Monday, May 11, 2009

The blog has moved...

I decided, and Im not all that sure why, to change my blog address.  I guess a fresh start felt right!!!

Anyway you can find me at  


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My poor abandoned blog...

OK, I admit it, I am a lame blogger.  Im actually OK with that though.  In order for me to be a good blogger something else in my life would have to give, and lately that something would be sleep.  Trust me, as much as I enjoy draining my thoughts out onto my keyboard I much prefer sleep over just about anything.  Lately actually, that would be anything!!!

Baby O is thriving, doing well and a ball of joy.  He, however, does not sleep very much.  He might take one nap a day, and then he is up at least two times a night but typically three.  He sleeps with us and nurses throughout the night.  I am super lazy on this one and just roll over, give him the breast and try to fall back to sleep.  What I have noticed however is that even though I am sleeping while he is nursing (and sleeping) I am not sleeping well until he latches off and I can roll over onto my belly.  My point is that even though he is up a few times and sleeps while nursing himself back to a solid sleep, I am not really resting until he get there, which means I am up for a couple hours each night.  Im not complaining necessarily, I am simply explaining why sleep is so important to me these days.  :-)

So, what else has been going on with us?

We are doing well, my husband still has a job which these days is a blessing.  We are nervous, as most people are, and trying to figure out what we would do if we somehow lost our only source of income.  The ideas range from selling the house and living in a camper while traveling the North American Continent (my idea) to saving every dime we can and hoping to be prepared should this horrible possibility actually occur (his idea).  Basically, we are taking his route on this one.  You never know though...

The kids are great, they are growing and learning and expanding their interests.  Our oldest is really developing a love of art.  He is still fencing, drumming, and working on his lessons, but art has become a fascination of his.  He is actually a really talented and creative person.  Rare for kids with his dx, but wonderful.  My little guy is not so little anymore.  He will be 10 this spring and is going through that lovely time known as the nine year change.  I remember this with my older son.  It is similar to the three year old thing, except with different behaviors but a very familiar level of parental frustration.  He did get some bunnies this year to tend.  That seems to help us get through the nine year thing and to develop a sense of independence and responsibility.  I think it is working.  We did lose one of them early on, which was a terrible blow to him, however a wonderful learning experience.  I hope to never see that level of sadness in my son's face ever again.  I just remember wanting desperately to say or do the right thing and knowing that this was one of those times where I could really only hug him and comfort him and express my sadness to him.  I hope I didnt scar the poor kid.  I guess we will find out in therapy down the road.

Our daughter is growing and becoming really independent.  She is an interesting ride.  Very strong willed, inspired and stubborn.  She is creative and smart as can be.  Her ability to be resourceful is almost scary.  She will be a really great woman one day.  Her complete honesty can be challenging sometimes, but mostly only because it is uncomfortable to not have her "perform" for the public.  She either wants to hug you or she doesnt.  It is that simple.  She is learning to read right now.  This is the second child I have gotten to teach to read.  It is a really fun and exciting experience.

I am doing well.  Trying to develop systems for our home to function smoothly.  Im trying to have a good new year where I am in charge of my house and my multiple responsibilities as opposed to them being in charge of me.  We'll see how I do.  I figure if I use this blog as a way to record my progress and to keep my motivation maybe I will make some progress!!!  :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Catching Up...

Well, my efforts to hold myself accountable have been rather lame, at least for the posting portion of things. Im going to attempt to update things as we have been quite busy!!!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday *Staging Day*

Growing up in the restaurant/food service industry I am familiar with the idea of a staging area. An area where you have all your supplies and needs set up for quick access and a seamless feel to an event. You will have your coffee cups, your extra napkins, the service setups for the next phase of an event.

Well, I have decided that this is what I need for our life. A staging area, or beter yet, a staging day. A day where we get the house to a balanced level, I have materials gathered and ready for classes, projects, upcoming events and lessons. I have a master list of things that need to be done and all shopping or organizing done.

enter... SUNDAY!!

