Archive for the ‘Magpie Monday’ Category

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Autumn is just around the corner!

What are you doing special to welcome Autumn?  I have a big pumpkin and three little ones by my back door and mums all around.  I just love this time of year…well in about two-three weeks.  It’s still scorching hot here most of the day so as soon as it cools off we will be ready to make a pot of chili and bake something with pumpkin!  I am working on my Autumn newsletter and trying to keep up around here.  With both girls in college and it just Ben and I most of the time you would think I had time to spare.  Not the case!  But all the outside work will slow down and as the days get shorter and night comes sooner, we will all change gears.

We had a great weekend.  Yesterday Jerry made pulled pork and we had Jessica and her husband and our friends the Michelles over to eat pulled pork sandwiches and eat Blue Bell ice cream for dessert.  Sometimes, I just can’t figure out what to make that everyone likes for a sweet and Blue Bell is always good!  They have this new flavor Caramel Kettle Crunch. OMG a tasty combination of creamy vanilla ice cream with crunchy caramel-coated popcorn and a smooth caramel sauce. So good!  If you don’t have Blue Bell ice cream where you live, I am sorry to tempt you…but it is the best ice cream I have ever eaten.

I will be out of town a couple of days this week but I am trying to get my posts ready ahead of time.  I hope to make a pretty great announcement  this week pertaining to the next amazing interview and giveaway I have lined up. It will knock your socks off!  So stay tuned!

At the risk of repeating myself, I LOVE Autumn~the colors, the foods, the weather…but I also love the clothes of Autumn and one thing in particular that I look forward to is getting out of sandals and flip flops and into a  pair of my favorite socks.   Are you getting the hint here????

Anywhoodle, stay tuned…as soon as some lose ends are tied up I will give you all the details!


Monday Madness

I have about 50 tasks to complete before Thursday at 7p.m. when I have to leave to pick Jerry up from the airport.  I ended up getting some mowing done yesterday evening.  We got rain earlier in the day but the good thing about this time of year is it doesn’t take long for it to evaporate.  So I got that knocked out.  Only thing left is hauling off some limbs I piled up while mowing and getting a little trimming done around the fences.  The rain was so good for my tomatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. According to the forecast, we can expect some slightly cooler temperatures in the near future…much appreciated. But with all the activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean, who knows what we can expect over the next week or so.

tropsat_600x405Apparently, Igor will be heading NW so we won’t feel any affects from him.  Julia is still to far away to say.  Then there is the disturbance in the Caribbean…who knows?  But, Jerry should be home Thursday night so whatever happens, if anything, I won’t have all the weight of it.

I am about to get this house cleaned today.  Really cleaned.  It will take all day.  And time permitting, I would like to get one  section (at least) of my cabinets cleaned out.  New shelf paper and all.  I wish I could adopt Jessica’s “Monday is Cleaning Day” program but I can’t seem to stay on task very well.  Shocking, huh?

Let’s see what else do I need to make you privy to?  Ummm….oh yeah, I am working on the Autumn Issue of the NotQuiteJuneCleaver newsletter.  You can find a sign up box in the right column.  It will be an e-newsletter and likely will be enlisting some help writing it.  So much on my list to do!

  • house cleaning
  • candlemaking
  • newsletter writing
  • apron sewing
  • other various craft projects
  • menu planning

Okay, that doesn’t look like that much – maybe I need to be more efficient.  That could be the problem!

You all have a lovely week.  Don’t forget about the GREEN photo contest. Here’s a little more inspiration.

golfcookiesGolf Cookies


If it weren’t for Mondays…

we surely would dread Tuesdays.

Warning: Candid post follows.

Here we go…another school year underway.  If my math is correct, and it actually very often is, this is year #22.  Yes, that has to be correct.  We started homeschooling the year Hannah was born because seriously, why not start a HUGE new adventure with a brand new baby? Actually it was pretty smooth, all three of the older kids had been in public school so they were used to sitting and doing work.  Which we remedied as soon as we were able.

