Archive for August, 2015

Week(s) In The Life ( Musical Thrones)

August 29, 2015

I haven’t been feeling up to writing lately. However, I have found that usually means I should. My microlumbar discectomy went well. I still have major nerve pain. I guess I herniated my disk a long time ago (without knowing), because the surgeon said my disk was growing out over my spine. He had to cut through my bone in order to get to where the nerves were pinched.

Movement on my part has been slow. Call me crazy, but for some reason I had the idea I would be up and out walking around the block again within the next few days. I thought all my pain would be gone and could jump right back to where life left off before all this began.

Nope, my body needs time to heal, not just from the surgery itself ,but from the damage the herniated disk caused as well. I need time to retrain my leg muscles to do what they are meant to do instead of spasming to protect my nerves. I can’t even stand long enough to cook a meal without my muscles tightening up. It sucks!! I feel like my house is falling apart all around me and I can’t do anything about it.

I am a very organized type of person, I do not like surprises, I need to know plans ahead of time. I must feel secure in order to relax, and right now nothing in my life is secure.

I also suffer from anxiety that can cause panic attacks. I have never shared this here before. I didn’t even realize I suffered from anxiety until a few years ago when I had a massive, and I don’t use that word lightly, panic attack that landed me in the emergency room. In healing, or finally being able to accept me, I discovered I have suffered from anxiety my whole life. It really is amazing when you can finally forgive yourself, for being you, how much more clearly you are able to see. Life no longer has time for pettiness and games.

I no longer care for arguing or trying to prove one way being right over another. I no longer feel the need to try to be interested in things ,that in all honesty I could care less about, to be liked. I don’t feel embarrassed about what I do like either.

I guess that is why I am able to be open about my anxiety now.  Why I needed to write today even if I didn’t want to because I didn’t have anything positive to say. Life for me right now isn’t positive. Guess what, that happens while homeschooling too. Life for us doesn’t change just because we decide not to send our children to school.

So, what does someone recovering from surgery do? Read a lot. I finished Game of Thrones and started Clash of Kings (I am really loving my Kindle, and I honestly didn’t think I would as much as I do.) Sky and I have had SO many discussions from this series, like honor over loyalty. She keeps updated with what is going on so we can discuss the series together (She is my fantasy genre child, like her mama.).  I think when we start back to our fall schedule I will have her write some of her persuasive essays from this series.

Little Sis finished book 3 of Twilight and while waiting for book 4 started reading the series to Sky (She likes Jacob and the whole wolf story line).

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Sky has been creating felt animals being inspired by Game of Thrones,

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as well as her drawings.

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Little Sis has been drawing too.

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Okay, even though I consider all the above a part of home “school”……(For any newbies just starting homeschooling it can be hard at first to understand there is no separation between the two. However, for the sake of “school educators”, I’ve learned how to keep track of what they would be looking for as far as “academics” go. Which is a part of homeschooling too.)

From the schoolroom:

Language Arts

We finished Wuthering Heights. Both girls, especially Sky, enjoyed the book much better. I, myself enjoyed the movie better. After Cathy died the book kind of dragged for me. I am glad I read it, and we learn the back story of Catherine and Linton much more from the book, but that was why I found the story SO boring. The girls also found it interesting the mention of Michaelmas in the story.

The girls took the quiz from SparkNotes,

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wuthering/

and Sky recited her poem, Old Ireland. Both girls had until the start up of our fall school schedule, and both girls memorized and recited them before time was up.

Little Sis read aloud Magic Tree House Stage Fright on a Summer Night and I continued with Beatrix Potter stories.

Mathematics

Nothing new to report except, Sky is finally getting the hang of fractions and decimals. Both girls work out of the workbooks by themselves and on come to me if they need help. Then they check their work. Most times I need to help Sky find where she went wrong, and most times it is a simple mistake. Lately, Sky has been finding what she did wrong herself and correcting it without my help.