So, we spend Saturday much like a weekday, the kids have classes and volunteer work and we try to do some sort of family fun thing in the afternoon. So, that leaves me Sunday to get everything gathered and ready for the next week. I will admit to blowing the morning hours on coffee, chatting with my husband and goofing off on the computer, but now it is time to dig in!!

Here is the list...
  • Laundry all caught up and put away
  • Dishes done and put away
  • Dinners planned out for the week
  • Bathrooms cleaned
  • Floors all vacuumed and mopped
  • House dusted
  • Study cleaned completely
  • Porch plants all watered
  • Chicken Coop cleaned out
  • Bunny hutches cleaned out
  • Bed linens washed
  • Fridge Cleaned out
  • Butterfly unit planned and printed
  • G2's Harry Potter Exercise planned
  • M's craft materials gathered
  • Get performance ticket check ready to mail
  • Pay Bills
  • Charge Camera
  • Clean out my car
  • Buy paint for dining room

OK, so that should do it. Oh yeah, and Feed the Baby!!

I will change the color of each item as it is completed. I think green for GO will be a good choice.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Our week

Well, I had tried to make entries for each day of the week, and you can see how unsuccessful that was. So I thought I would do a weekly recap instead.

So on Monday...

  • bosque hike to find tadpoles

  • science class at museum

  • jazz ensemble


  • math homework for G1

  • Plant cell diagram G1

  • Spanish vocab work at G1

  • International Harry Potter cover activity G2

  • Make your own cover for HP book G2

  • Math G2

  • Frog LifeCycle mobil with M

  • Housework for Mom

  • Fencing

  • Jazz Ensemble

  • dinner with FIL and BIL


  • Lessons at home

  • Math class

  • Library for lessons for G2 and M

  • Using a Thesaurus to expand vocab and writing tools for G2

  • Math lessons 9-11 for G2

  • Phonics lessons 6-12 for M

  • Library time to check out books

  • Great Grandma's for family dinner


  • Health with G1 (Body in Numbers)

  • Reading for G2

  • Free-play for M


  • drumming lesson for G1 and G2

  • fencing


  • Hiking with RGRS to monitor 45 trees we planted last spring

  • housework

  • cooking with Maggie (pot of beans)

  • rock climbing

  • fencing

Then today we have...

  • Balloon Fiesta Watching

  • Pre-historic Preschool for M

  • Naturalist Center Volunteering for G1 & G2

  • Armory clinic for G1 and Dad

  • Greek Festival in the Afternoon

  • HOME!!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October Goals for our Homeschooling...

I LOVE making lists, setting goals and mapping out a plan to success. I can sit and work out every detail of how to be at point B by a certain date. It is similar to my love of school supplies; that fresh, hopeful beginning. Ahhh, it is wonderful how a clean slate can inspire us!

Then there is the reality that if I spent half the time I use up with all my planning on DOING, I would really be a successful person. LOL Hey, at least I have half of the program down, maybe I will just continue to "fake it, till I make it."

Well, since I am using this blog as a way to hold myself accountable, I think I will try to set some goals on here and track our progress. It is irrelevant if anyone actually reads this, it is just the point of putting it out there and using the posts as a measure and deadline for our lessons and other family goals.

So, here goes...

October 2008 goals per child...


  • Math 7/6 he is almost finished with it, but we need to knock out a few more lessons to really be able to close the book on it.

  • Ancient Egypt the next civilization in the Oak Meadow 6 book

  • Continue to make A's in math class, doing homework and completing quizzes (without me)

  • Biology unit from Real Science 4 Kids along with lesson expansions (drawings and detail exercises)

  • Continue Jazz Ensemble

  • Continue Drumming

  • Continue Fencing

  • Flag bearer and Prayer leader at toastmasters meeting

  • Continue Science class

  • Volunteer at WRI and Nat Center

  • RGRS projects and hiking

  • Read a chapter a day of Redwall

  • Four units of health program

  • Complete Engineering Team Challenge

  • Attend theatrical performance


  • Harry Potter Guide book *finish lessons for Sorcerer's Stone

  • Read books for book club and participate in the games

  • Finish Chamber of Secrets

  • Dig into math, we are restarting Math 3 after being half way through it. We have a "hole" in our ability with this and the only way I can find it is by starting over again and taking it much slower. I will also research different math programs that might better suit him.

