May 28, 2010

High school and beyond…

Posted in Homeschool, kids, life at 8:00 am by ammiejo

I guess I should say, “B” isn’t even in high school yet. He will just be in 8th grade in the fall.

Some of you may know how scared I was about teaching 7th grade. I don’t remember it being hard as a student(not the academic part, the social part was a whole ‘nother story), but as a mom preparing to teach it. I was petrified. It really wasn’t as hard as I thought. But now I’m facing 8th grade. *shudder* And I realize how close high school is. This is uncharted territory for me.

Everyone seems to have an opinion of the BEST way to go. At least in their experience. I’ve read and read and read. I think I’m just more confused now than I was in the beginning. The opinions on this part of homeschooling are as diverse as the methods and curriculum for homeschooling. I’m as overwhelmed about this as if I were offered a shopping spree of ALL the different types of curricula. I wouldn’t know where to begin. And I don’t know where to begin with this either. Which is why I am starting to research this NOW.

Procrastinating on the laundry. No big deal. At least not until someone starts asking about clean undies. Procrastinating on this. Big no-no.

And so I’m diving in. So this is just my little brain dump of all that I have read and heard so far. If you would rather not be confused. Stop here. Well, maybe you should have stopped earlier. 😀

So we begin with the fundamental high school transcript. Transcripts…accredited and unaccredited. So, apparently, you should know the college your child would like to apply to because some colleges prefer an accredited transcript, while some others are mainly looking at the ACT and SAT scores. Some types of curriculum will offer an accredited transcript. This WILL cost you more money. I’ve researched one of these types. I don’t know if all are similar in the way they are set up or not. At the end of each month, you send in that months work to be graded. By someone else. I guess the theory is, they aren’t inclined to be biased if it is someone other than the parents grading. As well as, they employ certified teachers to do the grading. Unaccredited? You do it yourself. You figure out the states guidelines on the subjects they need to take, how much each course is worth, and does that course meet the standards set forth by the state for that grade and subject. You do the grading and you keep the records. Some parents suggest keeping a portfolio of the students work for each grade. You make your own transcript. Another option, at least in our state. The Education Alliance will provide your student with a transcript. You call them, give them the grades and they print out the transcript. For a small donation. The parent I talked to said she gave them $10. There is also a form online.

Community college classes or not. Some homeschool students are taking their English, math, history…classes in college for dual credit. So, English Comp I qualifies as English for whatever grade they are in that year and they have one college class down. But if he takes classes at the community college will that remove his freshman status? Because apparently you get the most scholarship opportunities when you are a freshman. And some schools will no longer consider you a freshman after so many hours and some will. So you’ll need to know which schools you would like to apply to, so you can check with them and find out their policy. Then of course there is the money aspect of this part. In some states, (I’m not sure about ours) if you are in public school, you can often attend a local community college for free. Well, I guess it’s not free, but there is an agreement of some kind between the school. (I warned you I had no idea.) But if you are a homeschool student, this does not always apply. So if you do not qualify for some kind of financial aid, then that money will be out of pocket.

This is as far as I have gotten in my quest.

Ok. I admit it. I looked at one college. One close to home. 😀

May 25, 2010

It’s not an easy thing to admit

Posted in Books, embarassing, life at 5:21 pm by ammiejo

I’m infatuated with a man other than my husband. He brings me things. Things in little boxes, big boxes, medium sized boxes, odd shaped boxes. I have a little bit of an obsession for him. I keep track of him online. I know when he is going to pull up into my drive way with a goodie box just for me.

I’m not crazy about the way he dresses. Not everyone looks good in that color. And let’s face it, his mode of transportation is less than desirable. It’s just too big and bulky. I wonder if he’s looked into a sportier model? But, he smiles at me and gives me the much awaited and anticipated goodies AND I melt. Then it doesn’t matter what he is wearing or what he is driving.

Even better? I don’t feel the need to fix my hair or do my make up when I’m awaiting his arrival. He isn’t worried about the way I look. Or how clean my house is. His only need is to deliver my hearts desire…

Oh! Surely you have guessed it. I’m talking about the UPS man. He just delivered 4 boxes of books to my door. He even carried them into the house and sat them in my kitchen floor. Bless his bald headed little heart! He’ll probably be back tomorrow or the next day with the others. 😀 I think I’ll offer him a cold soda for his efforts!

