Thursday, April 30, 2009

Suffering For Those We Love

Twenty years ago, almost exactly, I sang at and won a talent show at my middle school.

This evening I paid for that triumph.

My baby sister was beautiful, but I couldn't hear her. And, let's face it, you don't go to watch everyone else's kids. And why, oh, why, do they refrigerate the auditorium?! There were a couple girls who are very talented, but in the main, it was a painful experience.

I'm still glad I went.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Saturday Off in Four Months!

Even better, it's the first of four days off in a row!

My new schedule, it turns out, is the best I have had so far. Four ten-hour days, none of them Sundays, and I get home by 6:30 every evening. This should solve the dinner-hour conundrum, among other things.

Training wasn't too mind-boggling but I will spend some time each day studying. In trying to think back to the last time I did something like this at work, it wasn't that the training taught me a lot, it just gave me vague directions in which to go, and I asked a lot of questions and eventually became I suspect the same will happen this time around. I just feel like I am on the spot to prove myself since, you know, they hired me even though I don't know anything (that was a quote in my last post, by the way, not just my impression!).

The boys both have 'stuff' today-Nate has to do colors at some event with his Sea Cadet unit (so cute in dress blues!) and Brandon has a paid job doing yardwork. I already have a to-do list going, with the aim of getting a lot done and still resting. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I do not naturally handle change well. Nate said something that sums it up (apparently it’s hereditary), “I don’t like surprises. They mess with my schedule.” I’ve been working on this issue for years. But…
Yesterday I applied for a new position. Same company, just yet another ‘team’. Cool team. Mother team of the team I was recently on where I had so much fun. Team that pays more. The key word here is YESTERDAY. Prior to applying I had tapped a couple guys on that team and they kindly sent me emails with what I needed to know…and I skimmed them, figuring I would do in-depth study on my two days off this week and be all set, right?
Yeah, not so much. Interviewer walked up to me this afternoon and asked if I could interview RIGHT NOW. What was I going to say besides sure? The verdict? I don’t know anything but they think I have a great attitude, so the job is mine. Scary, huh? Oh, and by the way…instead of having two days off and going out of town, I get to come back to work for training the rest of the week. And, I get a new schedule starting on Sunday…that might include Sundays, btw…just when I was getting used to this new schedule. And no one knows what it will be. And I had plans next week to take Nate out of town, then spend a couple days out of town myself. Now who knows what will happen.
Putting that on the heels of our recent household changes, extremely overdue hormonal changes (sorry to the three guys that read this blog) and I basically broke down crying after being given a job that I wanted! My poor boss. She is really a sweetie. Unfortunately, she won’t be my boss anymore. Snif.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Heart Numb3rs

Do you love the TV show Numb3rs? We do! And guess what I found? Texas Instruments (another fave of ours) has math activities to go along with the first four seasons of the show. Check 'em out! Definitely educational programming.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dear Miss Manners

How does one politely interrupt a drug bust or other felony arrest process?

As it happens, "I'm really sorry, but I need to leave and your police car is blocking my driveway" worked, but I waited until the last possible minute to do so, hoping the cops would finish up and leave before I did. When they didn't, I figured Nate would be stranded at karate class twice in one week if I didn't speak up.

On Tuesday I wasn't able to get him because 1 minute before my shift ended my phone rang and a customer spent forty five minutes yelling at me for mistakes he made. After forty five minutes he gave up on me and switched to one of my supervisors and I was able to call my poor child and have him beg Mrs. Sensei for a ride home.

My living room is still filled with flashing blue, red and white lights, and poor Brandon came home to find me gone and the place surrounded by police cruisers. He was a tad concerned. I am parked down the street, hoping my neighbor doesn't come home before I get out of her spot!

Don't worry, btw--not my neighbors or anything like that. Things seem to have ended peacefully.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land

When I was in public school, this was my favorite film. They showed it every other year. At least it didn't make me cry like The Velveteen Rabbit. Anyway, I made Nate watch it today and thought my readers might want to torture their children likewise, so here you go:

Part 1
Part 2

I had never heard of Teacher Tube before searching for that movie, but it looks neat.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lisa, Saying What I'm Thinking

Lisa has a blog post that is not only funny and informative, but also encouraging to those of us better-late-than-early folk. Everyone should read her blog regardless of their educational viewpoint anyway, simply to stand in awe that a mother of six daughters under the age of 18 can accomplish as much as she accomplishes!

'Cause they were so darn cute

Brandon (left) has been climbing since before he could walk. And he loves the outdoors. He was about five or six here, and this is one of my favorite pics. Nate (right) does not like posing for cameras. He smiles only when coerced. Like his father, he feels he belongs behind cameras. He was three in this picture. Look at those chubby little hands! His hands are bigger than mine now.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Way Cool Math Site

My mom found this link while looking for parabolic equation help for Brandon. He didn't find it terribly useful, but I think it's way cool!

Interactive Math

Subtitled: Where you learn math by playing with it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Putting Her Feet Where Her Mouth Is

My friend Tia is amazing. She's smart and funny and beautiful and always there when I need her. She is raising four amazing kids, homeschooling them all, running a small business, raising chickens, and now she is running a marathon.