  • continue rock climbing

  • continue jazz ensemble

  • continue drumming lessons

  • Complete Biology from Real Science 4 Kids along with expansions

  • Continue working on SOTW History book, complete Egypt and next civilization in program.

  • Begin participating in toastmasters meeting

  • RGRS projects

  • Volunteering at Nat Center

  • Bunny responsibilities (ours and his bunny sitting responsibilities)

  • Spanish vocabulary, family, numbers, people...

  • Science class
  • Attend theatrical performance


  • Up to lesson 50 in Phonics program

  • complete life cycle studies and projects

  • begin unit on Autumn and the seasons

  • weekly painting project

  • RGRS projects

  • science class

  • Prehistoric Preschool

  • Work on cooking skills (math)

  • Help with all animal care

  • Early math activities

  • Geography practice with continents and animals who live there

  • explore some music instruments, trying to find one that interests her

  • attend a theatrical performance

  • learn to sew or knit (I will see what interests her more)

Im reading her list and I realize it sounds so sexist. But it is important to note that both the boys did the cooking and sewing when they were younger too. :-)


  • basically continue to be a cutie pie and being drug around town to all his siblings stuff!


  • Yes, I have to have goals for me too, things I need to do that relate to our homeschooling success...

  • Teach butterfly unit to our science group

  • Lead and coordinate activities for RGRS

  • Organize our paint stuff for M

  • Feed the baby

  • Cut the boys hair

  • Make dentist appointments for me and the kids

  • Make Dr.s appointment for O and Me

  • Kids and I need to clear the summer garden beds

  • G1 and I need to repair the greenhouse door and plant some seeds for experiment

  • Clean out our homeschool supply closet

  • Clean out my art studio stuff

  • develop the next phase of G2's Harry Potter Curriculum

  • Lead the Engineering Team unit for October

  • develop M's next science lessons from Littlest Scientist books my mom sent

  • Make Halloween costumes

  • Decorate for Halloween

  • plan Thanksgiving and activites leading up to it

  • Make holiday lists for each child and figure out a budget

  • Help in launching Homeschool Art classes with the old Art Museum teacher

  • Develop writing club for young homeschoolers with a friend

  • maintain the house

  • change over clothing from summer to winter

OK, that seems like most things off the top of my head. Wish me luck. I will post a weekly update to keep myself on track.

(Yes my list is muddy with Mom stuff and lesson stuff, but that is just the reality of my life)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday = Science!

Monday seems to be a great science day for us. We get together with a science coop in the mornings, not every week, but not on a regular basis. For the past three weeks I was teaching an Archaeology unit for the coop and Im happy to be able to just be home on this Monday morning. I love teaching units, but it also is a huge drain on our regular lesson schedule. I end up using a lot of the time I could be putting into my own kids lessons in order to put together a unit of study for the group. Unfortunately it is usually the teacher's kids who gain the least out of a unit. So, while Im happy to contribute and wouldnt have it any other way, I do recognize that it is something you have to keep in balance and not allow my desire to support the coop to take away from my own family and our needs.

Anyway, today we will be getting together with a friend in the bosque to study the life cycle of frogs. We have done this several times before, but it is so much fun, and the kids love getting out in nature and exploring. M will enjoy it, she hasnt reallystudied this before and so it will be a first for her. The boys will have fun finding where the tadpoles are and figuring out which stage they are each at. M will have fun drawing what she sees and seeing her friends. O will hopefully just enjoy the trees, he is a tree fanatic and just loves to sit and watch them blow in the breeze.

We will picnic in the bosque before heading over to our science class at a local museum. the boy's classes are today. the love all the fast paces experiments and M and O enjoy exploring the rest of the museum with me and their friends.

