Friday, April 27, 2012

This is your new low...

In theater Mrs. Shelley has a saying, "This is your new low."  She is usually speaking to the kids about their volume.  If a child speaks a certain level-- and she needs them to speak louder, she has them do exercises to help them with their volume.  If a kid shows noticeable difference in the volume she will tell them.. "THIS IS YOUR NEW LOW" and she doesn't want to hear them speaking lower than that again- in fact they are supposed to keep working on speaking LOUDER and LOUDER. 

Anyhoo... I have discovered that I LOVE this saying...

The kids were copy working (is that a verb) a scripture and I informed them that if it was not written nicely they would be doing it over.  Well Emily and Mary Faith had to do theirs over but Matt wrote VERY nicely.. and he has--- well he has crap writing!  WORSE than chicken scratch!  But he did a really, really good job, and I knew he had worked hard on it.  I had him hang it on the wall and told him THIS IS YOUR NEW LOW-- don't write any messier than this! 


I am thinking about all the possibilities-- behaviour, skills, abilities...

It really is about standards.  We want to keep our standards high for our kids!  We want them to reach their potential!

So of course I can turn that on myself!  Didn't get laundry, dishes and mopping today--- Had a bad day with the kids during school--- became angry and sinned ONCE too many times today?

Well TODAY WAS MY NEW LOW-- I don't want to see myself at this place again!  I can do better, I can achieve the standard (God's standards) I can work towards my potential.

It doesn't mean that the kids and I will always stay above that low-- It doesn't mean that we will always hit our potential for the day---

BUT it does mean that we are reaching for greatness.  We are striving to be better! 

That is a good thing. Too often in this world the status quo is accepted-- in fact often it is the ONLY thing expected from a person.  We are better than that!  Schools teach to the lowest in the class-- what does that do for "brighter" kids?  Society doesn't expect a teenager to NOT be disrespectful or lazy-- they act all surprised when kids achieve something!  THEIR LOW IS VERY, VERY LOW!

Well as for me and MY household--- this is our new low... is going to help us rise above the status quo, rise above what the world excepts from us, rise above our lesser qualities and abilities...

and I am good with that.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

American History week 31-36

We are moving on and really hoping to get through the next century without it ACTUALLY taking a century!   The Civil War is over, we are RECONSTRUCTING over 7 years and the country is hitting depression, has some awful presidents, the West is being won.....

Lots going on!

We went and visited the Civil War Museum on Fort Worth-- it is neat because it focuses on the Texans in the Civil War!

One of my favorite quotes about Texans in the Civil War is: by Robert E Lee

They had a scavenger hunt so all the kids participated:

I loved the flags...

So we have studied:
Zachary Taylor
Compromise of 1850
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
John Brown's raid
Abraham Lincoln
Civil War
Emancipation Proclamation
Gettysburg Address
Lincoln's assassination
13th Amendment
14th Amendment
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
15th Amendment
Clara Barton

and the kids read these books:

Abe Lincoln
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Mr. Lincoln's Drummer
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
some of the American Diaries series
Across Five Aprils
Behind Rebel Lines
Charley Skedaddle
Dragon's Gate
A Family Apart
Freedom Train
The Great Turkey Walk
Little Woman _________Still reading as read aloud for heaven's sake!
Bound for Oregon
The Perilous Road
The Red Badge of Courage
Rifles for Watie
Uncle Tom's Cabin (abridged)

Plus more but I don't have my full book list-- I can't find it.. ARGGG.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

on track...

In my funk I have not really been up in the school room.  We have simply done school downstairs at the table and I actually like it... except for having to clean it off all the time of course!  I also do not like that I don't have all my stuff.  I am less likely to have the kids read "x" book, or play a game because I am not WHERE THE STUFF IS.  So we moved all our school items back upstairs to the school room and I am tidying and readying.

For instance I have a very large book shelf of historical reads... When we started out in the school year after we moved our "current" reads took up half the shelf.  We are down to half of the top shelf.  I need to buy new books/ get library books for next unit of history and for the rest of the curriculum.  We are in a new century people....

I moved the few leftover civil war books down off the top two shelves and all that are left are what we are currently studying!  There are a lot of reads for between 1900 and 2012!  And we are getting through them by July 31!!!  Yes, I know.  It will be a tight squeeze!  We honestly will not get as much (extra) reading done as we did the first part of the year because I have put us in a time crunch-- which I don't usually do.  However I want to start our new curriculum on August 1-- so time crunch it is.

I am adding-- because I am crazy like that... some additional math and spelling work for each of the kids.  Math- because I am feeling the draw of OTHER curriculum and since I want to keep at Math U See, I feel like I need to fill in some holes.  Dave and I are discussing math right now and deciding what we will do.

We are adding for Emily- sight word/ word wall activities to help with her spelling of common, every day words that she might not have learned the rule for but needs to know how to spell. (read MOMMY is tired of spelling crap for her all the time!)    Matt and Kate are going to now be responsible for not only knowing the definitions of their vocabulary but also knowing the spelling-- which I supposed is just a good idea right!

Math --- ahhhh math... so much stress in my life feels related to math!  Emily is bucking at learning her multiplication tables.  She knows them one day but answers a problem wrong in math and I am like WHAT GIVES.  So we are doing flash cards daily, playing math games daily and doing drills.

In addition Matt and Kate are doing drills also...because well it wont hurt them and Katy couldn't answer what 3/4 of an hour was the other day without giving me the blank stare....(in her defense the book gave a word problem where she had to add fractions and then figure out how many minutes in an hour that fraction was without reducing the fraction(9/12) which is 45... but then they asked her to reduce the fraction (3/4) and answer which one allowed her to come to the conclusion of 45 minutes in a hour FASTER.  I think she felt like she had to really FIGURE out the 3/4 of an hour without realizing DUH it is 45 minutes SOOO MUCH easier... But anyway.  We are doing drills. because I said so.

We are fixing to watch a SWARM of Netflix movies because there are SO many for our current time period! FUN.  I loaded up my queue and now I just have to be really good about returning them quick so I have turn around!  I also need library books-- which involves me paying a fine-- I KNOW YOU ARE SO SURPRISED. 

So basically I am just getting myself back on track--- I have been headed in the right direction this whole time but I felt myself drifting.... gotta stay on track!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am struggling but not because anything big, bad or overwhelming is happening... at least not to me.  We found out that my cousin (actually my moms cousin) who has dealt with cancer and thought she had beaten it once has found out the cancer is spread and she is opting to stop treatments.  She has a boy about Kate's age.... so sad for my Aunt and family.  My heart hurts for the path this has taken.  Also I have loved ones on the cusp of separation and my heart is hurting for their pain, struggle and decisions they are making in the next few days...

in the midst of such huge situations... any thoughts I have seem small and pitiful.

I have no words, no comfort, no idea why things happen... besides to show US to a place of brokenness.... To allow us to see God's grace.  And why not TO us... the Bible doesn't promise us happy endings.. He promised PEACE through the trials, HE promised He would never leave us or forsake us... HE promised that HIS grace is sufficient...

but none of those things make my heart hurt any less for them.

I have my daily struggles, my own giants but they seem so insignificant.  I know they are still important to God.. but I need to keep in perspective real problems and not allow my struggles to take such a hold until they become bigger than they truly are.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday Sum Up: Day 136-155 (the really sad where where I don't update at all!)

Wow that is a lot of days to sum up!

We haven't hit the school books HARD but we have certainly hit them! 

We have done Bible, English, Math, Latin, Vocabulary and History!  Lots of learning going on!

But to simply catching up I will just tell you that we did it and move on... besides a history catch up!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I am still here.  that is all.