The thing is, she isn't running this marathon for fun. She's doing it in honor of her father, who died of cancer. She and her sister, Amanda, are running this marathon together to raise money in an effort to keep others from losing their family members to the same terrible disease. So, if you could please donate-even just five dollars-to help them in this effort, I would be grateful, as would Tia and her sister. After all, we can't all do the running!

I am raising funds for The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a participant in their Team In Training program and
I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign.Please
use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more
about my progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by
email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.

Each donation helps accelerate finding a
cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are
battling these blood cancers. I am hoping that my participation in
Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.On behalf of The Leukemia
& Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I greatly
appreciate your generosity.

Tia Jensen

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Brandon is Doing in School

Yes, he is rendering rubber duckies. I will have that song going through my head the rest of the day. He is also rendering flashlights, but they aren't nearly so cute.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Schoolwork Is as Schoolwork Does

We are running late on school today. Why? Well, when I went to get Nate started, it seemed he was engrossed in writing a computer program. You see, he's doing Computer Science Pure and Simple this year and it teaches programming through MicroWorlds EX. Both boys love the program and every time I turn around they are whipping up some program or another. I didn't have the heart to stop Nate this morning, and he doesn't seem to believe that when he does this for 'fun' he can mark off minute boxes on his tally sheet.

When he was finally finished, he looked sleepy to me and I suggested we play a game. We pulled out Blokus. It's our current second-favorite game. We couldn't play Apples to Apples 'cause we only have two people at the moment and that game requires more. But Blokus sure looked to me like a study in strategy, logic, math...basically, it was schoolwork again. Don't tell the boy, k?

The other day, my mother tells me, Nate was chipping away some concrete in her basement to make way for the plumber. He commented that he'd like to take a more brute-force approach but he was afraid he'd "jeopardize the structural integrity of the floor." Mom asked him where he got that, and he said he'd been watching Engineering an Empire. Schoolwork disguised as fun yet again. Or is it the other way around?

I'll have to make him do some less-fun schoolwork sometime today, but it's nice to see my theory that kids will learn without being forced is holding its own.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Feeling Old

Nate is reading my college Computer Sci. text again. He keeps saying, 'way back then' and it is bothering me. Then he said I was positively ANCIENT in computer years. Forget dog years, apparently computer years whiz by much faster, and that is what I am to be judged against.

The other day I forgot how old I was.

This morning I registered my BABY, who also turned 16 today, btw, at the same high school that I went to (ironically enough, when I was pregnant with that same baby). Thankfully, some of the teachers I had are still there, so I can't be THAT old, right? Poor teachers. My dad went to the same high school. I'm amazed it's still standing now that it's on the third generation of our family. Dad's picture is still hanging in the gym. Mine might be hanging in the theater, but I haven't checked in a while.

I didn't realize how miserable I was at that school until I had to go back in today. I practically had flashbacks, PTSD-style.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Surely I said Every OTHER Day...

I think today is the 4th. In fact, I am almost sure of it. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by, or the years, for that matter. My firstborn will be 16 on Monday, and while I was not without warning, it's still a bit of a shock.

Still juggling the new schedule, and dropping a lot of balls. I think we are keeping our heads above water, though.

Speaking of water, I am ready for some swimming. I even have a suit! For years I have meant to make one, as I can't find one that fits and is modest enough to suit me (um, no pun intended). But, I got a decent one on Junonia's clearance sale the other day and now I am all set. Just need a pool and about 20 degrees! LOL Now I can still make a suit, when I get around to it, but I won't have to go another summer without. I about drooled during Nate's SCUBA lesson, the water looked so inviting.

What I have not been successful at finding is a pair of good sandals. I am wearing tennis shoes with a short skirt today and it's just not quite right. My flip flops are not great for walking around in, though, and I work in a very large building. I am thinking Teva sandals, which range between very ugly and very expensive. These are my favorites so far. I have no idea if they will fit, though, or what color I should get.

Well, that's all I have at the moment. I was going to tirade about Michael Shearer, but perhaps that will wait until later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Um, Oops?

Apparently that post-per-day thing was an April Fool's Day joke? Sorry!

Things have happened around here-company coming early, my eldest son moving back, various other things, and I totally didn't do anything internet-related yesterday. Hence, I missed my first post. I will try to think of a second post before the end of the day in order to make up.

In the meantime, I am making pizza dough so everyone can build their own pizzas for a very late lunch today. I sold my Teaching Textbooks Math 7 before we had even finished using it-didn't even get a post up on our local homeschool e-loop when I saw someone else posting a wanted ad, which was cool, and I know the person, which is cooler. My Adobe keeps printing Brandon's report card in you think the local high school will accept credits for classes like QEGHOITNGOBIS with a grade of G? Me neither.

We are kinda-sorta watching Journey to the Center of the Earth while the kids run in and out re-loading their BB guns. Little Girl got hit in the rear with a BB and was not happy about it but I think the tears are tried and she's reloading her own gun to go out and seek vengeance.

The sun is shining and all in all it isn't a bad day. :-)