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The Arts

Since we watched Miyazaki’s last movie we also thought to watch his first, The Castle of Cagliostro.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079833/

It was so different than his other movies, having more comedy, and I actually really liked it. It would be really hard to pick a favorite, because I like all of them for different reasons. “Which of his movies would you recommend to watch first?” All of them. 🙂

We also watched a Little Women musical found on YouTube (It has adult and children actors). I actually liked the musical story line much better than the movie we watched.

I introduced the girls to Kate Bush with her Wuththering Heights video and we watched three songs from the musical, Up Here With You, Cathy, and I Belong To The Earth.

Culinary Arts

The girls made gluten free chocolate rice crispy treats.

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P.E.

We received our supply of wood (Hard to believe it is that time already). Both girls had to stack without my help this year, but are being rewarded  with a trip to their favorite restaurant.

We will be taking the next week off with Papa being on vacation, and then gradually get back into our fall schedule.

Peace for the journey.

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Week In The Life ( Moors Please)

August 15, 2015

Well, this week proved to be a little less crazy. Sleeping has become a bit difficult for me. I already had a touch of insomnia, thanks again perimenopause, but with a herniated disk I can’t seem to get comfortable. Atleast it has made counting down the days until my surgery tolerable. Then out of nowhere, Little Sis came down with a 24 hour stomach bug. You never really know just how much you are needed until an injury takes you out of commission. I know one thing is for sure, both girls have a new respect for the role I play in this family. “Will the dishes ever stop!?” A question I have asked many a times. 🙂

Actually, I am ready to get things back to normal, fingers crossed. At first, besides the horrible pain, I was glad for “having a break”. That lasted about 2 days. I discovered something else out about myself. Though I am considered a homebody, I do like to keep busy. Yes, I like to kick back with a cup of tea and nice conversation, or a book. I need to keep my mind busy. Yes, I am a little bit slower to get my day started. After a while though, I need to move. I never really noticed this before, because, as many parents know, there is always something to do. Laundry, dishes, meals, dusting (seriously, something I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned much with homeschooling, is how dirty your house always seems to be.). “I swear, I just dusted.” Vacuumed, yes just yesterday.”

I am, however, 2/3s of the way through Games of Thrones. I know I will be able to finish it next week while I recover. Though I am reluctant, because I know one of my favorite characters is about to die. I am torn on how I feel about this. It is refreshing to read a story where everything doesn’t end picture perfect. Kind of like real life. Then again, I am like why!? I guess I will have to wait 6 more books to see if the pay off was worth it. (It better be worth it.)

From the garden:

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(Yes those are frozen yogurt containers that we have accumulated through the years. They make great all purpose containers, garden containers, but most of all we use them for our indoor compost scraps. Then they can be recycled. No waste. 🙂 )

Looks like a pretty good crop, but considering how many plants we had it really wasn’t. We did manage several jars of tomato sauce, and salads have been daily.

We had another rain free weekend, and was able to enjoy eating outdoors. The girls decorated the table.

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From the homeschool:

English Literature

We started Wuthering Heights as our next read along.

https://librivox.org/wuthering-heights-dramatic-reading-by-emily-bronte/

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/768/768-h/768-h.htm

The girls agree that the story is better than the movie, and we liked the movie. They have been so immersed in the story, neither can believe the 30 minute chapter is over and have asked to keep reading.

I am continuing to read our Treasury of Beatrix Potter Stories. The girls have asked for them as gifts to have for their own libraries. They have been making a list of all their favorite stories.

American Literature

I have been trying to catch up with Little Sis and her reading series, thinking a 2 book start would be okay. She is more than halfway through book three in the Twilight series (She is taking my challenge seriously), and if that wasn’t enough, she is reading 2 series at once and is halfway through book 4 of the Gallagher Girls series too. (I know she is reading,because she gives me a chapter by chapter narration (all on her own).

