Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost done!

Mercedes' room is taking shape.  I may be hauling things out to the lawn on Saturday morning to give away or sell!  We got rid of this huge dresser that took up a whole wall of her room.  My friends gave me a smaller chest of drawers, so we painted that black (Meche's favorite color is red) and tucked it into a corner of the room with a silk plant on top.  I'll find a little red bowl for her crystals.

She already had a cream colored bedspread, so I bought red sheets and put the cream spread back on the bed.

I painted the room country white.  We rent, so I'm technically not supposed to paint at all, but since we've lived here 9 years without painting, and since I'm just using white again, I figured I deserved to give my girl a freshly painted room.  It's so nice to watch the marks on the wall disappear under the paint roller!

I'm now looking for a red area rug, red or red and black curtains (the blind is filthy and I don't know how to clean it), mosquito netting,  and a writing desk.  The really lovely part is that I've only spent about $30 on the room so far - a gallon of white paint, a quart of black paint, and some Gorilla Glue to fix her closet door.  And a $12 set of sheets at Wal-Mart.

Mercedes is quite the "neat freak," so I think she will appreciate having a beautiful room again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quiet here~!

Krista took Jared and her sons boating at Deer Creek today.  Evidently they got worn out, because she called me at 7 to tell me all the kids were sacked out asleep and she was going to let sleeping bears lie.  Jared spent the night over there due to the early wake up today - so this is the 2nd night not home. 

It's quiet.  Too quiet.  I miss my kids.

In the meantime, I got Mercedes' closet door repaired, half her room painted (only to realize I didn't use semi-gloss - oh, well), her furniture out the door, and bought her nice new red sheets.  She said her favorite color was red, so I'm re-doing her room in red, black, and white while she's gone.  I've got to bring the dresser we painted black back in, put her clothes away for her, finish painting, re-arrange her room.... It should look new by the time I'm done. 

I just need to be twins for this one.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I am soooo tired

Krista managed to get free wristbands for Jared for Spanish Fork's Fiesta Days.  She took him down at about 9am for the parade, and I joined them in the afternoon, after an appointment.  Poor kid - he was so tired he could not sleep! 

Mercedes is having a big time with her grandpa and grandma.  It kind of leaves me with not so much to talk about! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Proud Mama Moment - Laundry

This morning Jared complained that there were no clean jeans in his drawer.  (There probably were, but who knows.)  So I told him to check the dryer.  Didn't think about it again.

I came downstairs to finish getting ready for work, and what did I see? 

A basket full of clean clothes.

A newly filled dryer.

An empty washer.

Jared had moved the laundry through without being asked.  He then came to me and told me there were no dryer sheets, which was why he hadn't started it.  He sees me doing laundry every day (a la Flylady) and decided to help.  I had already taken time to teach him how to sort laundry, how to load and run the washer, and how to load and run the dryer.  (It does help that I have front loaders.)

Very, very cool.  I am so proud of him I could pop. Way to go, Jared!

(By the way - this is his self-portrait)

Don't talk to strangers?

I was just reading Lenore's blog over at Free Range Kids and was interested in the post on Stranger Danger

I'm a free range mom.  I parent under the belief that I am to work myself out of a job.  By the time my kids are 18 or so, they should be able to take care of themselves (and me, as I tell them!).  Because I don't hover every single stinking minute, I've taught my kids what to do when they get lost.

Find a store employee. 

Find an adult (mom or dad) with kids. 

Find a police officer or store security.

I've talked to them about people I've seen that scare me.  Not too many of those, but I've told them that when they have a bad feeling about something, pay attention.  That's their intuition warning them about something or someone.

It's a good feeling to be paged over the store's intercom because the kids got turned around in the toy section and promptly went to the checkout stand to page Mom.  It's good, because I know they know what to do in a potentially frightening situation. 

Logic at 7

I got so tickled at Jared.  Keep in mind - he's 7 years old.  Like most 7 year old boys, he's a budding paleontologist.  Dinosaurs, reptiles, and the like fascinate him. 

So he came up to me last night and asked me if crocodiles were cold-blooded.  (We had talked about cold/warm blooded animals a few nights ago.) 

Me: Yes, crocodiles are cold blooded.  They're reptiles.
Jared: Then dinosaurs are cold blooded.
Me: Well, son, we don't really know.  What makes you think that?
Jared: Mom, you know crocodiles are dinosaurs.  So, if crocodiles are cold blooded, then dinosaurs are cold blooded.
Me: I can't argue with your logic there....

although I can see the fallacy (ie - we don't know enough about all dinosaurs, some may have been related to birds rather than reptiles),  he doesn't have enough information to know it, and for 7, that's a pretty formidable use of logic!

