May 13, 2015

Long Term Plans... Well, Maybe Goals is More Accurate

Last week I told you about the patio garden we started after a couple of years slowly building up the supplies. It wasn't completely finished, but we made a decent start on it. It still isn't done, but we're a couple steps closer to finishing our establishing goal for this year.

patio vegetable and herb garden week 2
Here's our patio garden as of Sunday morning.
We found some Italian oregano, lavender, more rosemary and basil, lemon balm, marigolds, alliums, and geraniums this past Saturday, and those got planted super early Sunday morning. Our seed packets arrived on Friday, but we're still working on digging out and edging the chamomile garden. I'm hoping I can get it done today, so the seeds can be scattered before rain blows in tomorrow and sets in for the next week.

May 5, 2015

Patio Vegetable Garden: Getting Started

We've been talking about starting a patio garden for two or three years. It's one of those things that can be a bit pricy to get going. So, we've been accumulating pots, tools, and bags of drainage rock here and there over the last few years. While irritating, it's been for the best since it gave the girls time to grow into being able to take active roles in tending the garden with us.

Gardening with children.
The girls learned how to transplant seedlings. They were so gentle with their beans!
Thus far, 2015 seems to be the year to get started as things finally fell into place with only bags of high quality potting soil and seedlings left to go. So with the girls' bean plants outgrowing our kitchen table, we devoted Friday afternoon and just about all day Saturday to setting up our first patio vegetable garden.

April 30, 2015

Summer Science, Math, and Home Ec.

As those who have small children in school probably already know, kindergarten through third grade pretty much all cover the same lessons with each year just being a bit more involved than the year before. This helps lay a foundation of the fundamentals in a way that really "sticks" since we all learn through repetition. Now that Boo Bear is in third grade, we've had our hands full with projects and in depth explanations more than we have in the past three years.

She's so incredibly proud of her baby bean plants!
Both girls have always had a strong interest in science, with the biological sciences being of particular interest. So, we're going all out in our life science studies this year, which is one reason we put off the subject throughout the winter in favor of making it a spring and summer subject. Our biggest project of the year started a couple of weeks ago when we did the usual sprout beans in a plastic baggie experiment, and it will end this fall when we're harvesting the fruits of our family's labor.

April 23, 2015

Branching Out Our Taste Buds

One day back in late February, I was out grocery shopping with the girls and bemoaning the fact our local Aldi had once again run out of gluten free bread. A woman overheard us talking and told us about a new store getting ready to open just up the road called Sprouts purportedly like a lower cost Earth Fare or Whole Foods. Of course I had to go home and look it up.

Inside Sprouts from their website. Not a sponsored post, just an excited mama.

A few weeks later this new Sprouts Market opened. We weren't there at the opening itself, but it didn't take us long to go check it out.

April 16, 2015

Finding Balance Yet Again

There's been a lot of chatter in women's blogs and magazines about establishing a work/life balance over the past several years. Funny how most of those articles and discussions make it seem like something you set up and that just keeps on going on its own. Yet it always seems I'm having to take stock of what's going on in our lives and striving to find a way to "balance" it out every few months. Am I alone in this?

We've come a long way since 2012!
Perhaps it's simply a matter of the type of jobs Hubby and I have. Upheaval's to be expected for a teacher without tenure, owning a small business, and a failed attempt at career change. Somehow I doubt that's it though. Even when Hubby stuck with the same school for several years in a row and I was simply staying home and schooling our then preschoolers, this was going on.

February 20, 2015

Reorienting in Coping with Dyslexia

I came across this photo making the rounds on Facebook today. It sparked a bit of nostalgia in me.

Yet another Facebook, "If you can read this," meme.
Learning to read backwards and upside down is how I learned to reorient letters. I seriously thought everyone could do it until I asked a coworker about something on a sign posted outside our window, and they responded by questioning how I could read the sign. It was only five years ago, when Hubby was taking the Ortton-Gillingham training that I learned it was one of the earliest methods of helping children with dyslexia learn how to reorient letters. Unfortunately, it's also a method that's effective for just 5% of those dealing with dyslexia, and while I might be part of that percentage, the girls aren't.