I can’t wait to delve into these boxes of treasure! But Ben has a ball game this evening. Provided it isn’t rained out. Tomorrow I will be opening those boxes and digging out our new school books! The kids will help me and look over them with me, but they just don’t get the same thrill out of going through these new treasures!

I think I should know his name. 😀

May 24, 2010

So embarassing…

Posted in embarassing, life at 12:45 pm by ammiejo

The weekend before last was the Homeschool Convention for our part of the state. Our convention welcomes kids, but we don’t usually take ours. We have taken them for one day and let them attend the art classes they offer. But, it’s two long days and we enjoy the alone time together. So, my husband took the kids to Honey’s house. (Honey is what Amiah calls my grandma.) And we were off folks! Two whole days just me and my hubby. We really look forward to this weekend. We spend all day both days, talking, and just being together. It’s really, really nice. We usually have to hurry back Friday evening to catch one of the boys ballgames, but that’s nice too. We don’t like to miss their games.

The convention is held every year at Harding in Searcy, AR. It started off wonderfully. I volunteer every year and this year I volunteered to help set up the used book sale. (If you volunteer, our convention lets you shop early with the other volunteers at the used book sale. I get at least half of the books I need at the used sale. And then there are the extra books, games, and some fun learning manipulatives!) And I learned that if you help set up, you have a really good idea of the books and other things that are brought in.

We get to the convention, I go in and get our name tags and check in. Our next stop is the building where they let us have our used book sale. It’s in a gym and there is lots of room for lots of books. 😀 Toward the end of my volunteer shift, I took a bathroom break and discovered that I had a surprise visitor. Lovely, much unplanned for, and I needed clean clothes. There’s a reason for my sharing this, I promise.

My dear husband took me to the nearest WalMart and I ran in to get the things I needed. Why I didn’t just change in WalMart, I don’t know. I just had it in my mind to run in at the McDonalds and change there. I really should have just changed at WalMart. We drove over to the McDonalds parking lot and I went in. I walked in and walked into the bathroom and went into the stall. Only one stall? Weird, especially for a McDonalds, I thought. I kept hearing people come in and use the restroom, flush, wash their hands (sometimes, eww) and then leave. Weird, I hadn’t seen another stall. I felt guilty for taking so long in the stall, so I was glad there was another one. I finished changing and went out to wash my hands. I was washing my hands and looked around, only to see a urinal on the wall…OH MY GOODNESS! I didn’t even finish washing or stop to dry my hands. I left! I was mortified!!! OH DEAR! I just prayed that no one had seen me enter OR leave the restroom! The Men’s restroom!

My dear, sweet, loving husband, you know, the one I really enjoy spending this weekend with? Well, nerve of all nerves…he laughed at me! Really, laughed out loud. At ME! It’s just a good thing I like him.

Someone please tell me there are no cameras in the McDonald’s pointing at the bathrooms. *sigh*

May 21, 2010

Check yourself

Posted in Health, life at 11:17 am by ammiejo

You would think I would take breast self exams more seriously. I lost my favorite, bestest in the whole world aunt to breast cancer. Friends have lost their moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, cousins, I can’t think of anyone I know that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer in some way. So why? Why not take this seriously?

About 2 months ago, on Easter weekend, I found a lump in my breast. And I was scared senseless. I couldn’t, couldn’t think. I was panic stricken. And every thought of every bad scenario played instantly in my mind. It weighed on me. Like a rock. I cried, because let’s face it, I was beyond scared. I only told a few people. Well, until now. Wait, it’s still only a few. 😀

I didn’t normally do breast exams. I’m young, invincible, busy. I know, I’m supposed to. I know, with the history in our family, I am really supposed to. Why did I check this time? Because it was sore and tender, very unusual for me in that time of my cycle. Did I mention I was terrified?

Do you know what it’s like to have to tell your husband that you have a lump in your breast? Some of you do. It broke my heart to watch fear cover his face. He didn’t panic the way I was already doing. I’m glad he was calm and level headed, because I think I would have fallen apart. No, I know I would have. He prayed and that helped me more than anything. He held me. He calmed me.