My goals for today are...

clean up the house this morning (dishes, study, laundry)

get everyone a decent breakfast

pack a lunch

have the kids review their biology chapter

read the Tadpoles and Frogs book to M

Remember my camera

head out to the bosque (frogs, lunch)

head to Science class

home for some math

G2 work on his Harry Potter guide

M do some art work about the frogs and the bosque

O take a nap (haha)

Head out to Jazz for G1

home/dinner by 6:30pm (chicken potpie)

hang out and exhale!

Here goes.....

Well, we did quite well today. I did complete my list of things I wanted to get through and the kids had a wonderful time in the bosque. We were not able to find any tadpoles, the season is off, but the kids still were able to learn a lot about the lesson. The older boys obviously already know a lot about tadpoles and the life cycle of a frog. We used to have a small pond in our yard in VA and we always had a TON of little tadpoles and frogs in it. They loved exploring them and watching them develop throughout the summer. Anyway, M and her friend did a great job with their life cycle books and seemed to really understand the order of how things happen. So, I count that as a great outing and a fun way to get out in the bosque for a nice morning.

The great suprise for the day was Dad meeting us in the bosque for our picnic. It was nice seing him in the middle of the day and getting to share some of the fun with him. He works so much it is hard to get to see him like that. I guess it is a good thing that he likes peanut butter and jelly roll-ups! :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


That is what I miss about writing in this blog. It is a diary of sorts and it helps me to be able to review our week and to look forward to upcoming opportunities. So, I am going to try to make time for this again. I know I can do it, it is just about it becoming a habit again.

So, it is good to be back, and Im looking forward to the motivation and accountability that comes from keeping this up.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Getaway

We decided to load up the family and head down to Tucson to share our nie little guy with his Great-Grandma, Tata-Ish and his uncle. Of course Nana too, but she had been able to see him when he was born so it was more of a reunion for her.

The drive down was nice, and a bit of an adventure with a five week old infant. He did really well, only adding about an hour and a half to our drive time to stop for feedings and snuggles. We are really lucky to have GM and all his help. He is really great about keeping baby O entertained or just holding his little hands to let him know that he has someone right next to him. I will admit there were a couple moments that I thought we were nuts and that this was a mistake, but in the end it was terrific. On the way home he was happy and all things went smoothly. It was nice.

Tucson is lovely this time of year, as it is all year round. My mother has a beautiful home with a really relaxing and lovely yard. It is always nice to visit, even if just for a couple quick days.

The kids all had a wonderful time, playing with their uncle (he is only two years older than GM). ME explored the yard and collected some new sticks, pinecones and leaves for her neverending collection of cool stuff she finds on her journies. Baby O enjoyed the attention and all the warm arms to hold and love him.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Goals for 2008

Last year GM and I sat down and set some goals for him and where we wanted to be with out lessons and fencing before the end of 2007. We also discussed what we would like to adopt or add into our scope of activities and such. Not only did he achieve these goals, but he surpassed them. He really didn't seem to have much faith in his ability to achieve the goals we set, and so it took some encouragement at first. I would show him when he was on target, or when he was moving ahead of the goal numbers. This really seemed to encourage him and he began to feel that he not only could achieve these goals, but that he could surpass them. I could see the pride and confidence grow in him and I have decided to do the same thing this year, but also add in GD to the mix, as well as the rest of the family.

I chose to set goals with the kids regarding their lessons, extra-curricular activities and their chores. Manny and I will be setting goals for our health, the kids health care, our family finances, our house projects, and for our family quality time. On the side I will be setting the goals along with my partner for Rio Grande Roots & Shoots, an important part of our lives and something that requires a great deal of planning.

Measuring our success...

Last year, with GM, I sat down and figured out where we would need to be at various times in the year in order to meet our final goal. The year as a whole is too overwhelming, but achieving small bites that range for about 6 weeks at a time, can be great. You get to see and celebrate your success several times throughout the year, and if you fall behind, you can see it happening before you are so far behind that your goal becomes impossible to achieve. So for each of our goals I will sit down and figure out our necessary progress in monthly intervals.

