Monday, September 28, 2009

I LOVE Mushrooms!!!

For some weird reason, I am truly obsessed with mushrooms and photographing them. There is something for me about their snowy white color, their textures (all varied and different) against pretty green grass. I haven't gotten a really great picture yet, but that hasn't stopped me from trying. I will post more me, I have a LOT!!
Things are much more manageable this week with me having at least part of two days "off". That means that I don't have volunteering that I feel like I HAVE to do. The kids' bathrooms were a must-do, though and then I really wanted to see friend S. She came over and we ran around a little bit (to Target) but mostly we just talked, at WW meals together, and caught up. I miss her and am desperately feeling like with her stuff and my stuff, we are drifting apart....

Back to the bathrooms....I strongly feel that the kids should clean their own spaces and would love for that to happen, but so far, it has not. They occasionally clean their rooms usually under severe duress, but the bathrooms always wait for "dear old mom"....

When we were homeschooling, there was so much "free time" that I didn't feel the least bit bad making them clean their rooms and even do major chores around the house. Now that they are in school all day, and then have extra-curriculur activities and homework, I almost feel guilty asking them (or in all reality making them) do their chores. I say almost because I do ask, but it still doesn't always get done. I have pleaded, threatened, taken away privileges, taken away allowance, etc. and still their rooms and bathrooms are messy. They just don't care. They are angry when I take things away, but not uncomfortable enough to clean them!! Well, there is some point where the "health department" would be concerned (if they knew enough to come knocking) and that is when I step in and clean. So, almost an entire box of Clorox wipes and lots of bleach (not to mention other cleaners) later, I am satisfied (and the "health department" is kept away for another couple months). Seriously! IT WAS THAT BAD!!!

I am mad, though! Mad enough to tell them that they are either going to pay me to clean their bathrooms or do major chores of mine to make up for it. We will start with them doing the stairs, baseboards and vacuuming my room. Those are things they can do and should! Don't know when this is going to happen, but no "screen time" until they have done it!!

Hopefully they will want to chip in and help more....probably not, though....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It has been a long time since I have blogged regularly. Things at night are so busy with soccer, homework, picking up #2 from band practice, meetings for school, church, #1s group, and the list goes on and on. The days are not much better. I have been volunteering a lot at the elementary, ESL once a week, band uniforms, etc. My library volunteer gig is taking a back seat to these and I have been slacking on going to the gym. The most difficult thing for me is knowing what to give up. I am feeling a little over-committed. I can't give up Weight Watchers, but I had decided to go back to Ladies Prayer on Tuesdays and that was my regular WW day. So, I was going to switch to Thursdays, but that is the band uniform day (once a week, every week - you wouldn't believe how much work goes into these uniforms). Then I considered going to WW on Wednesdays (it meets very early), but I can't get there with taking #2 in early for Robotics Club.

Speaking of #2, he is over-committed too. He is going early every morning for Robotics and staying late every night for band except Wednesdays and on Wednesdays he does Robotics after school. His homework and classwork are suffering. He has two grades he needs to bring up.

The uniform gig is very time-consuming, but it is "fun" and the ladies have welcomed me with open arms....probably b/c they love having more help! The work is not necessarily hard, but time consuming and sometimes tedious. There are 230 or so uniforms to maintain, clean, swap out between white and black overalls, "chickens" to swap (the little feathers that go on the top of the hats), hat boxes to check....then we all go out for lunch. Some days they go back for more, but like today, I had to "beg off" to go do laundry at home.

This year is difficult with the kids' homework. #4 is taking a very long time each night and his spelling is killing us both. He struggles as usual to get it all down in writing anyway, and with his spelling being so is very hard at times. He is holding his own, but his grades are not wonderful, either.

#3 is doing the best, probably, but she is in the easiest year. She is hanging in there right now with all As and Bs. She had one C but so far has been able to bring it up.

#1 actually has had some homework and a project, so I am looking forward to having him involved more in the family's nightly regimen. He is so bad about hiding out when he doesn't have work to do. He has one class he has so far refused to work in and although his grades are based on participation, he has an 11 average in there. (That is out of 100 by the way!) We are working on getting him to work in there. Of course, it is English.

Why, oh why do all 4 of my children have such difficulty with this area. #2 didn't seem to be as bad until he got in high school. Now, he is struggling in this area, too.

I am worn out mostly, but not sleeping the best in the world. Why am I up right now? I drank tea for lunch and can't sleep. Why did I drink tea? So I could get my work and their work done without getting fatigued. I just traded fatigue for insomnia and the jitters.....

What do I really need? Time with my Father. Time to unwind with someone who really understands. Let me go get that taken care of.....and pray for me that I will be obedient when he tells me what to do and what to say "no" to.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Routine - Sorta

Things are settling in. School is becoming routine. I still hate the institution of school...not sure why, but it just takes so much out of our family. For us, though, it is a trade-off between taking more out of our family, or more pressure on one family member - me.

I relish the days when the things I have to do from 8-3 are basically what I want to do! I get to go to lunch with my friends, work out, shop if I want to (and can fit it in), and volunteer. I stay very busy, of course!!

The 3-9 or so is not how I would choose to spend my time - HOMEWORK, but it is a necessary "evil". There are also nightly meetings....this is really getting bad. Every night we have extra curricular stuff AND I have a meeting to go to. Sometimes this gets very hectic! Hopefully the school meetings will slow down. Some of that is because I have kids at four schools. That just adds up to more going on.

Band is pretty much all-consuming. He is kept after school four nights a week (one for a game) and I am working concessions, Band Boosters meetings, picking him up from practice, etc. It is a fun way to spend time, though, at least for me. Not sure he is all that "into it" right now.

So, on we plod through the school year. It isn't so bad. I am hoping it will get better. And having a pretty "happy" child is a change from last year. #2 is soooo much better. There are still issues, but he is not being pushed around so much. If I can get all of them to put out more effort on academics, we will be cruising. No one except me really cares about them doing their best. That is really my only complaint.

So far we have avoided the flu. I don't know how long that will last. They all have URIs or something right now, but nothing serious. Thanks, God!

I will blog my trip, I promise. I want to share so much, it is just hard to know how much anyone really cares to read. I will try, though. I do want to share some pictures. Maybe that is a good starting place.

Talk to you later....