The way this boy thinks is so interesting.  I'm loving the extra time alone with him to see how he thinks! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update on Mercedes' trip

It's been quiet this week at the Harris household.  (I guess I should put Vazquez in there because my kids are surnamed Vazquez, but I'm a Harris, and as the head of the household, that stands, LOL)

Jared asked to call Mercedes last night.  She said she was waiting her turn on her grandma's trampoline, and all her cousins were there.  It sounds like she's having a blast.  I sure hope Denise is taking lots of pictures! 

I asked Jared today if he was enjoying having Mercedes gone, and he said, "Nah, I miss her." 

In the meantime we're cleaning out her room and getting part of it redecorated.  I can only manage a few things at a time, so it will be a process.  Budget's pretty tight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

And she's off.....

My baby girl.  Off to Kentucky.  Without me. 

It was hard to see her go (although she was with my sister), because this IS her first big adventure.  And this is my LAST girl.  She's somewhere in Colorado by now, most likely. 

This is going to be so good for her.  I'm excited for her and delighted that she has the opportunity to visit grandparents almost on her own. 

In the meantime, I warned her that I would declutter and clean her room, and after seeing how nice her place at her dad's is, it looks like some redecorating is in order.  (I don't have a domestic bone in my body.  I forget about stuff like that.)  I'm pretty sure I can get this done 15 minutes at a time!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mercedes is going on her first trip!

Bless her heart!  I can't wait to be able to blog about all of this! 

My sister Denise is driving from Utah to Kentucky to visit my parents.  She's taking Mercedes with her.  Meche is a lot nervous about the trip - this is her first time away from me for more than a couple of days.  But she's with one of her favorite aunties, and with Spike.  (Spike is a Pomeranian.  He minds better than my kids.)

We're framing it as an adventure. 

Her grandparents are really looking forward to seeing her.  So are her cousins. 

She'll be gone for 2 1/2 weeks.  She's taking a book to read in the car and her school work.

What am I going to do?  She'll be fine, but I'm going to miss her terribly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Payoffs! Proud Mama Moment

I was sitting in the church foyer, waiting for Mercedes and Jared to finish with Primary (the children's auxiliary program) so we could go home.  Mercedes came out, very politely asked her teacher if she could talk to me, and told me all about Gideon, the Old Testament hero of Judges. 

I was tickled that she remembered the story, that she knew where to find it in her copy of the Bible, and that she remembered the point of the story. 

(Tried to post this from my cell phone, but for some reason it didn't post.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What times work best for your homeschool?

I'm up late with my kids again, helping them get their work done.  We're still figuring out how to get all the things done that need to be done before bedtime every day.  The kids have discovered the art of procrastination.  And since I'm a single, homeschooling, working mother, I'm busy from sunrise to sunrise. 

I know a lot of parents do school first thing in the morning.  That's never worked well for us - partly because I'm NOT a morning person, and don't see the need to force that on my kids. 

So we're experimenting with evening school.  My thought was that they'd be physically tired at the end of the day and ready for some mental work. 

As long as the TV is off, this seems to work OK.  So far. 

I'm hoping it will be like my routine of leaving the house clean before bed.  And maybe they'll get tired of doing all the work at night and choose to do more in the morning.  The goal is simply to get them to get their work done before they are allowed to go to bed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

John Adams once wrote to his wife, Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more
OK, so he was off by 2 days.  It took the Second Continmental Congress till July 4 to approve the Declaration.  He was right on most of the rest.

This is the great anniversary festival.  I will be honoring the sacrifices made by the Founders as well as my beloved family, by reading the Declaration of Independence to my children.  I'll also be pondering what triggered the Revolution. 

It wasn't like John and Sam Adams woke up one morning and decided to start a war.  The Revolution took many years of simmering and attempts at diplomacy.  Americans began to see themselves as Americans and not as British subjects only after years of being treated with contempt by George III and his parliament.

I have to keep reminding myself not to discuss politics on this blog.  This is about homeschool.  And July 4 is a good time to re-read the Declaration and remember who we are, where we come from, and why we are Americans today.

America!  God shed His grace on thee!

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Teaching Responsibility

I got so tickled with my kids tonight.  Here's a mama brag story for you!  We got home after a long day at work/play and needed to clean the house before bed.  I'm a freak about it, because, really, that's the only time I have to clean and then I know it will be neat for a few hours.

Mercedes promptly started unloading the dishwasher, Jared took the garbage out and sorted the laundry, I handwashed a few dishes and sharp knives, and Mercedes swept and mopped the kitchen and the dining room.


I love that spending so much time together leads to such enthusiastic kids.  They see how hard I work, and they're quick to respond with help!