So, long story short? Everything is okay. The lump is gone. It went away and we are just checking every. single. day. Maybe that’s a little overboard. But it is never far from my mind. I told a friend who asked about it, I just don’t want to think about it. Truth is, it’s always right there. The thought of it in my mind. I was told, that more than likely it was just a cyst brought on by stress, diet, my cycle….doctors have all kinds of reasons. I don’t know, maybe God chose to use this to make me more aware of my body, my life, my relationships, of Him. We drift along and sometimes get lost in the day to day. I want to be aware of every moment. Especially aware.

So…Check yourself. Monthly.

Be aware. Not just of your breasts. Although I am. Be aware of what you ARE daily.

Here are some places you can download or get free cards. Print it off. Use it.

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/publication/breast-self-exam-shower-card
http://ww5.komen.org/Content.aspx?id=8934&terms=self+exam+cards

Note: I’m not endorsing either of these sites. But they have some good resources for breast exam cards. Get one and laminate it. Use it.

With Love

May 19, 2010

Playing dolls

Posted in kids, life, Uncategorized at 12:53 pm by ammiejo

Yesterday I was playing dolls with Princess. She has a collection of the princess Barbie dolls. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty etc. This is the conversation that followed.

Princess: “Belle, What did you have for breakfast?”
Me: “We had eggs and bacon. What did you have for breakfast Snow White?”
Princess: “We had wolf. My dad went out and killed a wolf and we ate it all up.”
Me: (wondering where she got this and trying not to laugh) “Oh really, was it good?”
Princess: “No, it tasted like wolf.”

February 13, 2010

Peace

Posted in life, thoughts of mine at 12:13 am by ammiejo

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This time of year is always hard for me. I hadn’t realized that before. But in looking back through my prayer journals (hand written ones) I noticed this pattern. I start doubting my choices of homeschooling, staying at home, of just being who I know God has called me to be. My patience is thin and my attitude tends toward the really stinky negative side. I draw inside myself. I would rather stay at home than go out socially. I have trouble sleeping. I tend toward the emotional. But if I can just hold on for a bit longer…until March or April, I’m fine. But these first couple of months of the year are just hard. They just are.

I’ve also noticed that during this time, I pray more. A bit because I’m desperately seeking a way out of how I feel inside. But more because I know where my peace comes from. I know what the Source is.

The question “Do you believe in ghosts?” from last Fridays Five Question Friday by Mama M really sparked some conversations in our home. It was during one of those conversations I remembered the verse Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And I used this verse to talk to our boys about that question. But it stuck in my head and it made me think of the struggle that I am dealing with. I don’t want to lessen how I feel, but I don’t want to give it that much weight either.

So that’s what I’m dealing with right now. It feels unbelievably heavy, but I know the God who gives me peace. And so I’ll keep my heart and mind on Jesus Christ.

January 25, 2010

The scale

Posted in diet, life at 6:51 pm by ammiejo

I’ve wanted to change my eating and exercise habit for so long. I told myself at the beginning of this year I would do it. And so I am. Changing I mean. I quit sugar and caffeine. The sugar didn’t bother me as much as the caffeine did. *I missed it*

Since then I’ve added caffeine back in the form of my morning only coffee. I’m so glad. So are my kids. The sugar. I’m using a sugar substitute now. Some of the substitutes aren’t so bad, but some just leave bad taste in my mouth.

I’m down 12 lbs now! Wooohooo! I’m so ashamed of what I weigh. What I did weigh. BUT I’m determined to do this. For me, for my husband, for my kids. I’m doing the South Beach Diet. Or my version anyway. I bought the book and I’m reading it and learning so much as I go.

The problem is the scale. No it isn’t what you think. My dear husband, bought me a really nice scale. It’s very accurate. One of the boys had a checkup couple of weeks ago. It’s on the dot with the dr’s scale. The problem is, I can’t stay away from it. I weigh myself at least once every day. At least. I know it’s a bad idea. Bad. Bad. BUT I can’t stop. Someone help me! It’s a terrible addiction.

Ammie

Dear husband,

Posted in Dear husband, life, marriage at 1:35 am by ammiejo

Dear husband,

Just a note to tell you how much I love you. Just to let you know, because I wouldn’t want you to doubt… Next time I ask you to help me to clean up the kitchen and you say “I would love to but I really need to go and do bills.” Then you go sit at the computer and play games. Just know, without a doubt, as much as I love you, and I really, really do, I’m going to torture you with it for days. But it’s all in love. All in love.

Love you SO-oooo much,

Your Wife.