So, onto the goals...

House Projects

Landscape the front yard
Landscape the backyard
Furnish the porch
Finish the garage
Window in the dining room
Interior Drywall
New front door
New sliding door
Finish Wood floors
Stain wood exterior
Stain wood interior
Texture the ceiling
Lighting for the upper shelves of lounge
woodwork in LR entry
Enclose the HWH in new bathroom
Fix new bath faucet
Paint the study
Set up scrapbook closet in Guest room
Lighting in the foyer
glass in buffet door
handles on built-in doors in lounge
Organize storage


1. Complete 7th grade math
2. Complete 12 Chapter books (minimum 150 pages)
3. Early American History
4. Complete 7th grade L Arts
5. Science @Explora

1. Finish 3rd grade math
2. Complete 12 Chapter Books
3. Native American History
4. Complete 4th grade L Arts
5. Science @Explora

1. alphabet
2. simple words
3. Saxon Math K
4. Saxon Phonics K
5. Science @Explora

Art @ Museum
Science coop
Jazz Ensemble
Instrument practice


1. Lose 30lbs
2. Work on cardio
3. mammogram
4. Dentist
5. Genetic testing for hydrocephalus

1. Lose weight
2. Work on Cardio
3. Have a physical
4. Genetic testing for hydrocephalus

1. tweak his supplements
2. review GF/CF diet
3. dentist (continue)

1. Dentist

1. Dentist

Baby O
1. Keep up on head checks

RGRS Goals

Complete 25 service projects
Coordinate First Annual Conference
Get T-Shirts Made
Meet with Dr. Goodall
Continue Prairie Dog sponsorship
Continue Bosque adopted space work
Complete at least two outreach projects
Develop ongoing fundraising project
Support and work with Youth Leadership group
Develop committees for future growth

The kids are still thinking about their other goals, so I will add them in when we have had a chance to sit down and iron them out.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Great book for all parents

A good friend of mine lent me a wonderful book called Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child. I love this book so much. I found a copy of it at Wild Oats and I really enjoy thumbing through it. I believe it helped us through a recent bout with a colic-like gas issue. If you have had a baby with gas issues, you know how desperate you are to help them through it.

The great thing about this book is that it shares with you the medical advise from many perspectives including Conventional Madicine, Nutritional Supplements, Herbs, Homeopathy, Acupressure, Diet and even gives tips for prevention and general info. You are able to read through the various styles and you choose whatyou feel works best for your family. It is just really helpful!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Welcome Baby O!!

Well I havent written in a really long time. Basically ever since I found out that we were being blessed with another little one.

Welcome our new son, "O". He is amazing, healthy, and such a great eater! We are all enjoying our little guy and looking forward to a peaceful holiday season.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Santa Fe Fencing Tournament Y8-Y10

GM had his first Foil tournament in Santa Fe a couple weekends ago. He was such a great sport and had a lot of fun. He even made some new friends. The kids who were from the NMFC were all really welcoming and nice to the DCF kids.

We are so happy with GM's fencing and all that it has brought to his life. I was really hesitant to let him start fencing, I pictured kids hitting one another randomly and coming home with bruises and hurt feelings. It is SO not like that! The level of control and honor that comes with the sport has really made this one of the best things we have ever chosen to do with him. He focusses, he shakes the coaches hand and says thank you after each class, he remembers to salute the opponent and the referee. It is such a sport of gentlemen, and ladies. :-)

So for this first Foil tournament, lets just say I was NERVOUS! I wanted it to go well for him, which doesnt mean winning, he could be in last place and still be thrilled, but just not humiliated. I was nervous for no reason at all. It went so well, and he really enjoyed the entire process. He even was able to win a few bouts, including one against a team mate who is really really good. So he was on top of the world. He ended up in fifth place, and was just tickled about the outcome!!

We will be doing more tournaments in the future!! It was such a positive experience for all of us.