try not to give myself any... I just end up acting like a rebellious teenager and breaking them because "I don't have to follow rules"... lol... I don't like the act of speaking something that I won't stick with. I don't like the idea of not being in integrity with what I say, or what I want in my life. So I will not call these resolutions, instead I will call them 'New Years goals'. That way, when I don't do it for a day, I have not 'broken my resolution' I have 'not gotten to my goal'. Then I can keep going... if that makes sense. Really, the wording is all for me anyhow.

#1: Eat the way I know is healthy. I want to step away from fast food all together. And if I can, get back to making every meal we eat. Three months ago I found this easy. Now it is a challenge... so it is a goal of mine for the new year.

#2: Continue to not drink coffee. I have no idea how long this will last, but it is what is best for my pocket book at the moment. Giving up the Latte Factor.

#3: Get back onto some sort of debt reduction plan. This involves a lot of things that I have little power over (talks with my husband, what our new bills look like in this house, etc) so this is a lofty goal, but it would be great to feel as though we were getting somewhere again with our debt snowball. The first two goals, if they succeed, should help in with general money output.

#4: Feel more pulled together. This means being on a schedule, even when I don't need to. Or at least, getting dressed, and washing my face... even if I have nothing to do that day but watch movies. I have been doing Motivated Moms for the last week and am really enjoying that.

#5: Maintain rituals. In the last year we have grown to need little rituals that we didn't do before. We say grace. I wash the kids face and hands with a warm wash cloth before I put them to bed. These things have really made a difference in our lives and there is some family resistance (dh) to these types of things as he doesn't believe they are needed. I see the changes... and would like to continue those. Perhaps not 100% on my own.

#6: Become at peace with my homeschool style. I don't like book work. I haven't found a real way to teach them the things I want them to learn without the book work. So we start our day. They get a few things done. And then they get bored, and so do I, and we stop. Not the best way to teach them anything.

I think that is enough. Those are the big things I am currently working on.