Saturday, May 20, 2017

Paper Clutter

Today was another rainy day.  Enough with the rain already!!  It's been raining for almost 2 weeks now, and I am craving Vitamin D in the worst way!!  My garden isn't sure if it's even growing season right now or if the seeds should still be hiding away underground where it's slightly warmer.  The poor tomato plants may be stunted.  I think the boys and I are feeling stunted.  WE need the sunlight and warmth.  WE need to get out and play in the sun.  Normally I wouldn't have a problem with the kids playing in the rain and the mud, but with the temps only being in the 40's, it's not quite warm enough for that.

Today we spent the day doing some cleaning around the house.  I focused on the paper clutter under the cleaning plan that I'm following.  As I may have posted yesterday, I'm not planning on following the 40 week plan over 40 actual weeks because I'd like the house to be clean before that.  I'm going to try to abridge the plan to make it through a little faster.  I don't know how fast, it depends on each step, but we'll see what happens.  Anyway.. here's the plan that I'm following..  I'm new with listening to podcasts, but I started with podcast #1 and am going from there. I came up with a total of 6 Sunday baskets!!

I know they're not all "baskets" but I just used whatever was handy.  I didn't get through all of them today because I was playing single parent while hubby was at the shop all day, but I did get through 3 of them!  I did a quick sort - his, mine, kids, and trash piles.  Then a more thorough where I went back through all my stuff and opened it and decided if it was keep, shred, or recycle.  If it was keep, I had to decide where it was going to go or what I was going to do with it and put it in the appropriate file/pile.  Turns out most of the stuff I went through was either shred or recycle.  I think that's what I'm going to find when I go through the rest of the stuff, which I'm hoping to do tomorrow. 

Breaking the cleaning down into these smaller manageable pieces is really helping me. Normally when I work on this stuff, my anxiety gets to me and drives me crazy because I get too overwhelmed and I need to walk away.  But so far this is working!! 

There is another podcast I found that is breaking down organization into little pieces, and I'm working that into my routine too.  It builds on itself.  It started with the first night - spend a couple minutes just picking up the bathroom before going to bed.  Put everything in the bathroom away where it goes, wipe down the sink/counters, pick up stuff on the floor.  That way in the morning the bathroom is clean when you go in there.  Now they added on Step 2 - pick up and put away 5 things before you go to bed.  Just 5 things you see sitting out that aren't where they belong, and put them away.

I talked to a friend of mine today who I had lost touch with for a while and has now moved back to the area. She is a personal trainer and I was asking for some advice because I'm getting desperate now that I've been diagnosed at pre-diabetic and have osteoarthritis in my knee.  I was doing my workout today - Hip Hop Abs - when the 2 oldest kids decided they had to start fighting and no one wanted to watch my Monkey, so I had to quit halfway through.  It's really grating on me when they have to fight like that ALL the time.  She only has 2 days of school left, so I'm sure they're going to be fighting  A LOT....

Friday, May 19, 2017

Beginning again....

Motherhood is an adventure in itself.  Add into that the excitement of homeschooling, a genetic disease, a social disability, and the teenage years, and you have a whole new ballgame!  My little Monkey has been attending preschool for the last month.  He was accepted at 3 without potty training because, in addition to the amazing adventures of CF that we have daily, he has the added joy of ASD on top of it.  It's all fine because, you know, dealing with CF is no big deal anyway, right? (Insert sarcastic smirk.)  

I tried to follow my dream for a while.  I had opened a shop last spring and it lasted a whole 6 months.  But when you spend your days bouncing between doctor appointments and being a new business, you can't really afford to bring in hired help.  My cousin came in to help for a while, but I still owe her for at least one day she worked.  I had built up a pretty good inventory, then when I closed in August I had to move everything from my 900 square foot store into totes and into my basement, garage, and office space.  I'm still looking for many of my things because I don't know where they are. 