She read Book 5 in the series of Violet Mackerel, Violet’s Possible Friend out loud. She flew right through this book.( Did I mention she picked Wuthering Heights as our next story? ) I really, really like this series. Most “girl” series are about quirky girls, like Sky. Little Sis is not “quirky”, she is quiet, does what she is told without me needing to say a word, and is way more mature than her age (she acts like she should be the older sister). Violet Mackerel is a quiet, and more mature kind of gal that she can relate to.

Mathematics

Nothing new to add here. I am really glad to have found the Kumon workbook for Sky as it contains a few things she didn’t learn from the Math Doesn’t Suck book.

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Science

Sky, on her own, watched the Hidden Kingdom series.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3737220/

American History

We watched the American Girl Samantha movie, found on YouTube. We all agree the movie is much better than the books for once. It is what the book series should have been. I personally would bypass the series and just watch the movie.

I printed a Victorian paper doll to represent the 1900s in America for the girls to add to their history of Earth notebooks.

http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/victorian-paper-doll/

We also watched the Little Women movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110367/

Of course they had to make changes, I know. Overall, its not a bad movie. We all agree we would rather read the story.

The Arts

We also watched the Anime version of Little Women too. (YouTube). As much as we are fans of anime, we didn’t care much for this one. The added parts took away from the original story, and honestly, just didn’t fit well. If they stuck to the story it wouldn’t have been too bad. I guess we are spoiled with more adult like anime, not talking down to children to make for a more entertaining movie ( like needing to add fart noises just to get laughs). To their credit this anime was made in the early 80s.

Well, we will be taking it easy this week, probably continuing Wuthering Heights and maybe checking out the Little Women musical I found on YouTube. Peace for the journey.

Week(s) In The Life (Immersed)

August 7, 2015

I’m trying to find the positive after my last post, but these past few weeks have been crazy.

For starters, I had my appointment with the specialist and my disk has herniated. So, in 2 weeks I will be having lumbar spinal surgery. (Tuning forty hasn’t been very kind to me.) To say I am a little nervous is an understatement. After all,  this is my spine we are talking about, and my first surgery. I have been put under before, but never cut on. 😦

Oh, and I’ve yet to talk about perimenopause ,and walking around the grocery store with a bag of frozen broccoli, that I was purchasing, on the back of my neck, because hot flashes are NOT fun. I never, I mean never sweat before. Now, walking to our vehicle and I am drenched like I worked out for hours in the Sahara Desert.

If that wasn’t enough, our street has been hit with multiple break-ins during day light. If you happened to catch a Wal-Mart video in the news of 2 women fighting, that was just the beginning of a small town reputation going bad. Cops have been called out to this Wal-Mart over 500 times just this year, one ending in a car chase with innocent lives lost. Add this along with our state being number 1 in drug store robberies and a cheap hotel being located walking distance from this Wal-Mart, you can imagine the trash our town has been accumulating. I have lived here before the Wal-Mart and the change has not been a positive one. I am aware our town isn’t the only one dealing with break-ins. I realize it is a sign of the times. This is where I begin to get frustrated (Just Say No, “If we can reach children while they are young.” This IS the just say no generation.). You can only ignore the news so long, eventually it will come to you.

We happen to be lucky, being tucked in between awesome neighbors, we’ve always watched each others backs. Now another member on our street started a private Facebook street watch so, we are able to report anything suspicious. The one thing we do have going for us is our small town community.

All this to explain my need for tuning reality out, getting away from the internet and commercial television, and immersing myself into reading. The idea struck me while ordering book 3 of the Twilight series for Little Sis. Yes, she finished book 2 and is a fourth of a way through book 3. Since we have been home bound this summer, due to my injury, both girls found interests to keep them occupied. I realized I need to stop reading what other people are doing, seeing the happy summer vacation photos that just make me feel worse, and jump back into my love of reading. (And being inspired by Novels and Nonsense and her monthly book haul videos.)

I always keep a “paper” book going, for those times in waiting rooms, park days ext. Being we read SO much for school, I really don’t have much time to read “full time”. Just finishing a series, I was looking for a quick read and something outside of the fantasy genre. I decided on Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, the whole cyberpunk thing catching my eye. Since the book was written in 1993, it’s fun seeing Stephenson’s take of the future. It was just what I was looking for.