January 29, 2015

When Perfectionism Threatens Progress

Long time readers might recall our frustrations over Sneak's perfectionism, manifesting as early as eighteen months when she refused to speak until her annunciation was up to her standards. Before then, I'd always assumed it was a learned trait, but recently Boo Bear has been showing more and more signs of the perfectionism monster stalking her. So, I've begun to wonder if there isn't some genetic component. Lord knows I've been fighting perfectionism as long as I can remember, as have the majority of the women in my family.

There's this perception that perfectionism is a motivating force that drives people forward through thick and thin until they get everything just right. It's not. At its root, perfectionism is a paralytic. Either the fear of failure keeps the person from ever starting in the first place, or they try, get something wrong or off, and then get so obsessed with that fact they never move forward or try again. "If I can't get it right, why should I even try?" is a common question asked by perfectionists.

Because of this, it can be a homeschooler's worst nightmare.

January 14, 2015

Random Thoughts from the First of the Year

2015 has been another year started miserably sick, so I've had a lot of time to think while waiting in doctor's offices and curled up in bed waiting on medicines to kick in. Mostly I just kind of stared at the wall and fantasied about installing release valves in my sinuses, but I also found myself musing on a few things.

Of course, a lot of thinking on the world the Icarus trilogy was done. I won't go into much of it here, but tidbits might end up being mentioned in the world building lessons coming up on the other blog. I'm not sure though as I haven't starting writing Monday's lesson just yet.

January 3, 2015


I've done a bit of updating here on the blog this morning. It's nothing major, but the start of a new year is a good time for sprucing up, don't you think?

First I added a status bar for my current works-in-progress. It's over on the right between my other web links and the topic labels. I doubt I will have time to update it every day as I continue drafting Icarus, but I plan to update at least every Saturday morning. It's kind of depressing at the moment, but I'm just getting started.

When I clicked back onto the blog to look over that addition, I realized I had some defunct links. So I went back and deleted those as well as added a link to the author's website I set up last month. I've started another blog over there just for writing topics, and I'm beginning a free creative writing course over there on Monday too. Go check it out.

Like I said, it's nothing major, just a little sprucing up for the new year.

What have you been doing the last couple of days to kick off 2015?

December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions

Once again, we're at the end of a year and looking forward to a brand new shiny one. Time to think about what changes we want to make.

I'm going to stay away from the long lists and health related resolutions this year. I always end up depressing myself by the middle of February with those anyway. I'm going to keep it short and sweet for 2015.

1. Write for at least thirty minutes every morning.

"Write every day," is a bit of good writing advice you see all over the place. It's something I've tried and failed to start doing time and again, and I've come to believe my reason for failing is because I've never set a specific time aside for it. So that's what I'm doing this year.

I'm a person who peaks in the late morning and afternoon, so if I had my druthers, that's when I'd pick for my writing time. Unfortunately, my late mornings and afternoons are taken six days out of seven, so the half hour or so I've been using to check various social media and have my morning coffee will have to do. It'll probably be like pulling teeth the first week or two, but I figure slow and steady is better than the hit or miss thing I've had going on the past several years.

Some days this might mean writing a few blog posts and scheduling them out, but most days, I'll probably be working on my current works in progress. I'm hoping to start releasing a novel once a year, starting with The Icarus Project sometime in late 2015 and then returning to the Yekara series with Midnight Rising in 2016. Then alternating between the Icarus trilogy and the Yekara series as time goes on.

2. Stick to the cleaning schedule.

I'm a very neat and organized person who lacks in the follow through department. Or well, lacking in energy a lot of times, would probably be more accurate. I do well enough the days I'm off or work-from-home. However, the days I go into the office, I have a bad habit of just crashing once I come back through the door.

I wrote up a workable housekeeping schedule for our family to follow, but we never gave it a go after Hubby's school year started. We're going to try to stick to it going forward in 2015. I figure it might take us a while to get everything back in order following the holiday chaos, but we'll get there eventually. The trick will be sticking with the schedule and not becoming complacent when we get back to just maintaining the house in it's clean state.

That's it. I just have two measly little resolutions this year, but sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact.

What are your resolutions for 2015?