I finished off last year with Farmer's Market, and I signed on with them for the full year this year.  Wednesday was the first day, but the weather wasn't very nice.  It was thundering, lightening, and hailing up until opening time, so I was a few minutes late getting there since I wasn't sure if I should go or not.  This year I'm licensed to sell veggies as well as baking mixes.  I've written up some really good muffin mixes that I'm going to do, as well as selling some of the muffins already made.   I've also been doing more sewing since I have a couple new machines that I've inherited.  I've been playing around and experimenting with different ideas.  Hopefully they go over well :) 

Today I'm also starting a cleaning and decluttering program to try to get my house under control.  There is just way too much mess right now for me, and I notice it plays on my anxiety.  And I hate when I can't find things.  I had a customer come pick up an order, and I wrote out the receipt and took her cash and put it in the book, then can't remember where I put it.  I could really use that $20, so now I need to find it!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2nd Grade - Week 1 Review and on to Week 2

Well, week 1 of 2nd grade started out pretty good.  We were on track for the first couple days.  All of our scheduled lessons were done and checked off.  It only took, in total, about 3 hours to get all of Scrappy's work done.  I thought that was pretty good!!  I explained to him that if he was in public school, he would be there more than twice as long as that each day to get all his work done.  Here is what a full day, done, in my planner looks like.

A red check mark as each item gets done.  Once each item is checked off, he gets to put a star next to the subject to show that it's all done.  The first 2 days of school looked like the picture above.

This year we even added in Home Ec so he could do some cooking since he likes to help with supper.  Once day a week he will either be making supper or dessert.  This week he made a very simple soup recipe - Iroquois Corn Soup.

We were off to such a great start, I had such high hopes for this school year.

But then life happened.

Wednesday morning I attempted to get him to do as much as we could before we had to leave for my dentist appointment.  We got through a good majority of it.  I had hoped to finish it when we got home, but a stop at the grocery store and a few other interruptions put a dent in those plans.  Oh well, move it to Thursday.  As one of my instructors, Christy, would say, "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape."

Thursday morning - TOPS meeting. OK.  Then Chubbers had his physical therapist coming because he's still not walking because he's 17 months old and everyone is worried.  I mean, he IS furniture surfing and holding hands.  Yesterday he took a couple steps from the chair to Mommy without realizing it because he didn't want Daddy and he just wanted me :)  (and my big boy just got his hair cut yesterday too - he looks like such a big boy now!!!)

But he's so blonde his hair looks so much shorter than it actually is.

Anyway, back to school.  Thursday afternoon I had so much trouble getting Scrappy back on track.  Our schedule at the end of the day ended up like this:

obviously not done :(  Friday morning I had a doctor's appointment, but by the time that was done and I picked up my prescription, then got our roofing permit, it was after lunch.  Fortunately Beau fed the boys while I was gone.  Half the day was gone.  Tried as I could, we didn't get Friday's work done and ended up carrying our schooling into Saturday because of a very uncooperative student.

Yesterday didn't go much better.  I didn't expect Monday's to be very easy anyway, which is why I schedule Monday mornings to be library time, plus a light schedule for the rest of the day.  We accomplished Math yesterday.  That was it.  And that was after Daddy was home.  Today Mommy had to be strict and is making Scraps sit alone in the office doing his work while I keep an eye on Chubbers.  Beau is gone this week at camp and won't be home until Friday.  Figured it's time for me to get in the habit of not having the extra hands to help me before she goes back to school.

I suppose I better go check to see what Scraps is up to... it's a little too quiet in there....

Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Week of Home School Break

I've spent the last few weeks getting ready for the new school year, which starts on Monday.  Wow, Monday already!!  Where does the time go?!?!  I know that I'm more excited about it than Scrappy is - obviously.  The last 2 years - k-1 - I've been flying by the seat of my pants, not really having a lesson plan, no set curriculum.  We just read whatever struck Scrappy's fancy for Science, did a few workbooks, fought over doing some copy work to improve him handwriting, and didn't have any real schedule per say.

Well, 2nd grade is going to be a wake up call for him.  Especially when it comes to his "I don't wanna do it/I want a break/I'm still hungry/I did enough homework" attitude.  I checked to see what the Minnesota state regulations are for school.  There is not a set number of hours that he must complete, but they do have a few classes that are required, but they're pretty basic.

Today's summary is just about how I have everything set up for the school year.  Later on I'll post how I set up my curriculum if anyone is interested.  If anyone is reading this.  

I finally got the office mostly cleaned up since that's where the school supplies are stored.  We do some of the school work in there, but since I have Chubbermonkey to watch too, most of our work is actually done in the living room so that Chubbers has room/stuff to play with.  But this is what we find in the office:

 All of walls in the office are plaster, so my hubby had to drill into the wall to hang theses rails so we have something to hang our posters, etc on.  Currently, the only thing hanging here is our weekly class schedule.  This isn't necessarily the order of our classes, I just kept the order consistent so it was easier to see at a glance.  I still need to update that every other Thursday is also Girl Scout night for Beau, which is a factor into planning our lessons.