I also have a book, or an audio book going on Kindle. Since finishing Tenet of Wildfell Hall, I was ready for a new one. I have been putting Game of Thrones off for a while. One, it being another fantasy series and 2, I wasn’t really wanting to get invested in many character deaths right now. (Trying to stay positive, kittens and puppies.)

Well, while searching for my next read I decided to check the series out,  before I knew it the sample was over and I was purchasing the Kindle version. I am a third of the way through the book, and I started 2 days ago. I have not seen the cable series, being we don’t have cable, but I have seen pictures of characters. I already know I’m not going to like the fate of some characters already. It’s been fun disusing the series with Sky, she’s been watching spoilers on YouTube, and I told her I don’t want to know anything. So, she is pushing me to get to certain parts for us to discuss.

Well with Little Sis immersed in Twilight, and myself in Game of Thrones, Sky, my reluctant reader, has picked up Fruits Basket again.

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Speaking of reluctant readers, a few tips, I’m sure to have mentioned before, is watching movies with subtitles on, (We can’t watch a movie without them now.) and reading along with audio books. (Called immersion reading, and the reason we purchased tablets.)

From the homeschool:

Language Arts,

We just finished Little Women this way. I love how it brings the story alive, and Sky didn’t even realize she was reading and finishing a 500 page novel. 🙂  (She also gets intimidated by the size of books.)

After we finished they took the quiz from SparkNotes. (Reading Comprehension)

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/littlewomen/quiz.html

Sky finished the American Girl Samantha Series aloud. This wasn’t our favorite from the series. In Sky’s words “After reading Oliver Twist, this series is really boring.” I actually thought so myself ,but wasn’t going to be the first to say so. I thought book 1, and the story with Nellie was good but the other books were just filler. The girls take a lot more notice of how a story is set up and the character development now (Thank you Nostalgia Critic.), and agree this series just skipped around too much. For once ,I really felt like they just came up with something to sell the doll.

The girls have requested reading the Beatrix Potter stories again after watching the movie Miss Potter,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482546/

and I printed off a page for the girls to come up with 10 things they learned about her.

http://www.hellokids.com/c_27067/coloring-pages/famous-people-coloring-pages/famous-british-people-colouring-pages/british-authors-colouring-pages/beatrix-potter

I love the dictionary built inside the Kindle and the girls learned what exactly a fortnight means.

Little Sis picked up on the similarities between Twilight and Wuthering Heights with the love triangle between Bella, Jacob, and Edward. She has requested we read Wuthering Heights next.

Sky has continued writing her story that is now 22 chapters in.

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Mathematics

Both girls continue XtraMath and working in their workbooks. I have been collecting the Basher Book series for our home library and we have been going over the Math, A Book You Can Count On. I really like this series and though it is geared for elementary age children, it is perfect for my visual learner.

http://www.basherbooks.com/usa/home.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/18345185@N04/20385127011/in/dateposted-public/

P.E.

Since I have not been able to take the girls swimming, I thought at least I could hook up the sprinkler. It was fun to get outdoors again, without rain.

Science

We enjoyed watching the golden finches eat from our neighbor’s sunflowers. This is the first time I’ve seen a family of them in our area.

The Arts

Being we love stop-motion animation, we watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/

It was our first Wes Anderson film and Sky put in a request to see his other films.

Sky continues to draw.

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Theater History

We watched Broadway Idiot (Netflix Instant).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2689966/

It was interesting to learn about the Gypsy Robe tradition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_Robe

Being a huge Green Day fan, I would love to see this musical. I know we are going to have lots of fun with this course.

Not much is coming out of the kitchen these days, besides quick meals. I just don’t have the energy to cook big meals right now. I am pretty impressed with how much the girls can cook. At least, I know they will not starve.

From the garden:

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Our first cantaloupe. Not bad for not planting them. 🙂

Peace for the journey