But…and there is always a but, what did I learn from this romantic notion of student led teaching/learning?  That at times it causes more stress than necessary because you will have a student (no names but her first initial is Rachel 🙂 ) who really and truly and honestly thinks you have to learn and retain every word of every text book.  One who must be fluent in Algebra as well as English and French, US and World Geography, American History, World History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and everything in between. They will not only have to read ALL of the classics, but as many banned books as can be bought or borrowed.  AND  have a part-time to full time paying job as well as some sort of home business (she had her own soap making business at 8 and made more money than I did that year).  And one must have beautiful penmanship, type 160 wpm, use words most college professors would have to look up, be able to identify 98% of any artist’s work one comes across, be an accomplished artist both by hand and computer.  That student must also be able to write code by 9 years old, build websites, learn photography and take brilliant photos AND write books (her first book was written and illustrated when she was just under 4 years old) and somewhere in there NOT have migraines and sleep at least 6 hours a night, and NOT have crippling test anxiety.  And while suffering with crippling test anxiety, to the point that you actually turn white and almost faint when you step into the ACT testing room, you still make an extraordinary score and ask after attending a week of college, “Why does the professor repeat himself?  I mean really if you are in college, shouldn’t you know some of this already and if you don’t couldn’t you figure it out? And if not, do you really need to be wasting your time and money?” And added, “I really, thought it would be harder than this.  Why didn’t you tell me I didn’t have to know everything in the books?”  I did tell her.  I swear I did.  But you know, nature and nurture clash sometimes.  My theory has always been, why should I cloud my brain with things I can look up? So you know they didn’t get ALL of this from me.

And then you have the student just older than her (again not calling names but she answers to Hannah, Hon-Yah, Hanny or Hanny Hole), raised in the same manner, same books, same atmosphere, same everything, who WANTS all those things, but knows it will interfere with her movie watching, bad TV (she loves horrible TV), online friends, traveling, reading, writing (several of my children are great writers – this one has 780 pages of a novel written), and napping. With test anxiety to a slightly lesser degree, who truly believes EVERYTHING is a competition if with no one but oneself, frets over a 92 on a homeschool quiz and explains it by saying, “Well, I could have done better.  What if that thing I didn’t know comes back to bite me in the bum one day?” What if, indeed.  Who went to vo-tech to try and help her find what she wanted to do, and found accounting to fit very nicely with her OCD and Anxiety disorder and drove both herself and me crazy if she missed 1/2 of a point on any assignment and finished with a 4.0 -DUH. Who also held down part time and full time jobs alongside school.

AND oddly, these two made exactly the same composite score on their ACTs.  Different strengths.  But it all came out the same…sort of.  One got 3 hours credit in English going into college, the other 6 hours.  Neither has any remedial classes and the one class they have together, both have over 100 percent.  Overachieving is a hobby of theirs.  And when one of them was told by the professor, “no one gets and A in this class,” they saw that as a personal challenge and their response was, “We’ll see about that.”

What I am trying to say is teaching to the test is not always a bad thing and quite possible the most efficient.  So I stand corrected on my theory of child-led learning being the ONLY right way to go.  At the end of the day (or school career) there IS a test.  Several – and scores are important.  To everyone.  Sad but true.

So how is this going to affect the next 4 years of Benjamin’s life?  Adversely, I am afraid.  He WILL be able to take tests like a professional 😉 We ARE teaching to both the ACT and SAT.  He WILL get as much math mastered as is humanly possible in this length of time.  He WILL be able to ace the English part of any test given, because, well, it is our native tongue.  He WILL have three years of a particular foreign language because when he makes 2380 on his SAT (I am trying not to put too much pressure on him by expecting a 2400), foreign language credits will NOT interfere with any college application.  And somewhere in there, he is going to learn to write legibly without aid of a computer.  Just paper and pencil…old school.

Now, here is the rub in all this.  Each of these children thinks one of the others is my favorite because of their differences.  I don’t have a favorite.  I coddle who needs coddling, I am a hard-ass with the ones that need that.  The whole multiple personality ability most moms have comes in handy at times.  However, each one thinks they are not being treated as they should be.  But, everyone that should be is gainfully employed, no one has a police record, and all are still speaking to me, so…so far so good.

I have had what I have considered failures in my parenting.  However, for the most part no one could be prouder of their children.  Like it or not, all 6 of my children are extremely sarcastic.  No idea where that came from.  All are extremely opinionated and vocal with those opinions. Again, who knows?  All are competitive with themselves.  They truly want to do their best at all times.  They all have a thirst for knowledge.  Differing subjects but thirsty none the less.  All are extremely devoted to family.  Do NOT pick a fight with one unless you have back up.  Right or wrong that sibling WILL be defended.  As much as they are all different and are quite capable of running their noses up in each other’s business, they love each other and feel pride in each other’s accomplishments.  They hold each other accountable and have trouble accepting things when they feel like one or the other is not living up to their potential.  They are also at times snobbish, elitist, prideful, and even hateful. They have even been known to feel entitlement because of the standards they hold themselves to.   All these things they DID get from me.  But my gene pool wasn’t the only one they drew from and if any two people were more alike than Jerry and I, those people likely couldn’t live together.  Even a month at the time.

Okay, got to run.  Edgar Allen Poe is trying to whip my youngest.

Edited by Hannah for spelling, grammar and to add Oxford Commas. 🙂

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