This bookshelf is in the corner of my office.  The top shelf is my miscellaneous books and supplies.  The second shelf is filler paper, new and used notebooks, folders, and miscellaneous school books, mostly too young for Scrappy but that I'm holding on to for Chubbers.  The third shelf is the books and supplies for this school year, including a small tote with stickers and another with pencils, erasers, and other school supplies in it.  The bottom is just overflow.

This file box is how my weekly lessons are arranged.  There is a green folder for each week and a colored file folder for each class.  If for some reason a class gets pushed back for something comes up, the file can get moved to the next folder.  The Bible Study, Music, Math, and Art folders are kept in the front of the box because they are not used every week and are only inserted when they are needed.

Having 2 children with Cystic Fibrosis and only having one steady income, I don't have an unlimited amount of money to spend on curriculum.  Plus I didn't want to go with a boxed curriculum that decides everything for us.  I was able to put together a pretty good and interesting set of plans for this year.  My biggest struggle was how to lay it out.  

Fortunately I have been following several homeschool blogs, and one helped point me to a book that, after reading through it a couple times, answered almost all my questions.  I would HIGHLY recommend reading Blueprint Homeschooling especially if you're lost on your planning!!  It gave me so many great ideas and set me on the right track.  I adapted a few things to what works for me, and voila!!  Ready to go!!  Here is what my planning looks like...

Scrappy's "English" book information - what book(s) we're doing and what pages on what days, along with what days we have field trips written in.

This is how our Science plans are written out.  I use the same method for History/Social Studies/Geography (which are all combined this year because of how the study units are being done.  More on that later.)  Each numeral is for a week.  The purple is what text/DVD is being used and the pages, red is experiments, green is worksheets.  All of this information is gathered and put into the file folder for the week with the heading on the label such as for week I) Cells.

After I have my daily plans laid out for my classes, I pull everything together in a composition notebook for my class schedule.  I use one page per day.  I list the date at the top and the classes down the sides.  All the pages that we will read are listed, worksheets and experiments and activities are listed.  At a glance we can see everything that we will do for the whole day.

Here are a couple pictures of one of my folders.  The blue index cards stapled to the top of the folder is the list of all the library books that I will need for the week for that class.  In this case, this is a History/Social Studies/Geography folder.  One card is for books I need from our local library, one is for books I need to get via inter-library loan. (Note: Check with your library if you need to do this. Our library advised that it takes approximately a week to get inter-library loan books.)  The yellow index cards on the left side of the folder is for materials I will need for the week for various projects.  This could be for recipes, craft projects, or experiments.

Since I'm not completely sure on all the field trips that we will be having this year yet, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself on the scheduling.  We are running on the 6 weeks on 1 week off schedule, so I have the first 6 weeks definitely scheduled in my composition book.  I have daily plans made up for all my classes so that they are ready to go when I am.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Let's see, where are we now?


Scraps is Summer Schooling for homeschool.  It was kind of his own fault.  He has been fighting and arguing about doing homework many days.  He was told if it was going to be a problem, he would be schooling year round.  So that is exactly what we are doing.  We have eased up on the math and science since he has a good grasp on that, but he was struggling a little with his reading and writing, so that has been our summer focus.  Our library's summer reading program helps with that also.  For every 5 books that he reads, he earns a prize. 

 Our Pizza Hut closed, so there isn't a Book It! program here anymore either, so we've started our own.  For every book he reads to me or to Dad, he earns 1 point.  Every chapter book we finish (with me reading, of course) he earns 5 points.  He can cash in 10 points for a sheet of stickers or a matchbox car.  Or he can wait and cash in 25 points for a bigger prize like a Ninja Turtle action figure or a monster truck.  It seems to be working so far.  So far we've read Because of Winn-Dixie and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  We are currently reading Bridge to Terabithia.  Whenever we finish a book, we watch the movie too.

Since Beau is home, we're doing something similar for her with reading too, except she has to read the chapter books on her own and I am assigning her books to get her out of her comfort zone.  She also has assigned reading from her summer book club at the library.