January 21, 2010

Haircuts today!

Posted in kids, life at 7:09 pm by ammiejo

Today was haircut day! The boys have grown up going to a barber. My brother has gotten his hair cut there, my stepdad, and his adoptive dad (his maternal grandfather), have all gotten their haircut there. Dan, the barber man, is wonderful. He was patient through each of the boys “first” haircuts. Through years of Benjamin being so scared of people he had to sit on our lap to get his hair cut, and even then cried through the whole thing. He’s given them buzz cuts, spike hair cuts (all three went through a phase where they got it cut so it would spike), and regular little boy hair cuts. When we go, we have to wait….forever. I don’t want to wait 30 minutes and then wait an additional hour while they get their actual cuts.  Over time his prices have went up, not too much, a dollar here and there over the years. We started out getting their hair cut for $6 a piece, just recently it went from $8 to $10.  That’s considerably more than a salon in town that will do it for $5 per kid. Dh’s barber charges $7 per kid, but after one visit there I decided we would try the girl who cuts my hair.

Bethany. I love this girl. She cuts my hair, colors it (don’t tell, everyone thinks this is my natural color 😀 ), and styles it exactly like I ask her to. So I knew that if I took the boys there I would get it done, exactly the way I asked. She charges $8 per kid and I think it’s worth it to be able to go in, tell her how I want it done and walk out not feeling stressed because she didn’t listen.

So the boys all got their hair cut. It occurred to me that Princess could use a trim. Other than me cutting her bangs and trimming the very edges, she has never had a real haircut. But today, she did!

This was before.

She wanted to have a pink apron.

She sat so still! And this is what Bethany got when she told Princess to close her eyes, while she cut her bangs.

It was a wonderful experience! And I’m hoping that now that those scraggly ends are gone, the ends of her hair won’t tangle so badly! I didn’t get an after picture! How silly of me! Ah well! I’ll try to do that later!

Have a wonderful evening, all!

December 16, 2009

Random thoughts

Posted in life, Random at 4:14 pm by ammiejo

The best of my intentions doesn’t get me very far. Waiting for inspiration or motivation, hasn’t been any help either. I suppose I just need to get to it. Seriously. With Amiah’s birthday before Christmas, it’s been hard to get into Christmas planning mode and mood. I was so focused on her birthday and planning it that I lost sight of what I intended to do during the month of December for Christmas. And now with only 9 days left until Christmas, 8 of those shopping days, time is short. The biggest part of my buying is finished. I just have a few other things to pick up. But I’m stuck as to what I should get. These are those people I find it hardest to buy for!

We are starting our Christmas break Friday. No school. Thursday afternoon will be the last bit of school we will do until after the New Year. I’m relieved. I need a break as much as the kids do.

I have lots of other things that I want to do though. Sewing, baking, candy making, visiting, singing, playing, and more! I can’t wait! I get excited when I think of how much fun the kids have when we bake and make candy. I am excited about paying visits to friends and delivering our goodies. Listening to Christmas music and singing along. And….not fussing at anyone to “focus on your school work!” It sounds like heaven. 🙂 Although, keeping them kind of busy is important. Too much, nothing to do time, and they start to pick fights and fuss with each other.

We took Amiah to her Christmas party. They had a letter for the kids to fill out to Santa. Amiah asked for a hula hoop, and Woody and Bullseye. (She still loves that movie! As many princess movies as she owns and loves, it always comes back to the Toy Story movies!) Amiah gave her letter to Santa, told him what she wanted, smiled for the picture, and then took her present from Mrs. Mary. We went to the next room, out of Santa’s and his helpers way. She ripped the paper off of that thing so fast, and then the tears started. “I I-I-I w-w-wanted B-B-Bulls-Eye and W-W-Woody. It’s my faaavorite tooooy!” It took Stacy and I 15 minutes to convince her she would get other presents, that Christmas isn’t over. It’s a good thing we already knew that’s what she wanted or we would be in BIG trouble!

Tonight is the night that we are having a Christmas party for the kids in our Wednesday night class. We’re doing pizza, cupcakes, a couple of games and a goody bag. It should be fun! I’m still trying to think of one more game. Something simple, but fun for the kids.

I know there was more I wanted to write. I’ve sat down here and got back up again, no less than 7 times. No wonder I can’t remember. And now it’s time to head to town for errands! Have a good evening all!

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