Cystic Fibrosis

The boys are doing well.  Scraps has gained almost 15 pounds now with his feeding tube - and he hasn't even had it for a whole year yet!!!  Since he's been eating so well, we haven't been hooking him up at night as often for feedings.  If he starts having attitude issues or saying he's always hungry, we hook him up again.  Per his doctor's request, we're on 3x per week.   Chubbermonkey just got his vest a couple days ago so now his treatments are easier to do.  He and Scraps do their treatments together so Chubbers can see his big brother modeling for him.    It doesn't always mean it's easier, but it helps.


It seems like everything is always so busy. It's almost the 1st of August already.  Summer flies by so fast.  We've been so busy with swimming lessons, baseball, a day trip to the Grotto of the Redemption, going to the pool, gardening, doctor and dentist appointments, TOPS meetings, cleaning and attempting to purge, and a million other things.  It seems like no matter hot much I try to keep up, I just can't quite do it, let alone get ahead.  So for right now, I'm going to just enjoy the ride and see where it takes me.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Break for One


This week is spring break for Beau.  Unfortunately Scraps isn't getting the week off from school because he hasn't been consistent enough with doing his schooling to get large blocks off.  I've been trying several different approaches to get him to do his work.  Some things seem to work for a while, but then fizzle out.  The one I've been making the most progress with is Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool, but I think some of the reading is too advanced for him right now, and he is ahead in the math.  We tried getting into some of the history in it, and he has NO interest at all in it.  I'm going to be meeting with another homeschool mom who has been doing it longer than I have to get a few pointers and to be sure I'm covering what needs to be covered.  If I'm doing any extra, that's great!  I'm we're coming up short, well, then I'll need to adjust.  Now that Chubbermonkey is getting older (OMG he's a year old already!!!) I can finally try to set a schedule to follow a little better!!  I'm going to try to work on a spring schedule this week while Beau is home.

The Battle With CF

Scrappy is going to be going into the hospital next month for his tune-up.  Dr P is trying to get it done before we go on vacation.  Yup - we get an all expenses paid vacation this year!!!  Scrappy is getting his wish from the Make A Wish Foundation!  We will be going on a 5 day/4 night Disney Cruise in the Bahamas!!!  He is so excited - but so are the rest of us.  Especially since they are covering EVERYTHING, including flight, passports, and spending money.  We really need this vacation.  

Now just to make it through the 2 weeks in the hospital.  It's going to be a little more difficult this time because Mayo has become an accredited CF center, so any CF patients admitted must be kept in isolation during their stay.  I guess it'll be a good chance to work on homework....

My Real Life

Some chaos is going on here.  My grandma has not been well. Both of my great grandmothers have not been well.  I've been trying to do what I can to help, but there's only so much I can do.  It's very frustrating.

A little over a week ago, we had to have our oldest kitty, Abby, put down. She'd been vomiting a lot and lost a LOT of weight.  The vet initially thought she had an ulcer and thought it was something we could work through.  After she wasn't getting better, we discovered she had tumors in her abdomen and around her heart.  She was the best kitty a child could ask for - she had the best temperament even for babies.  I miss her a lot.

My health has been frustrating too.  I hit my highest weight ever 2 weeks ago.  My thyroid had been on the fritz for a while, so my meds had been adjusted several times.  Then stress piled on top of it.  I was doing great with working out until my grandma's surgery, but got sidetracked with helping her (I know, another excuse) so I slacked off a little.  But I'm trying to get back on track.  I've officially lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  So far I'm down another 2 this week (unofficially).  As of March 12, I gave up pop.  Coke specifically.  I used to drink a ton of it.  But my doc changed my migraine medication to topamax, which makes Coke taste like crap as a side effect.

Since I've been struggling with my weight, I'm teaming up with a friend with getting back on track.  She has also recently joined TOPS.  As of today, she and I are starting on the C25K program (again) with the intention of running the Tiger Trot next year, along with (hopefully) a few other 5ks.  Wish us luck!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Give Up?

Every few months or so I try with blogging again.  My intentions are there, but for one reason or another, things fall apart and I don't do so well.  I've considered deleting this entire blog and starting from scratch, but I don't know how that will get me anywhere.

Then comes the question - what to write about?  Currently my ambition would be to write just about my life - what it's like with home schooling, running a business, and raising kids both with and without disabilities.  Fighting cystic fibrosis with 2 of them and tweenagerism with the other.  I'm not sure where to start with any of this, but I'm going to give it another go.

It's like I said a while back in this - TODAY is day one... it's never too late to start again.....  So my next entry will be my "starting again."  It will again be my Day One.